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As one of the founding members of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in 2012, and former Co-Chair and member of the Coalition's Steering Committee, Sweden isn’t just a global leader on short-lived climate pollutant mitigation but a model for what robust domestic policies and a commitment to multilateral cooperation can achieve in a relatively short period of time.
“Tackling air pollution is an essential part of tackling climate change. It’s a win-win situation,” says Isabella Lovin, Sweden’s Ministers for the Environment.
Sweden’s methane emissions decreased by 68 percent between 1990 and 2015 and are projected to continue reducing until 2030. This is most significantly a result of strong actions on solid waste disposal in landfills including reducing the landfill disposal of organic material, increasing levels of recovery of materials, and waste incineration with energy recovery.
Sweden’s agricultural emissions are expected to decrease until 2035 in large because the country’s cattle population is continuously shrinking thanks to increased productivity (which means milk production has held steady), product pricing mechanisms, and continuous adoption of European Union (EU) agricultural policy regulations.
In 2016, the Swedish Energy Agency implemented an electrical bus premium for all public electric buses to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other air pollutants. Investments for 259 buses have already been approved contributing to an estimated emission reduction equivalent of 181 thousand tons of carbon dioxide. Swedish bus manufacturers like Scania are continually committing to providing more soot free bus fleets around the world thanks to Sweden’s supportive policy environment.
Among other CCAC members, Sweden helped push the 2012 amendment to the Gothenburg protocol under the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) which included emission reductions of black carbon and linked regional air quality and climate benefits. In 2020, during Sweden’s time as chair of its Executive Body, CLRTAP initiated a review of the amended Gothenburg protocol with a view to better including the opportunities and benefits of further reducing black carbon emissions and including methane emission reductions.
Sweden has a longstanding commitment to climate and clean air and it has only intensified its efforts since the Coalition launched in 2012, proof of the value of the CCAC’s network of international partnerships.
“Through the CCAC, Sweden is able to both learn from other countries and share our experience of combining ambitious climate and clean air policies,” says Lovin. “The Coalition plays an important role in bridging communities and pushing to raise the level of ambition.”
Read below for more highlights of Sweden’s work.
Within the Arctic Council’s working group AMAP, Sweden is contributing to the knowledge building efforts concerning by producing an assessment of the impacts of short-lived climate pollutants on the Arctic, to be published in 2021.
From 2017-2020, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency funded the research Swedish Clean Air & Climate Research Program (SCAC2), which has helped strengthen the scientific basis for action on short-lived climate pollutants.
In 2017, requirements for emissions from residential solid fuel boilers were tightened and new minimum efficiency requirements were introduced.
In 2017 the city of Helsingborg’s district cooling expansion project was the Climate & Clean Air Awards Winner because it was a standout example of a solution to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFC)s and increase energy efficiency on a city-wide scale.
In 2017, The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency supported the establishment of a Centre of Excellence of Waste Management at Uganda’s Makerere University focusing on waste accumulation in urban areas and utilizing bio waste with innovative research and technology development, including biogas.
In 2017, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish Energy Agency launched an information campaign on energy-efficient wood burning techniques to reduce black carbon emissions given that household wood burning is one of the country’s primary sources of black carbon emissions.
In 2017, Sweden made a voluntary commitment as part of the CCAC through the Bonn Communique. The communique stated that the year’s focus would be initiatives to reduce methane and black carbon emissions from agriculture and municipal solid waste.
In 2016, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute collaborated with Curitiba in Brazil to develop a way to measure the impact of emissions on the city’s air quality. As a result, the city’s department of urban planning and mobility is now interested in the environmental impact of air pollutants and reducing them through urban planning.
The Swedish Regulation 2016:1128 on fluorinated gases complements the EU regulation that aims to cut hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions (and other pollutants) by two-thirds by 2030. Provisions in Sweden for cooling and heating equipment include measures such as requiring leak checks upon installation, reporting results of periodic inspections to the supervisory authority, and requiring importers to accept delivered refrigerants for disposal.
In 2016, Sweden made a voluntary commitment for action through the Marrakech Communique. In the Communique CCAC commits to implementing measures now to reduce short-lived climate pollutants and calls on all countries to take effective action in order to slow the increasing rate of climate change. The Coalition Partners also committed to take action to reduce black carbon emissions through cleaner diesel fuels and vehicles, develop black carbon inventories and projections, and reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations.
In 2016, Sweden made a commitment to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) in the Vienna Communique as part of the CCAC.
Uppsala Biogas Plant produces biogas and bio-fertilizers from household food waste and organic waste from food companies and Uppsala Water undertakes intensive information campaigns aimed at separating sorting of organic waste.
In 2015, the Swedish government introduced a support scheme for biogas production through anaerobic digestion of manure to increase biogas production from manure and gain air pollution and climate benefits through reduced methane emissions. The biogas generated can be used to generate electricity or heat.
From 2014-2015, Sweden worked to initiate a policy study on short-lived climate pollutants within the “China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development” (CCICED), a high-level policy body. A study on climate change and air pollutants with a focus on short-lived climate pollutants was undertaken and policy recommendations were made to the Chinese government, both of which Sweden played a large role in.
In 2014, a Sino-Swedish bilateral workshop was convened in Beijing to strengthen the dialogue and exchange with China on short-lived climate pollutants. The workshop was co-chaired by the climate ambassador of Sweden and the chief climate negotiator of China and the Swedish organisers were the Swedish EPA, SMHI and SEI and the Chinese organiser was the climate centre of the National Development and Reform Commission.
In 2014, Sweden decided on a Rural Development Program through 2020 which includes mechanisms for methane reductions and support for biogas production.
In 2013, during Sweden’s time as the chair of the Arctic Council’s task force on short-lived climate forcers it published recommendations to reduce black carbon and methane emissions to slow Arctic climate change.
In 2012, the Nordic Group on Climate and Air Quality held a workshop on short-lived climate pollutants to, among other things, develop cost-effective emission reduction strategies and develop a national action plan.
In 2012, while chair of the Arctic Council, Sweden contributed to the startup of a task force to address open burning in Russia with a three-year project to reduce unnecessary fires.
Emission inventories of Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP), and especially of Black Carbon are uncertain and not always comparable. Comparable and reliable emission inventories are essential...
“Burn Right” is a campaign launched in Sweden and Chile, along with a global online campaign sponsored by the CCAC. It asks woodstove users to followia few simple steps to get...
On March 15 Sweden presented the "Report for Sweden on assessment of projected progress, March 2017", which provides information on implemented policies and measures and projections of...
Sweden's government has introduced a programme, called the Climate Leap, for supporting investment in regional and local initiatives to reduce GHG emissions (including methane). During the last...