Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Posts Tagged ‘Sweden

Sweden’s carbon-tax solution

with 5 comments


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.

It has not even got started here yet, but we are being flooded with tales about how terrible our tiny carbon tax is going to be.

Jeppe Gustafsson/AFP

Sweden can lay claim to the world’s first train running solely on biogas.

Photograph: Jeppe Gustafsson/AFP

Well, we can expect some teething troubles, and nowhere does a policy translate directly. Bit I think Canada and Sweden have a bit in common. They just don’t have the space, oil and gas that we do. Which is why they pursued this initiative with such vigour. They realised early on that reliance on imported oil was not a good idea. The ghg reductions were kind of a bonus.

I know a lot of environmentalists – and others – now regard “growth” as a dirty word, but the Swedes have shown you do not necessarily need to trade off the environment against the economy.

Anyway, I thought it was about time for something positive for a change.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 28, 2008 at 5:44 pm