Swedish government unveils climate action plan – but is it enough to reach ambitious goals?

Swedish government unveils climate action plan - but is it enough to reach ambitious goals?
Climate Minister Isabella Lövin presenting the 132-point plan. Photo: Janerik Henriksson / TT
The Swedish government has for the first time presented a climate action plan which covers all policy areas.

In the 132-point plan, which was put together by the Social Democrat-Green government and supported by the Centre and Liberal parties, measures include a focus on electrified vehicles, by offering free parking for cars with low emissions and more charging points for electric cars.

But even according to Climate Minister Isabella Lövin, the proposed measures won't be enough to reach the climate goals Sweden has set itself for 2045. 

“It is, to me, by far the most ambitious and comprehensive plan of action developed for an entire country,” she told a press conference.

One crucial part of the plan is that climate goals would be integrated into all relevant policy areas, and Lövin stressed that the Climate Minister alone cannot ensure that targets are reached, but that work is needed from the whole government and different parts of society.

This means that the potential climate impact of any new policy will be looked into before that policy is adopted.

Some of the more specific points in the plan include goals for the aviation and shipping industries, an investigation into how public procurement can be used to reach emissions goals, and new climate-linked requirements for buildings.

The government has not looked into exactly how much the plans would reduce emissions, but according to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's estimates, they would not be for Sweden to reach its goal of reducing total emissions by at least 85 percent by 2045 compared to 1990. 

“The total greenhouse gas emissions in 2045 are estimated (under the proposed climate action plan) to be 31-41 percent lower than in 1990,” the agency wrote.

Swedish vocabulary

ambitious — ambitiös

comprehensive — omfattande

emissions — utsläpp

electric cars — elbilar

goal — (ett) mål

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