Sweden holds its ranking of 5th in this year’s CCPI, receiving an overall high rating. While Sweden performs very high in the GHG Emissions category, with its low per capita emissions of 0.47 tCO2 eq (including LULUCF), and receives a high in Renewable Energy, its performance is considerably worse in Climate Policy and Energy Use, with a medium and very low, respectively.
High share of Renewable Energy
The CCPI experts welcome Sweden’s small share of gas and coal in electricity generation complemented by a high Share of Renewable Energy in Energy Use of 47.71%. Although the country has a credible plan to phase out coal in the iron ore and steel industry, emissions from waste incineration and the transport sector remain excessive.
Another major point of criticism the experts note is Sweden’s reliance on nuclear energy and on forest biomass with carbon capture and storage, as well as its promotion of forest biomass. There are also very low ambitions and very few incentives for energy efficiency, as this is not recognised as necessary. Moreover, the influence of the forestry industry along with increased use of biomass and subsequent forest loss are concerning because of detrimental effects on biodiversity and forests becoming carbon sources rather than carbon sinks.
Experts expect lower climate ambitions under the new Swedish government
To become aligned with a well-below-2°C trajectory, Sweden needs to improve its transport, reduce waste incineration, and improve energy efficiency for buildings.
A new government is set to take office following the 2022 Swedish general election. The experts expect and fear lower climate ambitions as well as steps backwards that would lead to a drop off in the next CCPI ranking. One of the first governmental activity was the dissolution of the environmental ministry, which is heavily criticised by experts.
National experts that contributed to the policy evaluation of this year’s CCPI chose to remain anonymous.