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Sweden fails to agree on strong actions against climate change

Today the Swedish parliamentary climate commission failed to set up tough emissions reduction goals to combat climate change.

The Swedish climate commission was created to set up guidelines, emissions reduction goals and to create unanimity between all the major political parties in Sweden regarding climate change. Even though the opposition, as well as the currently ruling right-wing alliance government called for "tough" emission reduction targets the commission failed to create unanimity.

Hans Jonsson, chairman of the climate commission, said during a press conference today that "we are in agreement on 300 pages worth of text. There is a half-page left on which we cannot find agreement. It has to do with Sweden's emissions targets for 2020."

The right-wing government’s suggestion was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with 38% to 2020, compared to 1990 levels. They also accepted that 7-8% of emission reductions in other countries would be allowed. That means only 30% emission reductions would actually be made in Sweden.

The opposition’s suggestion was 40% emission reductions and not allowing any (of those) reductions to be made outside of Sweden.

While the climate commission failed to agree on emission reductions in the "short term" they succeeded to agree on goals for the medium and long term. The commission agreed that the emissions should be reduced with 75-90% by 2100 (compared to 1990 years levels).

The commission also suggested a 50% increase in the Swedish railway capacity and use. According to the commission a per kilometre tax on heavy transport vehicles, higher emission standards on new cars and a 9 öre increase per kilogram in the carbon dioxide tax is also needed. They also urged the government to increase gas prices by 70 öre (about 11 cents), and increase it "in parallel with Sweden's overall economic development."

Key to Swedish Political Parties:

Government (right/centre-right):

Moderates (Mod)

Centre Party (Cen)

Liberal Party (Lib)

Christian Democrats (ChrDem)

Opposition (left/centre-left):

Social Democrats (SocDem)

Green Party (Green)

Left Party (Left)

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