Sweden plans for green spending spree

Sweden plans for green spending spree
The government’s upcoming budget proposes spending 3 billion kronor ($443 million) on environment and energy measures.

Most of the money will go toward making new energy technologies commercially viable.

The spending package also includes 670 million kronor for environment investments in other countries.

Environment minister Anders Carlgren pointed out that the measures implemented abroad are significantly more cost effective than those which are made domestically.

“One krona spent in a developing country can give back ten times more,” he said.

The investments will occur within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, which allows Sweden to count them toward its own national emissions reduction targets.

Four billion kronor from the regular development aid budget will also be devoted to eco-friendly international aid projects.

Among other things, the money will be used to help developing countries prepare themselves for the long-term effects of climate change, such as flooding and drought.

The Green Party’s Maria Wetterstrand criticized the move.

“The government is taking money from the regular aid budget in order to sell Swedish technology to these countries. Technology transfer is fine, but not when you take money from the budget for fighting poverty to do it,” said Wetterstrand.

Social Democratic environmental policy spokesperson Anders Ygeman feels that the government is spending too little money on the environment and claims that the funding is simply taken from other areas.

“They cut down the green car subisidy, they took away the contributions for windows, they’ve scrapped the eco-investment programme, and that’s where the new money comes from,” he said.

“It’s very much about playing with the numbers.”