Published 2021-10-22

This post is also available in Swedish

“We know the technology necessary for Sweden to achieve net zero emissions”

Electrification and carbon capture, investment support and a higher price on emissions; by 2045, Sweden should have achieved net zero for greenhouse gas emissions. The Mistra Carbon Exit research programme has the answers regarding the technologies needed to achieve this. On 29 October, Mistra and Mistra Carbon Exit invite you to a webinar on accelerating Sweden’s climate transition.

The Mistra Carbon Exit research programme is investigating the technological, economic and political challenges that can arise along the path to this goal. The focus is on supply chains and, using several industrial case studies, Mistra Carbon Exit is examining supply chains for buildings, transport infrastructure and transports; in total, these are responsible for an estimated 75 per cent of Sweden’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Lars Zetterberg, Programme Director for Mistra Carbon Exit. Photo: IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet

Filip Johnsson, Deputy Programme Director for Mistra Carbon Exit and Programme Director for Mistra Electrification.

Participants in the Klimatet i fokus – hur accelererar vi den svenska omställningen? (Climate in focus – how can we accelerate Sweden’s transition?) webinar include Lars Zetterberg and Filip Johnsson, Programme Directors for Mistra Carbon Exit.

Tell us about current research within Mistra Carbon Exit?

“We know what technology Sweden needs to achieve net zero emissions. Although the cost of this technology could be high for some sectors, it appears that the cost increase for consumers will be marginal. We have also analysed instruments that may push development towards net zero, such as emissions trading, carbon border taxes and public procurement. The price hike for emission allowances is good news, but we can see that other, supplementary instruments will be needed. We have also studied the behaviour of business leaders and consumers to understand which instruments could be effective.”

What technical solutions have you worked on so far, and how can they contribute to accelerating Sweden’s climate transition?

“We have produced technological development pathways for several critical areas – cement and steel manufacturing, transport infrastructure and buildings, transports and power systems. To achieve net zero, we must electrify a substantial proportion of our industry, create an infrastructure for capturing and storing carbon dioxide and electrify road transports. If the transition is to accelerate, we must test these new technologies on an industrial scale. We need to provide financial support and emitting greenhouse gases must cost more. There is also a need for national strategies for carbon capture and storage, increased electrification of industry, a more flexible power grid and more intelligent use of biomass.

From your perspective, what are the key issues if Sweden is to achieve its target of net zero by 2045?

“Unfortunately, it is still cheaper to emit greenhouse gases than to reduce them, which is why the trend towards being fossil free is too slow. Emissions must be more expensive. We will also need new instruments that accelerate the introduction of new technologies – perhaps investment funding, or carbon border taxes. Nor can we wait until 2035 to introduce these new technologies. If we are to achieve net zero by 2045, investment decisions must be made this decade.

The webinar is the second part of Mistra’s webinar series about COP 26, reduced emissions and climate adaptation. Read more about the three webinars and register here.