Swedish EPA imagines a sustainable future

Agency says that sustainability by 2021 requires new laws, taxes, subsidies and values

Sweden's population will have to radically alter its lifestyle and values if the country is to achieve sustainable development by 2021, according to a report published yesterday by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, which is part of a larger study investigating ways to achieve sustainable development by 2021, predicts features of a future sustainable society, such as greatly expanded use of energy crops and more use of combined heat and power (CHP). New patterns of consumption will be required, the EPA suggests, so as to increase four-fold the efficiency with which resources are used. In urban areas, large-scale networks will be needed, such as CHP energy plants running on biofuels, sewage treatment plants which remove phosphorus from the waste and extensive public transport. In rural areas, sustainability will require smaller-scale, more autonomous systems such as energy produced locally from wind or biofuels. New laws, taxes and subsidies will be needed, says EPA director general Rolf Annerbeg, "but we will never reach a sustainable development with [these] alone....We need, above all, to adopt other values and understand the need for change."

Follow Up:
Swedish environmental protection agency , tel: +46 8 698 1000.

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