If there’s a paradise for environmentalists, this Nordic nation of 9.2 million people must be it. In 2007 Sweden topped the list of countries that did the most to save the planet - for the second year running - according to German environmental group, Germanwatch. Between 1990 and 2006 Sweden cut its carbon emissions by 9%, largely exceeding the target set by the Kyoto Protocol, while enjoying economic growth of 44% in fixed prices.
Cutting carbon emissions Swedish-style
• Swedes get a 10,000 kronor (£860) rebate when they buy a green car, ie a car that consumes less petrol, or runs on biofuels or natural gas.
• Stockholm introduced congestion charging last year. Cars going into or out of the inner city zone pay 10, 15 or 20 kronor, depending on the time of the day (the busier it gets, the more you pay).
• The government hiked the carbon tax by 2.6% in January to 2.34 kronor per litre.
• A climate change bill will be presented in September, which could include measures to promote freight transport by rail at home and a possible increase to the green car rebate. “We will be focusing on the transport sector,” says the Swedish environment minister, Andreas Carlgren. In Sweden, most oil and gas is used for transport.
• Sweden gets all its electricity either from hydroelectric power or nuclear plants.
• The Swedish government concluded last week a 1bn kronor (£84m) contract with China to develop wind power there.