Emissions levels have stayed the same since 1990, says Åsa Romson, spokesperson for the Green Party. Photo: Bertil Ericson/Scanpix
Green Party critical of the EU emissions trading scheme

Emissions down in 2011 because of the weather

Emissions from Swedish industry were down last year due to the weather, not because of efficiency measures or a shift to renewable energy sources. The Government needs to do more to bring down carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Green Party.

Despite an increase in Sweden’s GDP, Swedish industry and energy companies emitted 2.8 million tons less carbon dioxide than in 2010. But emissions levels go up and down depending on the weather. This is what the EPA’s measurements, which started in 2007, show. Anders Olsson, a program officer with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, presented the agency’s emissions report Tuesday.

“2010 was a very cold year with cold temperatures in the beginning of the year. 2011 was a warmer year and that’s the main reason companies give for less emissions,” Olsson said.

The Green Party presented a critical report about emissions that says they have remained at the same level since the 1990s. Åsa Romson is the party’s spokesperson.

The Government aims to reduce emissions in Sweden 40 percent by 2020. Then, half the country’s energy is supposed to come from renewable sources and fossil fuels should be phasing out. By 2050, Sweden isn’t supposed to have any greenhouse gas emissions at all.

But the Government lacks a policy to achieve those goals, says Romson.

“We should have a climate policy that is about policy and aims and goals for the climate so that we are actually decreasing because of changes in the sector. Now the only decrease and increase in emissions is coming because of good or bad weather,” said Romson.

Romson says emissions trading doesn’t work today and that the EU hands out way too many emissions rights and too cheaply.

“The main problem is the emissions trading system in the EU because it is not delivering decreased emissions in the Swedish sector at the moment,” said Romson, adding that the Swedish Government and the Green Party are working hard to improve the trading system, which was introduced in 2005.

"It actually has to withhold a certain price for carbon emissions rights because if you don’t put a price on them you have no incentives as an actor to decrease your emissions,” says Romson.    

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