Sweden reveals plan to go 'carbon neutral' by 2045

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Scandinavian country plans to cut its own emissions by 85 per cent and offset the rest abroad

A proposal from the Swedish parliamentary committee responsible for environmental policy has set out how the country can go "carbon neutral" within 30 years.

The country says it could cut domestic emissions by at least 85 per cent from 1990 levels and offset the remaining 15 per cent by investing in projects to cut carbon emissions abroad.

The committee is backed by seven out of the eight parties currently in parliament, with only the Sweden Democrats, who got 13 per cent of votes in the 2014 election, not represented on the committee.

The new plan would speed up Sweden's previous pledge to have no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050.

Deputy prime minister Asa Romson from the Green Party told local newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that now the challenge is to create investment in the low carbon economy.

"We actually have all the technology we need to be 100 per cent free of fossil fuels," she said. "What we do not have is a market for it. We do not have an economy that can do it, so far."

The government is expected to publish the full legislative proposals next month, with more details following in June on how it plans to meet the goal.

The country has already committed to investing 4.5 billion kronor ($546m) in climate-related measures over the course of this year, including support for a raft of clean technologies.

Last year Sweden edged out competitors Switzerland and Norway to be named the most sustainable country in the world in the yearly environmental, social and governance ranking from sustainable investment company RobecoSAM.

The latest proposals will fuel hopes that in the wake of last year's Paris Agreement more leading green economies will revisit their decarbonisation plans and bring forward more ambitious proposals.

This article is part of BusinessGreen's Road to Paris hub, hosted in association with PwC.

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