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Sweden’s goal – becoming the world’s first fossil-free welfare state

Sweden remains committed to continue taking a leading role on climate action. With the Government’s overarching goal of becoming the world’s first fossil-free welfare state, Sweden wants to showcase a prosperous, inclusive and equal society without greenhouse gas emissions. To succeed with the transition, the Swedish Parliament decided by a large political majority to introduce a climate policy framework in 2017. The framework consists of a climate act, a climate policy council and new climate targets, including to reach net-zero emissions by 2045 at the latest, and thereafter negative emissions. This framework is the most important climate reform in Sweden’s history and sets out Sweden’s implementation of the Paris Agreement while providing long-term conditions for business and society in the transition. Sweden encourage all countries to adopt similar institutional arrangements in their own national settings.

The Swedish Government is now speeding up its efforts. In the four-party policy agreement from January, the Government has committed to many new ambitious climate reforms. This fall, the Government will appoint an inquiry to review all relevant legislation to make sure it is in accordance with our climate policy framework, and another inquiry will investigate how to fully phase out fossil fuels and forbid fossil-driven cars in the transport sector. An inquiry on how negative emissions can be incentivized will deliver its report in January 2020, and a new investment support scheme has been created in order to get started negative emissions started already now. The Government is also introducing numerous policies for the transition towards a fossil-free transport sector, including a sharpening of biofuel blending in diesel and gasoline, investments in charging infrastructure. Thirteen different industry sectors have themselves have committed themselves in action plans to become fossil free within the government’s initiative “Fossil Free Sweden”, which shows that the business side is also driving the transition in Sweden. Even regional and local actors are moving forward.

In the Budget Bill for 2020, additional investments have been announced. We have now doubled our support for the Industry Leap initiative, which for example help fund the HYBRIT-project of creating fossil-free steel. We have also added valuable assets to the Climate Leap, funding regional and local initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emission, making the transition possible across the country.

This fall, Sweden’s first Climate Action Plan, as regulated in our climate act, will be presented to the parliament. In the Action Plan the Swedish Government intends to present ambitious policies that take us towards our goal of net zero emissions by 2045 at the latest.

Expected impact

Sweden’s goal of becoming the world’s first fossil-free welfare state, reaching net zero emissions by 2045 at the latest, responds directly to SDG 13. Nevertheless, the global shift from carbon-intensive to carbon-neutral development that is needed, will also contribute to the implementation of the whole Agenda 2030 – notably SDGs 7, 9, 11,12. This major societal change starts with a profound shift in systems and technology to achieve cleaner air, better urban environment and safer energy supply. Financing needs to be redirected from fossil-based energy production to investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency improvements and an energy and resource-efficient infrastructure and buildings with carbon-neutral materials.


Goal 7
Goal 9
Goal 11
Goal 12
Goal 13
Other, please specify
a Climate Action Plan to be presented in 2019
Basic information
Start: 12 July, 2017
Completion: 31 December, 2045
Government of Sweden (Government)
The Government of Sweden including all entities, the private sector, municipalities, citizens
Initiative focused on COVID-19 pandemic response, prevention and recovery efforts
Not specified
Geographical coverage
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficiaries
Contact information
Désirée Hermann, Desk Officer, Global Agenda Department, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, desiree.hermann@gov.se, 0738003524
Stockholm, Sweden
United Nations