What Sweden is doing

Photography: Chris Steele-Perkins
Text and interviews: Dag Jonzon

In Sweden, forest literally surrounds us. Trees – along with hydropower, wind and sun – have been crucial resources in reducing Sweden’s carbon emissions and driving renewal in the cities and urban areas where nine out of ten Swedes live.

In the last twenty years, Sweden has invested billions of kronor in renewable energy and sustainable urban development initiatives funded by central government, municipalities and private business. After centuries as a poor agricultural nation, Sweden is on its way to becoming a nature-based high-tech society. Today biofuel is Sweden’s most important energy source.

Sweden has been a strong voice at environmental conservation summits in Stockholm, Rio and Johannesburg, and Sida has helped to advance Sweden’s high international standing in environmental issues.

However, Sweden is finding it hard to meet its national environmental goals in climate change, marine pollution, a toxin-free environment and biodiversity. Swedish consumption patterns have a negative global impact: if everyone in the world shared our living habits, we would need three planets.

The exhibition demonstrates that all nations are developing countries now. Our challenge is to work together for fair and globally sustainable development. Sweden’s vision is to contribute to world-leading solutions for a sustainable future.

Dag Jonzon is Senior Programme Manager at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

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