OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Sweden 2014

image of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Sweden 2014

This report is the third OECD review of Sweden’s environmental performance. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with a focus on Sweden's longstanding commitment to mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases and its management of marine ecosystem services and water.


English Swedish, French


Executive summary

Sweden has a sound, innovation-oriented economy built on rich reserves of timber, iron ore and hydropower, a strong industrial base and a highly skilled labour force. The population enjoys a high standard of living thanks to high income, low inequality and good environmental quality. Water supply, wastewater treatment and waste management services reach high standards. Less than 1% of municipal waste is disposed of in landfills, while the rates of recycling and recovery are high. However, generation of municipal waste grew by 16% between 2000 and 2012. The carbon intensity of the economy is the second lowest among OECD member countries as renewables and nuclear energy cover more than two-thirds of Sweden’s energy needs. Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have declined and have been decoupled from economic growth. Emissions of most air pollutants have also decreased and air quality is generally good, with just a few exceptions in some cities. Protected natural areas have been expanded to reach about 14% of land area and inland waters and 6% of marine waters, although the conservation status of some habitats and species is relatively unfavourable. Several freshwater bodies, most marine ecosystems and the Baltic Sea suffer from eutrophication.

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