This content was published in the period between 3 October 2014 and 20 January 2019

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 5 February and 30 November 2021 he was Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister.

Between 1 October 2019 and 5 February 2021 he was Minister for Financial Markets and Housing, Deputy Minister for Finance.

Between 3 October 2014 and 1 October 2019 he was Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs, Deputy Minister for Finance.

Between 3 October 2014 and 25 May 2016 she was Minister for Climate and the Environment, Deputy Prime Minister.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 5 February and 30 November 2021 he was Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister.

Between 1 October 2019 and 5 February 2021 he was Minister for Financial Markets and Housing, Deputy Minister for Finance.

Between 3 October 2014 and 1 October 2019 he was Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs, Deputy Minister for Finance.

Between 3 October 2014 and 25 May 2016 she was Minister for Climate and the Environment, Deputy Prime Minister.

Seminar on Fossil-free Sweden at COP21 in Paris: “The time to act is now"

Published

Minister for Climate and the Environment Åsa Romson and Minister for Financial Markets Per Bolund held a seminar on the Fossil-free Sweden initiative at the COP21 climate conference in Paris on 5 December. Participants included representatives from Stockholm, Gothenburg, Östersund, IKEA, Volvo Group and Ericsson, which are some of the actors that in a short period of time have chosen to support the initiative.

Picture of Minister for Climate and the Environment Åsa Romson
Minister for Climate and the Environment Åsa Romson at the UN Climate Conference COP21 in Paris on 5 December. Photo: Hanna Björnfors/Government Offices

"We want to show the rest of the world how quickly a country can become fossil free, how quickly implementation can take place and how quickly the idea can be exported to other countries," said Ms Romson at the seminar.

Through the launch of the Fossil-free Sweden initiative, the Government has set a clear goal: Sweden is to be one of the world's first fossil-free welfare nations. By demonstrating that Sweden is taking responsibility at home, the Government is also issuing a call to other countries to become fossil free by intensifying their climate efforts.

Professor Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Resilience Centre took part in the seminar, emphasising that the countries that shift to fossil-free energy will send important signals to the rest of the world:

"Being a country that combines freedom from fossil fuels and prosperity will send strong signals to the rest of the world. Sweden has great potential to become one of the world's first fossil-free nations."

IKEA was one of the first actors to take part at the seminar, and IKEA's Head of European Affairs Katarina Maaskant made it clear that the path to freedom from fossil fuels is simple:

"Having a goal of 100 per cent is a simple approach; it is clear what everyone must do."

Anders Wijkman, Chair of the Cross-Party Committee on Environmental Objectives, stressed the importance of finding more effective policy instruments for material usage and recycling. He also said that there has long been a false perception of environmental taxes and other environmental policy instruments.

"Environmentally-friendly policy instruments have often been seen as a threat to jobs. This is not true. The fact is, the very opposite is true.

Sweden has demonstrated that it is possible to pursue ambitious climate policies and achieve favourable economic growth at the same time. However, pursuing an ambitious climate policy requires good cooperation between government, the business community and other actors in society. All three cities that took part in the seminar – Östersund – Gothenburg and Stockholm, addressed the central role municipalities and cities play in the transition:

"Municipalities are key to creating a fossil-free future," said Karin Thomasson, Commissioner of Östersund Municipality and Chair of the Climate Municipalities.

"Cities account for 70 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions – we have an important role to play," said Stockholm City's Vice Mayor for the Environment Katarina Luhr.

For global climate objectives to be successful, international cooperation between both governments and businesses is essential. Through the Fossil-free Sweden initiative, the Government wants to create a cooperation platform for Swedish actors, thereby setting a clear example for the rest of the world.

Niklas Gustafsson, Chief Sustainability Officer, Volvo Group, made it clear that we must venture to be the first:

"Volvo wants to be a leader in sustainable transport solutions. To succeed in this, we can't just do what others are doing – we must be courageous and make choices that challenge the market."

Richard Byron, senior adviser at the OECD, praised Sweden for wanting to take the lead:

"The world needs leaders who demonstrate that the transition to a fossil-free society is possible."

During the first week of the Climate Change Conference in Paris, several Swedish ministers have made it clear that Sweden is ready to take the next step in climate adaptation. Minister for Financial Markets Per Bolund explained why in his concluding presentation at the seminar:

"The knowledge and the technologies exist. Municipalities and businesses are prepared. Citizens and the economy are ready, and we know that the jobs are there. No more excuses. The time to act is now."

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 5 February and 30 November 2021 he was Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister.

Between 1 October 2019 and 5 February 2021 he was Minister for Financial Markets and Housing, Deputy Minister for Finance.

Between 3 October 2014 and 1 October 2019 he was Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs, Deputy Minister for Finance.

Between 3 October 2014 and 25 May 2016 she was Minister for Climate and the Environment, Deputy Prime Minister.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 5 February and 30 November 2021 he was Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister.

Between 1 October 2019 and 5 February 2021 he was Minister for Financial Markets and Housing, Deputy Minister for Finance.

Between 3 October 2014 and 1 October 2019 he was Minister for Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs, Deputy Minister for Finance.

Between 3 October 2014 and 25 May 2016 she was Minister for Climate and the Environment, Deputy Prime Minister.