By 2030, the climate impact of Sweden’s transport sector should be 70 percent lower than in 2010. This is one of the climate goals that are part of the climate legislation that seven of the eight political parties in the Swedish parliament have agreed on. This goal is in line with the target of a fossil fuel independent vehicle fleet, the basis on which the Swedish 2030 secretariat was founded in 2013, the same day that the government commission on fossil fuel independence was presented.
A public report risks to land between ministers and ministries, so we (Mattias Goldmann and Jakob Lagercrantz), formed the 2030 secretariat to keep the pressure up. We approached Swedish companies and now have close to 80 partners from the industry, municipalities, trade organizations, NGOs and academia. We invite partners to join based on their belief in the 2030 target, and have a division of partners working on both biofuels, more efficient vehicles and changed behavior. All three areas are necessary to reach the 2030 target, and we are the only ones including all three areas in our work.
Out work stretches over the developments on the market, and are often a tipping point. We comment on government proposals, and gather the industry in joint declarations, editorials and statements. The 2030 secretariat is also effective in working on EU policy, trying to make the EU commission’s directives more open to innovation in the field of biofuels. We both comment on EU policy and organize seminars in Brussels.
We have introduced 30 indicators that follow the development towards the 2030 target, 10 for each activity area (the fuels, the vehicles and the behavior).
Our 80 partners have agreed ”not to agree” on all our proposals. They accept that it is more important to be able to act quickly and decisively if we are to meet the challenge of the 2030 target.
Context of Transport Climate Action
The main contribution to climate change in Sweden, as in many other developed nations, is transport. With this in mind, we have formed 2030-sekretariatet, the 2030 secretariat, a “coalition of the willing” to reach a fossil fuel independent transport sector by 2030. This target was originally proposed by the former Swedish government in 2009 and was hereafter the focus for a national commission which presented its work in December 2013. The current government reasserted the target in 2015.
The target is a way to make Sweden’s climate efforts more relevant in a global perspective. The focus on fossil independent transport is similar to how other small nations have managed to be world leaders in well-defined sectors; Denmark in wind power, Norway in electric vehicles, the Netherlands in cycling, etc.
The target, and the secretariat, has already been presented, inter alia, at the UNFCCC COP20 meeting in Lima in 2014. This international attention is beneficial to Sweden’s continued commitment, as well as relevant to other actors wanting to learn from the Swedish experience.
The 2030 secretariat: initiative and goal
The target, and the work devoted to reach it, is divided between Bilen, Bränslet & Beteendet (the vehicles, the fuel and the behavior), with roughly equal contributions to emissions reductions in all three sectors. The work is focusing on four pillars:
- Best practice examples. By collecting and spreading best practice examples from municipalities’ procurement, energy companies’ production, etc., large and cost effective gains can be made.
- Policy advocacy. Seven of the eight parties represented in the Swedish parliament form a 2030-reference group, where they are assisted in developing their policy proposals, both within their party groups and at parliamentary level. The policy advocacy is also done at the EU/European level, including our Nordic think tank collaboration and a wider network of think tanks all over Europe.
- Working groups. For specific issues, working groups are formed, based on identified needs and decisions from the partners. Some of them are long-term, some ad hoc and short term. Among the current groups Behavioral Change, Biofuel Taxation, Vehicle Taxes and EV infrastructure are the most active.
- Outreach. The 2030 secretariat is currently the most visible actor in Swedish media on climate issues, which combined with more specific focuses on target groups, a 35 000 subscriber newsletter, etc., means that we have a substantial outreach capacity about fossil independent transports, and how to make the target relevant for all.
The 40+ organizations that are partners of the 2030 secretariat (see www.2030-sekretariatet.se/partners) all form part of the implementation work, which has only started and will finish in 2030. The main challenges are threefold:
1) From long-term commitment to short-term action.
While 87% of the MP:s, in principle, support the target, short-term commitments may seem more pressing, which is why we have developed a roadmap and detailed indicators (see www.2030-sekretariatet.se/indikatorer) to help ensure short term action.
2) From piecemeal to all-inclusive.
Most policy work on EU, national and local levels is done with a more narrow framework than the wide scope of the 2030-target. We have therefore devoted a lot of time to create “ownership” and shared responsibility for target fulfilment.
3) From car-based to mobility-enabling.
Sweden, as many other European countries, is firmly car based in terms of economic incentives, media interest, employee benefit schemes, etc. It has thus been important to switch the focus from car to mobility, while at the same time not estranging the automotive sector, which is needed as part of the target.
The main benefits of reaching the 2030-target are:
70% reduced climate impact from the transport sector, corresponding to
- Improved local air quality (NoX, SoX, PM), linked to
- Health improvements; less emissions and more active transport modes
- Job creation and better trade balance when substituting imported oil (petrol, diesel, natural gas) for partially locally produced renewable energy sources
- Sweden’s state as role model strengthened; substantial international attention for the target has already been achieved.
Potential for scaling up
The target is in itself a scale-up process, which is clearly demonstrated by the indicators for success (see www.2030-sekretariatet.se/indikatorer); in order to reach a fossil independent transport sector most of our leading examples and much of what our “coalition of the willing” is already doing needs to be scaled up. Among the most relevant and urgent next steps are:
- Behavior incentives
Current incentives are detrimental to the modality shift that will be needed to reach the target.
- Public transport attractiveness
In order to reach car users, public transport needs to fulfill other needs than what has previously been in focus.
- Biodiesel and bio-petrol from forestry waste
Locally produced HVO from forestry waste is already available at more than 30% of all petrol stations, at up to 50% of the diesel, but production needs to be scaled up.
- Renewable energy taxation
Sweden should implement a new tax regime which is firmly based on CO2e gains, so that renewable energy is neither tax free nor has the same tax as fossil fuels. This is partially an ongoing EU-Sweden negotiation.
- Public acceptance
While almost everyone supports the target in principle, in practice little can be done in terms of changing incentives without a public outcry, which is why there is still a need to work with the public acceptance of target fulfillment.
Multi-stakeholder partnerships such as the 2030 secretariat, with partners such as 36 municipalities, vehicle manufacturers such as Nissan, Hyundai and Scania, energy companies such as Vattenfall and E.On, fuel producers such as Preem and St1, trade organizations and NGOs such as the Green Motorists, are key to reaching these targets in a timely and cost-effective way.
Tags: Sweden, Mitigation, Adaptation, Freight, Passenger, Technology, Policy, Finance, Awareness, Partnerships
Organizer(s): Fores – Forum for reforms, entrepreneurship & sustainability
Fores CEO Mattias Goldmann, Mattias.firstname.lastname@example.org, +46-70 309 00 45
2030 project leader Jakob Lagercrantz, email@example.com, +46-708 173 808
Articles on the 2030 target (in English)
In 2018, the Swedish Press collaborates with Fores and the 2030 secretariat on the Road tp 2045 series, which aims to explore climate change issues in Sweden and how the country deals with this challenge. Here we present two of the articles written by Mattias Goldmann in the scope of the project, about the Swedish climate law and the climate goal for the transport sector – and how Sweden can become a leading actor in greening mobility.