Despite ambitious climate goals, Sweden’s greenhouse gas emissions increased in 2018, according to preliminary statistics released on Thursday by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“It is worrying given the climate goals we have,” Anna-Karin Nystrom, head of the Climate Objectives Unit at the EPA, told Swedish News SVT.
Emissions in Sweden totalled 53.1 million tonnes during 2018, an increase of 0.9 percent compared to 2017. The sector with the biggest increase was electricity and district heating, with the sector as a whole emitting 10 percent more greenhouse gases compared to the previous year.
“The development is in the wrong direction. If Sweden is to succeed in achieving its climate goals, emissions in all sectors need to be reduced,” Nystrom said in a press release issued by the EPA on Thursday.
The EPA also pointed the finger at the industry and transport sectors.
Emissions from both sectors failed to change meaningfully in 2018 compared with the previous year, despite the fact that both, according to the EPA, have great potential to help the nation reduce its emissions.
The EPA underscored this failure in Thursday’s press release about the nation’s rising emissions, pointing out that large-scale adoption of energy-efficient and carbon-free vehicles are important measures for these sectors.
Including international transport, Sweden’s national greenhouse gas emissions were 63.8 million tonnes in 2018, an increase of half a million tonnes compared to the previous year.
Sweden passed legislation in 2017 which legally binds the country to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2045. Enditem