"In accordance with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere must be stabilised at a level that will prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. This goal must be achieved in such a way and at such a pace that biological diversity is preserved, food production is assured and other goals of sustainable development are not jeopardised. Sweden, together with other countries, must assume responsibility for achieving this global objective."
Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere from a range of human activities are causing warming of the global climate. The largest contribution to climate change, in Sweden and around the world, comes from burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas to generate heat and electricity, for industrial processes, and to power transport.
Enhancement of the greenhouse effect is raising the average temperature on earth. The last decade has been the warmest for 150 years, i.e. since reliable records of global mean temperature began. To reduce the risks of dangerous impacts on our climate system, it is considered necessary to limit the rise in the global average temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, pursuing efforts to limit the rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
High northern latitudes could experience more pronounced climate change than the global average. This could have far-reaching impacts on agriculture and forestry, for example. Sensitive habitats in mountain areas and in the Baltic Sea could be damaged or lost altogether. Climate change will affect Sweden both through direct local effects, but also through indirect effects of changes in the world.
What are the challenges?
Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases show a steady rise. To limit the increase in temperature to below 2°C, emissions of these gases worldwide in the long term need to approach zero. Achieving the fundamental reorientation of society which this implies will require both action by individual countries and international cooperation to reduce emissions, including under the UN Climate Change Convention. The Swedish Parliament has decided on a climate policy framework for a Sweden with zero net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045 at the latest. Reaching zero net emissions of greenhouse gases represents a huge challenge for the whole of society.