Sweden passed a new Climate Act on Thursday, legally binding the country to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2045. The act, which passed in parliament by a vote of 254 to 41, is even more ambitious than what the Scandinavian country pledged under the Paris Agreement: Under the new act, Sweden will reach carbon neutrality five years earlier.
According to a recent analysis, Sweden is one of just three European countries with climate policies in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The country has had a carbon tax in place since the 1990s and has invested heavily in wind and solar since the early aughts. Sweden derives only 25 percent of its energy from fossil fuel.
The new legislation, which goes into effect in 2018, is part of Sweden's goal to set an example for the international community, according to Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin, who told the Independent earlier this year that climate deniers were "really gaining power in the world" and that the United States would no longer take the lead on climate.
"Today is an important victory, not only for Sweden, but for everyone who cares about the future of our environment," Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate and energy at World Wildlife Fund, told Climate Home.