BY: ROB HOFFMAN
Sweden just released its 2016 budget, which is likely to break a few hearts in the oil sector. The budget, which was made public a few weeks back, reveals plans to spend an additional $546 million (US) on renewable technologies and ecological initiatives, in order to push forward their goal of becoming one of the “first fossil-free welfare states in the world,” as Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven proudly announced.
Sweden’s 2016 budget plans to spend $546 million on renewable technologies and ecological initiatives.
Last year, Sweden released an expected deadline of 2050 for eradicating fossil fuels from their capital city, Stockholm, and currently two-thirds of Sweden’s power is generated by fossil-fuel alternatives. As it stands, the country’s two foremost energy sources are hydroelectric and nuclear. However, according to The Ecologist, Sweden also has plans to put the kibosh on their deteriorating nuclear plants to make way for more sustainable alternatives, like solar and wind. By 2019, Löfven plans to allocate an annual 58.4 million dollars (US) towards solar initiatives, according to Bloomberg Business. So far, they’re ahead of schedule and it seems likely that they will hit their target in the next year-and-a-half.
The Swedish government announced that these funds will be used to increase “climate financing in developing countries,” and increase their extensive reserve of solar cells and green cars.
In order to generate sufficient capital for these initiatives, Sweden plans to implement heavy petroleum and diesel taxes. Finance minister, Magdalena Andersson, hopes that Sweden’s actions will spark international movement towards a more realistic and sustainable climate agreement. With this in mind, Sweden will be “investing in climate financing in developing countries, solar cells and green cars, as well as increased environmental taxes,” Says Andersson.
By increasing petroleum and diesel taxes, the country hopes to spark an international movement towards battling climate change.
Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, has said about his nation’s ecological-superhero status, “When European regulations do not go far enough Sweden will lead the way.” As IFLScience points out, Sweden’s budgetary announcements were also aligned to, potentially, influence the decisions that will be made at the UN’s Paris Climate Change Conference, taking place this November.
Sweden still has important issues to tackle, and as reported by The Ecologist, housing and transport emissions are still major setbacks for shrinking the nation’s carbon footprint. Large-scale transport emissions are the result of a widespread population across what is the third largest country in the EU by area. Regardless, Sweden’s progressive agenda and movement towards a future devoid of fossil-fuels is exemplary to say the least.