Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

​Sweden to Become One of World's First Fossil Fuel-Free Nation​s

Climate
​Sweden to Become One of World's First Fossil Fuel-Free Nation​s

Sweden is setting out to prove that the world doesn't need fossil fuels. In a recent announcement, the Swedish government said it will invest 4.5 billion kronor, or US$546 million, in their 2016 budget "to meet the challenges of climate change, increase the share of renewable energy and stimulate development of innovative environmental technology."

"Sweden will become one of the first fossil-free welfare states in the world," Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told the press. "When European regulations do not go far enough Sweden will lead the way."

As broken down by Bloomberg, here's how Sweden plans to completely abandon fossil fuels (no deadline has been set):

  • 390 million kronor per year between 2017 and 2019 in photovoltaics, with a plan to spend 1.4 billion kronor in total
  • 50 million kronor annually on electricity storage research
  • 10 million kronor on smart grids
  • 1 billion kronor to renovate residential buildings and make them more energy efficient
  • Subsidies and investment in green transportation such as electric cars and buses
  • Increase funding of climate-related projects in developing countries, raising its budget to 500 million kronor

Science Alert also pointed out that most of the budget increase will be financed through tax increases on petrol and diesel fuel.

According to Science Alert, "The move comes after Sweden suffered extreme heatwaves last summer, and one of the worst bushfires in the country's history. The government has committed to taking action to protect its citizens from the effects of climate change in the future."

If Sweden's clean energy plans sound a bit like a pipe dream, the country already receives about 78 percent of its electricity from nuclear power and hydroelectric power, which do not generate carbon emissions. (Although it appears that the Scandanavian country is favorable towards nuclear energy, it has no plans to replace its aging plants. By the looks of its current budget, Sweden is throwing most of its eggs into the solar basket.)

Additionally, it's not so far-fetched for a country to run entirely on renewable energy sources. Earlier this year, Costa Rica announced that for roughly three months, 100 percent of the country's electricity needs came from renewables. Hawaii is also poised to become the first U.S. state to adopt such a standard.

Perhaps in an effort to "lead by example," as the Ecologist wrote, Sweden's clean energy announcement comes a few months before the all important international climate talks in Paris (or COP21) this December.

"By setting ambitious goals, Sweden will take a leading role in the international negotiations on a new climate agreement," the Swedish government said. "Only by doing so do we take our moral responsibility for future generations, while taking advantage of the job and innovation opportunities that the green transition brings."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

IKEA: Going 100% Renewable by 2020 Makes Good Business Sense

9 Fortune 500 Companies Pledge to Go 100% Renewable

96 Cities That Are Quitting Fossil Fuels and Moving Toward 100% Renewable Energy

An Extinction Rebellion protester outside the Bank of England on Oct. 14, 2019 in London, England. John Keeble / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Demonstrators from several environmental groups including Extinction Rebellion and Sunrise Movement demand broad action at a youth-led climate strike near City Hall on December 6, 2019 in New York City. Scott Heins / Getty Images

By Jacob Wallace

This story is published as part of StudentNation's "Vision 2020: Election Stories From the Next Generation" reports from young journalists that center the concerns of diverse young voters. In this project, working with Dr. Sherri Williams, we recruited young journalists from different backgrounds to develop story ideas and reporting about their peers' concerns ahead of the most important election of our lives. We'll continue publishing two stories each week over the course of September.

In the speech she gave at the People's Climate March in Washington in 2017, Jansikwe Medina-Tayac, then 15, told a crowd of thousands, "This [climate change] is not just an environmental issue. This is a race issue, this is an immigration issue, this is a feminist issue."

Read More Show Less

Trending

Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., places a flag at the COVID Memorial Project's interfaith memorial service to honor the 200,000 people who died due to coronavirus on the National Mall on Sept. 22, 2020. Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

The United States passed 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19 Tuesday and experts warn that number may double before the end of the year as an autumn surge in cases starts, according to USA Today.

Read More Show Less
People Have the Power - VOTE 2020

Climate-action nonprofit Pathway to Paris first launched in 2014 with an "intimate evening" of music and conversation after the People's Climate March in New York City.

Read More Show Less
Heo Suwat Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park in Thailand. sarote pruksachat / Moment / Getty Images

A national park in Thailand has come up with an innovative way to make sure guests clean up their own trash: mail it back to them.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch