Happy Earth Day!
Published: April 22, 2018
Happy Earth Day!
Sweden has long been a leader in environmental protection, founding the world’s first environmental protection agency in 1967 and hosting the first United Nations conference on the environment in 1972. Sweden also took the lead by being one of the first nations to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and by spearheading the Stockholm Convention, a global treaty to reduce the manufacture and use of persistent organic pollutants.
Växjö, a city of about 90,000 in southern Sweden, proclaims itself the “greenest city in Europe.” In 1991, Växjö became the first city in the world to set a goal of one day becoming fossil fuel-free, by 2030. Other Swedish cities have jumped on the green bandwagon, as well. Stockholm was the first capital in the EU to win the European Green Capital Award. Malmö’s Västra Hamnen neighborhood is carbon-neutral.
How has Sweden accomplished all this? Public awareness and widespread commitment to protecting the environment are components of Sweden’s success. So are ambitious, government-set goals of how much to reduce carbon emissions and how to get there, along with publically-available advice about how citizens can make their homes as energy-efficient as possible. There’s also plenty of money being spent on research and development for clean technology.
Yet Sweden continues to focus on what’s left to be done, rather than basking in the glow of its previous accomplishments. We invite you to join in the Swedish spirit of constantly striving to be better and look for more creative ways to save energy in your everyday life!