The Environment (or Green) Party grew out of the movements involved in the 1980 referendum that voted for the phasing out of nuclear power in Sweden.
The party was organized in 1981, with strong support from the environmental and peace movements.
The Greens were first elected to parliament in 1988. In the following elections in 1991, the Greens failed to receive the 4 percent vote needed for representation, but returned to parliament after the 1994 elections.
Since the ruling Social Democrats no longer command a majority, even with the support of the Left Party, the Greens have entered into an agreement supporting the government in parliament in return for low level representation at some ministries.
The Greens do not believe in centralized power, and instead of a single party leader depend on a rotating system of two offical spokespersons, one male and one female. The current spokespersons are Peter Eriksson and Maria Wetterstrand.
The Greens are highly critical of nuclear power and Swedish weapons exports. The party wants to develop alternative energy sources and has opposed Swedish membership in the European Union.
As part of its budget negotiations with the Social Democrats the Greens have been instrumental in shifting taxes to penalize the use of energy and encourage ecological alternatives. The current experiment in congestion charges in Stockholm was also the price of Green support for the government.