The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final official statistics on Swedish GHG emissions for 2016 last month. Based on the figures from 1990 and the development of the emissions trajectory, there has been an average annual decline of 1.11% in total GHG emissions. The largest average annual reductions are heating of properties (-7.37%) followed by waste (-3.76%) and electricity (-1.14%), but there are some sectors where the average annual emissions are increasing. Sectors with increasing annual emissions are international transport (+3.60%), solvents (+3.56%), land use (+0.67%) and machinery (+0.44%).

However, last year saw a total GHG reduction of 1.60%, more than the annual average. Emissions from international transport was as expected the sector with the highest increase of 12.21% in emissions compared to last year. Emissions from Swedish industries rose for the third year in a row and does now emit as much as the emissions coming from domestic transport. Increases over last year was also seen in agriculture (+0.22%) electricity (+1.51%).

The average annual reductions of 1.11% and the reductions made over the last year of 1.60% are not good enough to meet the Swedish climate target of having zero net emissions by the year 2045. It is thus a disappointment to see the latest development figures released by the Swedish EPA. According to the agency, average annual reductions of 5 to 8% are required to meet the climate target. In fact, if the current trajectory continues, the total GHG emissions will only decrease by a total of -28% in 2045 compared to today, and only -47% compared to 1990. This represents a gap of 53% to meet the climate target. International transport may be the biggest negative contributor with current trajectory, with emissions representing close to 30% of total GHG emissions in 2045, unless people start flying abroad less or new technology makes airplanes and boats more resource efficient.

Sources: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Swedish Government