The Green Economy In Sweden. Drivers, Challenges and Opportunities.

University essay from Lunds universitet/Miljövetenskaplig utbildning

Abstract: A green economy refers to an economy that is able to create economic welfare, while at the same time being environmentally sustainable. Some indexes, like the Global Green Economy Index and the OECD Better Life Index, ranks Sweden high in this area, while others, such as the Global Footprint Network, ranks the country low. The purpose of this thesis is to critically examine why Sweden receives diverting rankings on the international green economy indexes, how the country promotes green economy in different levels of society, and which the key challenges and opportunities to further develop the green economy in Sweden are. The study is based on a literature review and stakeholder interviews to collect quantitative and qualitative data, which is used in an analytic framework to answer the research questions of the study. The study shows that Sweden achieves high rankings due to its success in maintaining economic growth while decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases within the borders of the country, and at the same time being relatively successful on issues regarding environmental efficiency, economy and finances, technology and innovations, and social effects. Sweden achieves low rankings due to Swedish import of consumer goods that is manufactured outside the country. The green economy strategy in Sweden has been successful on different levels of society (national, industrial, urban and individual), although there is room for improvement. Clearer definitions and goals for a green economy are needed, as well as further studies on how to create a sustainable society.

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