Government forces roads agency to consider climate
The government wants the Transport Administration to take a new look at a report that will motivate future road and rail projects. The administration now has to study how it can lower emissions.
Several agencies including the National Institute of Economic Research and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency have criticized the first draft of the Transport Administration's report because it doesn't emphasize climate enough.
The Transport Administration's draft of the inriktningsunderlag - a massive compendium of traffic data, regional analyses, and general considerations of the country's infrastructure needs - must now also explicitly include a review of ways to lower the transport sector's greenhouse gas emissions.
"We see that there is reason to further research ways that we can speed up the transition to a fossil-free Sweden," said the Minister for Infrastructure Anna Johansson speaking with Swedish Radio News.
The inriktningsunderlag, which would motivate infrastructure investments for the years 2018 to 2029, had been criticized for taking a business-as-usual approach. The drafted report, for example, seemed to imply in sections that Sweden's vehicle fleet will increase. It can't, say critics, if the country wants to meet climate goals.
Minister Johansson was reluctant to say how exactly the new report might translate to concrete action in the government's infrastructure proposal, which is due at the end of 2016.
"It's a bit hard to say," she said. "We're looking into an aviation tax. We're looking at a road-wear tax, and we're getting ready to start an incentive-disincentive-based system."
The Traffic Administration's revised report will be due June 30.