The Swedish capital is planning and executing impressive policies across all sectors in order to move beyond carbon neutrality and reach the goal of producing zero CO2 emissions in the next 25 years.
In 2012, the City of Stockholm set the goal of becoming fossil fuel-free by 2050. Driven by ambitious leadership and actionable goals, in 2015, the city pushed the target date up by a decade, and now plans to run exclusively on renewable energy by 2040. The comprehensive plan relies on overall energy reduction and an increase in renewable energy use. For instance, energy standards for new buildings built on city-owned land are 55 kWh/m2 compared with national standards of 80 kWh/m2. Similarly, the city aims to reduce energy use in the building sector by 50% between 1995 and 2050.
By 2040, natural gas will be entirely phased out of the city’s energy grid and heating system, replaced primarily by biogas. The energy company that provides district heating is particularly ambitious and has decided to phase out fossil fuels by 2030; starting in 2016, renewable energy will be able to fuel 90% of the city’s district heating system, up from 80% today. Increasing the use of renewable energy in transportation from 16% to 100% by 2040 will likely be the city’s most significant challenge, as this will entail removing all conventional fuel-powered vehicles from the city’s streets. To achieve this goal, the city plans to double the capacity of the public transport system, while improving walking and biking infrastructure.
Stockholm aims to be a true world leader as the largest city to become fossil-fuel free. In the past few years it has surpassed many of its climate change goals, proving it has the political will and technical experience necessary to achieve its ambitious target of a renewably-fueled future.
Economic Building a fossil fuel-free city will create jobs within renewable fuel production, clean vehicles, technologies for building energy efficiency, and public transport infrastructure.
Environmental By removing all fossil fuel-burning cars from city streets by 2040, Stockholm expects to see reductions in air and noise pollution.
Health Improving conditions for walking and biking will be vital in achieving a 100% fossil fuel-free transport sector. These activities will also bring health benefits to Stockholm’s residents.