Climate Change at the Top of the Agenda in Sweden

29 January 2016

 

Climate Change at the Top of the Agenda in Sweden

Imagine a nation powered simply by sustainable and renewable energy within most peoples’ life time? Imagine an entire capital city powered only by sustainable energy sources by 2050 and you’d think we were talking about some kind of utopian dream, but we’re not.

Sweden is hoping to become the first country in the world to end its energy-sapping, earth-destroying dependence on fossil fuels. It will start with Stockholm – already at the forefront of green technology – where the entire city will run on sustainable energy.

Sweden is setting the bar in reducing greenhouse emissions and has declared war against human intervention towards global warming. The Scandinavian country has always been at the forefront of green thinking, even going way back to the 1960s when most climate change environmentalists and campaigners were being dismissed as loony left pot-smoking idealists. Then, Sweden’s 1967 Environmental Protection Agency became the world’s first government sponsored agency to look after the environment.

If only every nation had taken Sweden’s stance back then, we might not have been in the perilous position we find ourselves now. And can you remember the Kyoto Treaty – a climate change conference summoned by world leaders back in 1998? Sweden was the first nation to put its signature to the protocol, and did so again when the same world leaders asked for a second treaty four years later in 2002.

Sweden was an active nation, even back then, in environmental concerns. The Stockholm Convention of 2001 aimed at getting rid of the production and use of organic pollutants, controlling waste management, preventing acid rain and recycling for all residents. Yes, it was only 15 years ago that we threw all our plastic, glass, tins and paper into the same trash can that held all our food waste and other household rubbish. Back then, Swedish residents were resolutely recycling.

Sweden’s Roadmap 2050

So it’s easy to see why Sweden once again tops the world charts of nations making inroads towards a future where sustainable energy is the only way its capital is powered. Air pollution in the city is already down to 10 micrograms per cubic metre – which is half of what the average for other developing countries in the world stands at today,

The goal in Sweden is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent, compared to the figures of 1990 by the year 2020. It will have a society with zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.