Sweden to go 'carbon neutral' by 2045, with 85% cuts at home

Stockholm waterfront
CC BY 2.0 Eugenijus Radlinskas. Stockholm, Sweden

From carbon-negative data centers to impressive bike superhighways, many good green things have emanated from Sweden.

Recently this Nordic country suggested it was ready to make even bigger waves, declaring it was aiming to be one of the first countries in the world to go fossil fuel-free, although it declined to put a timeline on the goal at the time.

Now that picture is coming into clearer view. As Business Green reports, the Swedish parliamentary committee responsible for environmental policy has published a plan to go "carbon neutral" by 2045, building on a previous pledge to have no net emissions by 2050.

Of course "carbon neutral" can be a somewhat fuzzy term, so it's good to see that the committee has stated that 85% of the emissions reductions needed will be achieved at home. The remaining`15% would be achieved by supporting emissions reduction projects abroad.

It's an impressive goal. And it sends yet another strong signal to the markets that the low carbon transition is well underway. With New Zealand and the UK phasing out coal, many major cities and gigantic corporations committing to 100% renewables, and now entire nation states declaring huge carbon reduction goals and ambitious timeframes in which they intend to achieve them, I tend to think that fossil fuel execs ought to be thinking very hard about what their Plan B is if the world starts making good on even some of its lofty green promises.

That said, Sweden apparently once promised to be free from oil by 2020, which clearly isn't going to happen. Actions speak louder than words. But words often precede action.

I look forward to seeing Sweden achieve its goal. And I hope many other countries will follow.

Sweden to go 'carbon neutral' by 2045, with 85% cuts at home
By setting both a date and an ambitious target, Sweden is sending a signal that should reverberate well beyond its borders.

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