Sweden to Cut Emissions

The Swedish parliament Wednesday approved a government plan to apply stricter controls on greenhouse emissions than required by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden 2002-03-08 [SolarAccess.com] The plan aims to cut Sweden’s emissions by 4 percent of 1990 levels by 2012 through improved energy efficiency, increased use of alternative fuels and a public information campaign. The plan, presented last fall by the ruling Social Democratic Party, passed 185-74 in the 349-seat Riksdag with 52 abstentions and 38 lawmakers absent. The center-right Moderate Party opposed the plan saying it wasn’t cost-effective, while the Green Party abstained from voting, calling for an even sharper cut in emissions. Under the 1997 Kyoto international agreement, Sweden, which has some of the lowest emission levels in Europe, could increase emissions by 4 percent. Sweden has kept emission levels low by relying more on nuclear and hydroelectric power than the burning of fossil fuels. The Scandinavian nation of 9 million people also was the first country to introduce a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. Sweden and the 14 other members of the European Union agreed on Monday to ratify the Kyoto treaty by June 1, despite its rejection by the United States. The EU has pledged to cut its combined emission levels by 8 percent of 1990 levels by 2012 through legislation to promote cleaner energy and shift traffic to less polluting transportation like rail or water.

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