Sweden has a remarkable track record in sustaining a high level of well-being of its citizens. The country performs above the OECD average in all dimensions of the OECD’s Better Life Index, and these good outcomes are typically shared widely across the population. Sweden is one of the leading countries in receiving refugees and a strong supporter of ambitious global goals to fight climate change and implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. However, for this success story to continue, the country needs to reverse the declining educational performance of its youth, speed up labour market integration of newly arrived immigrants and address infrastructure deficiencies, particularly in the housing sector. Also, Sweden’s high ambitions with respect to environmental protection call for further policy action to advance the transition to a low carbon and circular economy.
Green is not only compatible with growth; green is a source of growth. Sweden was one of the first countries to understand this and showed tremendous leadership when it introduced the world’s first carbon tax in 1991, amidst the economic crisis. Yet there is so much more that can be done to foster a fast transition to a low-carbon world whilst creating the competitive economies of the future.
This report is the third OECD review of Sweden’s environmental performance. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with a focus on Sweden's longstanding commitment to mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases and its management of marine ecosystem services and water.
This case study describes the approach taken to reduce NOx emissions from combustion plants, the challenges encountered and the social, environmental and economic impacts. It concludes by discussing the wider lessons that are raised for other governments seeking to develop similar policy responses.
Cities can generate growth and jobs while becoming greener – this is the message of the OECD’s new Green Growth in Cities report. Drawing on case studies of Paris, Chicago, Kitakyushu and Stockholm, the report identifies green policies that can respond to urban growth priorities and suggests how to implement and finance them.