Swedish government unveils new climate law

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Sweden’s environment minister Isabella Lövin. (Johan Jeppsson/TT/AFP/Getty Images)
The Swedish government is proposing a new climate law that would force the nation to slash its carbon emission by 85 percent over the next 30 years.

Prime minister Stefan Löfven and environment minister Isabella Lövin presented the proposal on Thursday. The pair said the law would give Sweden clear goals to aim for as well as “an ambitious, long-term and stable climate policy.”

The law says Sweden’s greenhouse gases emissions for the year 2045 should be at least 85 percent lower than its levels in 1990.

“This is a reform that will probably be the most important thing that our generation of politicians will implement for Sweden,” Löfven said during a press conference presenting the draft law. “This is a reform for our youth, children and grandchildren.”

A guide for climate policies

The proposal was inspired by similar climate laws in Denmark and Britain. The idea is that current and future government climate policies will be guided by the law, similar to how fiscal framework laws regulate government spending. The draft law would compel governments to develop an action plan for cutting carbon emissions and report their results to Parliament annually.

The conservative Moderate Party, who supports the idea of the law along with other parties, said the government needs to lower emission without damaging the Swedish economy.

“It is vital that we safeguard Sweden’s competitiveness when we implement climate measures because if we are seriously going to be an example for other countries, we must combine our emissions reductions with increased prosperity,” said Jonas Jacobsson Gjörtler, a member of parliament for the Moderates who sits on the environment and agriculture committee.

The proposal will now be sent to the Council on Legislation for scrutiny before it is submitted to Parliament.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Is climate change making the muskoxen sick on Victoria Island?, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Climate change brings new insect arrivals to Finland, Yle News

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Norway: Climate researchers are building on 90 cm higher ground, prepare for the worst in Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

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Sweden:  How will global warming affect the average Swede?, Radio Sweden

United States: Northwest Arctic officials move ahead on new school for climate-threatened village, Alaska Dispatch News

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