2013.6.14/投稿者：Takuo Ihori/GO Lunchtime Lecture
As its Constitution says, Sweden puts great effort toward energy and the environment. We can know this from their policy and the EPI (Environmental Performance Index) ranking.
Well what kind of policies does Sweden adopt on energy and the environment? Their targets are very clear; for example, 40% reduction in greenhouse gas, at least 50% renewable energy use, 20% more effective energy use, and at least 10% renewable energy use in the transport sector.
In order to achieve these goals, they strive for and support fossil fuel free electricity generation or invest in and promote public transportation. But the most effective way to decrease greenhouse gas so far is Green Taxation, putting higher tax on gas and oil that will produce greenhouse gas and lower tax on income. The point of this law is to compensate heavy tax on fossil fuel with light tax on income and so the government can get support from the people.
The important point he emphasized in his lecture was that it is possible to achieve economic growth AND emission cuts. We usually think that preserving the environment costs a lot but this is not the case.
In Sweden, they reached a 50% increase in GDP and 16% decrease of CO2 at the same time (GDP per capita is higher in Sweden than in Japan). It means that aiming for sustainable development, for example, developing renewable energy, will help not only the environment but also the economy. He said once companies or the people noticed that they could make profit if they reduce fossil fuel or increase energy efficiency, they will agree to promote environmental policies.