Swedish government adopts 'minister for the future' to steer economy toward a fossil-free economic future. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- The Swedish government said it has a "minister for the future" that aims to steer the country toward a fossil-free economy by 2030.
The Swedish government said it has one of the lowest levels of emissions among members of the European Union and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
The Swedish government said it's embarked on a path toward a fossil-free economy by 2030. Minister for Strategic Development and Nordic Cooperation Kristina Persson, dubbed the "minister for the future" by the government, said the goal can be achieved by breaking the link between economic growth and increased emissions.
"We need to do much more than what we are doing presently, and many more countries must try to achieve what we are trying to achieve -- to become a fossil-free country," she said in a statement. "It will be difficult, but possible."
The Swedish government said greenhouse gas emissions are down 22 percent from 1990 levels. Swedish gross domestic product grew 58 percent during that time. That's far less, however, when weighed against major economies like the United States.
A country profile from the OECD said greenhouse gas emissions from Sweden "ceased to increase decades ago," thanks in part to an emissions trading scheme in the EU and a long-standing carbon tax. In order to curb emissions further, the OECD said Sweden will need to make its carbon policies more cost effective.
EU member states are obligated to use renewable resources for 20 percent of their energy consumption by 2020. Eurostat, the region's statistics officer, reported Bulgaria, Estonia and Sweden were the only three in the bloc to reach their targets ahead of schedule.