The Mundus Take: Transition towards a sustainable economy gathering pace

Sweden transition towards a sustainable economy is gathering pace. Although indications of this have been present for some time – particularly in the words of politicians – actions have been harder to identify, or were apparently inconsistent with the rhetoric. That is now starting to change.

 To coin an analogy, rumbles have heard for some time from deep within the glacier, as political and economic tensions built. The ice groaned and shook beneath the feet during the corona crisis, and there were echoes that appeared to being calling for change. Then the snow began to dislodge sending occasional snowballs down the slopes. At first they were infrequent and small, perhaps minor adjustments in policy, or decisions by various corporates to go greener. But by now, we are witnessing a steady stream of snow moving quickly past. Not yet an avalanche, heralding a final cataclysmic change to the economy, it is still short of that, but the signals are warning to be alert that this may be just around the corner.

To put this in a more prosaic and straightforward way. Whereas prior to summer the only agenda was surviving corona, and prior to that migration and crime were the political focus, today our calendar’s are full of events that relate to sustainability in one way or other – electrification of transport, biofuels, hydrogen, a sustainable construction industry … And earlier this week, the government announced a massive SEK 50 billion of credit support over the next 3 years for companies to de-risk green investments. While it will take some time to understand the full implications of this, the government describes it as a game changer in Sweden’s transition towards a sustainable economy and the aspiration of a fossil-free welfare state.

This sets the context in which Sweden begins to accelerate out of the corona pandemic. There are of course many other agendas ongoing, including migration, crime and mopping up the remaining effects of corona on Swedish society. but for now, the dominant political agenda is the Green Deal (Den Gröna Given).