Sweden Sweden

For the first time in 5 years, Sweden is no longer the top-performing country in the CCPI rankings. After dropping one spot, the country is now 5th, but still earns an overall high performance.

As in previous years, Sweden performs highly in the GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, and Climate Policy categories. The country does, however, remain unable to improve on its low performance in Energy Use.

CCPI experts give Sweden a medium rating for climate policy efforts at the national level and a high rating internationally. The latter reflects highlights including the country’s progressive role at the international level, notably for its contributions to the Green Climate Fund, in which it is a leading funder.

At the national level, experts recognize Sweden’s climate ambitions, reflected in its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2045, and its policies, anchored in the country’s Climate Act of 2018. The experts, however, also see substantial room and need for further improvement, such as towards burgeoning emissions from waste incineration, an unaffordable public transport system, and low requirements for building efficiency.

Another big point of criticism, noted by the experts, is massive deforestation in the country. This is occurring because the government wants to reach its climate neutrality goals not only with reduced use of fossil fuels, but also with increased use of biomass. Overall, experts see capacity for Sweden to reach a net-zero target by 2030.

National experts that contributed to the policy evaluation of this year’s CCPI chose to remain anonymous.

Technical note: how to read the target comparison graph

The graph above shows the development of a country over the past years compared with its Paris compatible pathway and 2030 target. For all three quantitative categories of the CCPI, this visualisation gives an overview of where a country is right now, where it would need to be to fulfil the Paris Agreement promises and where it aims to be in 2030.

For GHG emissions per capita, the data includes LULUCF, as used for the emissions per capita indicator. This leads to the vast changes in emissions of some countries with high forest coverage.
The calculation of individual country target pathways is based on the common but differentiated convergence approach (CDC). It is based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” laid forth in the Framework Convention on Climate Change. All Annex I countries therefore have a decreasing pathway from 1990 onwards, starting at that year’s emissions. 60 years later, in 2050, these countries are expected to reach net zero emissions. All other countries, which did not reach the level of global average emissions in 1990, are allowed to increase emissions until the average is reached. But by latest 2015 these countries, too, have decreasing pathways and 60 years to reach net zero. These pathways start from the global average.

The Renewable Energy data is given in per cent of Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) and includes hydro energy, consistent with the respective CCPI indicator. As global distribution of Renewables (especially solar and wind) only started in the 2000s, the pathways in this category start in 2010. All countries have an equal goal: 100% Renewables in 2050, each starting from its 2010 value.

For Energy Use the Primary Energy Supply per capita is shown. All pathways for this category start at country’s 1990 values and meet at global average of 80 gigajoules per capita in TPES.
For 2°C and 1.5°C scenarios, a decrease in emissions by reducing the (growth in) energy use is as crucial as deploying renewable (or other low-carbon) technologies. The IPCC carried out a scenario comparison using a large number of integrated assessment models. From the scenarios available, we observe that the total amount of global energy use in 2050 has to be roughly the same level or a bit higher than it is today, with a margin of uncertainty. At the same time population will grow slightly between today and 2050. We therefore pragmatically chose the well-below-2° compatible benchmark to be “same energy use per capita in 2050 as the current global average”, which is 80 gigajoules per capita in TPES.