Sweden commits to becoming carbon neutral by 2045 with new law
Sweden has committed to cutting its net carbon emissions to zero by 2045, becoming the first country to significantly upgrade its carbon ambitions since the Paris accord in 2015.
The law was drawn up by a cross-party committee and passed with an overwhelming majority in parliament by 254 votes to 41.
The legislation establishes an independent Climate Policy Council and requires an action plan to be updated every four years.
Sweden had previously committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. It already gets 83 per cent of its electricity from nuclear energy and hydropower, having met its 2020 target of 50 per cent renewable energy eight years ahead of schedule.
To achieve carbon-neutral status, the country will focus on reducing emissions from transport by increasing the use of biofuels and electric vehicles. It plans to cut domestic emissions by at least 85 per cent, and offset remaining emissions by planting trees or investing in projects abroad.
Cutting emissions from transport can be challenging because of public resistance, but Sweden enjoys unusually high levels of support for green policies. “I think they have a big chance of success,” says Femke de Jong at the NGO Carbon Market Watch.
De Jong expects other European countries to ramp up their ambitions too. “With the Trump decision to get out of the Paris agreement, Europe is more united than ever and wants to show leadership to the world.”
But although Sweden leads the way in some areas, it has recently been accused of lobbying to weaken the rules that account for carbon emissions from deforestation. “We need to make sure they show the same leadership in forests as they show in emissions,” says de Jong.
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via New Scientist – News http://ift.tt/1Sl3dlX
June 20, 2017 at 12:30PM