The Swedish Climate Policy Framework Including the Climate Act

To conclude, the Swedish CPF with the Climate Act, indicative and long-termclimate targets, and the Climate Policy Council have been in force since 2018. Th eyaim to structure the government’ s work on Swedish climate policies and requestsby law so that the government acts to fulfi l national targets on climate mitigation.Sweden has decided to reach net-zero emissions by 2045 at the latest and has alsoset a series of interim targets. Th is ambition is well ahead of the present EU climatetargets and Sweden has intentions as a country to take a leading role in combatingclimate change.Th e Climate Act is general in nature and only includes fi ve sections, with afocus on the government’ s planning, monitoring and reporting to Parliament.Th e specifi c climate policy measures are regulated separately. Th e role of theClimate Policy Council, which mainly consists of scientists from a broad range ofdisciplines, is to evaluate the government’ s progress towards the climate targets.Regular and transparent reporting on policies and their effects on greenhousegas emissions is seen to contribute to the clarity, continuity and long-term natureof the climate policy. Th e Climate Act does not provide for a legal review of thegovernment’ s actions or inactions. However, there is a constitutional obligationfor Parliament to control the work of the government and this obligation washighlighted when preparing the Act.Th e CPF is based on a broad political agreement that was negotiated in anAll-Party Committee, in which experts from both environmental NGOs and thebusiness sector also participated. 84 Th e CPF had as its models both the UK ClimateChange Act 2008 and a Swedish Fiscal Policy Framework which has been in placesince the mid-1990s. Another inspiration was the Paris Agreement, as negotiationson the Swedish framework were held in parallel with the process for the globalagreement.To legislate for climate issues with a Climate Act is a novelty in Sweden. Th elegal form of the Climate Act, which gives the government a general instructionto ensure that climate action is taken, is a new form of legislation, and thusthe implications for climate policies and for climate regulation in the SwedishEnvironmental Code are not yet clear. Th e Climate Policy Council has alreadypointed out the need for additional legal climate regulation for the governmentand the legal system in order to have suffi cient tools to ensure that the Swedishclimate targets are achieved. Going forward, it is clear that legal researchers havean important role to play in order to deepen the understanding of the legal systemin the context of national and global climate governance.

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Last updated: 2021-12-06

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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