Strong leadership on climate change solutions can be found in cities and states throughout the US. However, valuable and innovative lessons regarding how to advance climate solutions can also be found by examining international actors. One country providing a particularly strong example of climate leadership is Sweden, where the country’s Prime Minister just pledged to transform Sweden into one of the first fossil-free states in the world.
Sweden, and its neighboring countries, have already made bold climate commitments and are planning to redouble their efforts. For instance, Sweden has set aside over $500 million for research into solar development, electric car technologies, and smart-grid infrastructure. These investments have provided a boost in capital investment to the country—a major bonus to private businesses, research institutions, and residents who see cleaner communities and greater economic opportunities.
Sweden’s announcement is just one in a series of bold new commitments made by a growing list of countries in the run-up to the UN COP-21 climate talks. Their example shows that the first step in climate leadership is making the decision to act. While certain goals and targets may seem out of reach, mayors do their communities a service by striving to make environmental investments throughout their city—providing better economic opportunities and increasing the living standard of their residents. Find out how your city can begin this journey by checking out Path to Positive Communities.
Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven recently declared at the U.N. General Assembly that his nation of 10 million people would become “one of the first fossil-free welfare states in the world.”
His announcement comes at a time when 146 nations have made promises to reduce their carbon emissions with the COP21 talks in Paris starting next month. Löfven and his government have made a bold statement that has prompted many commentators to ask: How on earth this could this happen, if ever?
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