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Sweden plans to become first fossil fuel-free country


Sweden’s new fossil fuel plan looks to lead the way on climate change.

It’s no secret that Sweden is one of the greenest places on the planet. Last year the Scandinavian country ranked first in the Global Green Economy Index, a few months ago it built the world’s first carbon negative data center, and now it wants to be the first country to be fossil fuel-free.

The move is part of the country’s 2016 budget, in which the Swedish government pledged to spend an extra 4.5 billion kronor ($546 million) on renewable energy and climate change action.

Although the government didn’t set a target for completing the transition, the country has previously pledged to make its capital city of Stockholm fossil-free by 2050.

“Sweden will become one of the first fossil-free welfare states in the world,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told the press. “When European regulations do not go far enough Sweden will lead the way.”

How will it succeed?

Compared with some of its UN neighbors, Sweden isn’t actually a million miles away from replacing fossil fuels. For starters, Science Alert notes that the country already gets two-thirds of its electricity without relying on fossil fuels. Adding to its developed nuclear and hydroelectric offerings, it’s set to focus on bolstering its solar and wind energy potential.

As well as $58.4 million a year towards solar energy between 2017 and 2019, Sweden’s new budget will be spent on smart grids, electric busses, subsidies for green vehicles, climate adaptation strategies and renovation for building that aren’t already energy efficient.

The announcement comes just two months before the 2015 United Nationals Climate Change Conference, during which Sweden will hope to lead the discussion by example.

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