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Earth Government Power Science

Sweden Passes Bill To Become Carbon Neutral By 2045 (newscientist.com) 229

Sweden is the first country to significantly upgrade its carbon ambitions since the Paris accord in 2015. The country has passed a new bill committing to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2045. New Scientist reports: The law was drawn up by a cross-party committee and passed with an overwhelming majority in parliament by 254 votes to 41. The legislation establishes an independent Climate Policy Council and requires an action plan to be updated every four years. Sweden had previously committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. It already gets 83 per cent of its electricity from nuclear energy and hydropower, having met its 2020 target of 50 per cent renewable energy eight years ahead of schedule. To achieve carbon-neutral status, the country will focus on reducing emissions from transport by increasing the use of biofuels and electric vehicles. It plans to cut domestic emissions by at least 85 per cent, and offset remaining emissions by planting trees or investing in projects abroad.
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Sweden Passes Bill To Become Carbon Neutral By 2045

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  • Huh (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Aaaand in the meantime, my country is trying it's darndest (under the current administration and GOP leadership) to move back to coal.

    Woohoo!

    • Re: Huh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, 2017 @10:08PM (#54658283)

      They won't succeed. Trump's promises about bringing back coal mining jobs will fail. Those jobs are never coming back because they've been lost to automation. No amount of sabotaging environmental regulations will bring those jobs back.

      Also, much of the actual reduction of carbon pollution falls to the state and local governments. The areas that pollute the most, which are urban areas, tend to have leaders who support environmental regulations. Populous states like California and New York also have leadership that generally favors pro-environment policies. Even the demographics of Texas are shifting and the GOP is losing ground there.

      Trump and the GOP will fail. However, withdrawing from the Paris climate accords have likely spurred on other countries to increase their efforts to reduce carbon pollution.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        "Trump's promises about bringing back coal mining jobs will fail. Those jobs are never coming back because they've been lost to automation. No amount of sabotaging environmental regulations will bring those jobs back."

        No, the coal jobs are being lost to cheap gas - which right now is reducing US carbon output, Paris or no Paris.

        And Sweden should have no trouble reaching its carbon-free goal because of its large hydro and nuclear baseload.

        • Re: Huh (Score:4, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 20, 2017 @10:57PM (#54658465)

          Actually, automation has played a significant role in the loss of coal jobs. Here's a citation: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/business/coal-jobs-trump-appalachia.html [nytimes.com]. In order for coal to remain competitive with other forms of energy, mining companies have automated a lot of the mining process. It increases the efficiency of the mining operations while also being far safer. Although natural gas has caused the loss of coal mining jobs in the short term, it's led to increasing automation as coal mining companies attempt to remain competitive. In the longer term, that automation ensures that coal mining jobs will never return. Even if the price of natural gas was to dramatically increase, those coal jobs are lost permanently due to automation.

          • Permanently is a very strong word.
            So long as it's cheaper for them to automate the mining, the coal jobs are gone. Remove some human rights and a chunk of pay, and I'm sure automation will be the one looking for a job.

            • Permanently is a very strong word. So long as it's cheaper for them to automate the mining, the coal jobs are gone. Remove some human rights and a chunk of pay, and I'm sure automation will be the one looking for a job.

              A human requires sleep every 12 - 18 hours. They also require days off for rest, and insurance to be paid to cover for such thing as illness. They generally require pay advances and career progression to keep up with the cost of living increases and fund a retirement plan, as well as a reasonable work/life balance to sustain sanity and do other things like raise a family, or advance their education.

              Automation requires none of this shit.

              Permanent is a very strong word. It's also a very fucking accurate o

              • You didn't even read what I said.
                Here, let me quote myself for you:

                Permanently is a very strong word.
                So long as it's cheaper for them to automate the mining, the coal jobs are gone. Remove some human rights and a chunk of pay, and I'm sure automation will be the one looking for a job.

                Christ... You act like the world is a perfect place mate.

                • You didn't even read what I said. Here, let me quote myself for you:

                  Permanently is a very strong word. So long as it's cheaper for them to automate the mining, the coal jobs are gone. Remove some human rights and a chunk of pay, and I'm sure automation will be the one looking for a job.

                  Speaking of not reading, you cannot remove the human need to sleep. You cannot remove the vulnerability that a human gets sick. You cannot remove the human need for a work/life balance.

                  Christ... You act like the world is a perfect place mate.

                  And you act like automation cannot perfectly replace a tediously repetitive human job and operate so efficiently that no human could compete, regardless of what rights you remove. It can. It has. And it will continue.

                  • Today? No, it can't. Not if you apply what I said.
                    Yes you're right, some day it will. But again, only when it's cheaper.

                    Stop being a dick bro.

              • A human requires sleep every 12 - 18 hours. They also require days off for rest, and insurance to be paid to cover for such thing as illness.

                My Mom is a housewife and never got any of those things. Most certainly never got any days off. So I don't know what exactly you mean by "a human requires", because my Mom managed it for 20 years straight.

                • A human requires sleep every 12 - 18 hours. They also require days off for rest, and insurance to be paid to cover for such thing as illness.

                  My Mom is a housewife and never got any of those things. Most certainly never got any days off. So I don't know what exactly you mean by "a human requires", because my Mom managed it for 20 years straight.

                  I tend to find it hard to believe your mother never needed sleep. Rest is required to sustain the human body. That may only come in the form of sleep if your job does not offer the luxury of a day off. Illness happens to all humans, so this likely had an impact over a 20-year career as well. When almost every society recognizes retirement as an inevitable phase of life, it tends to define a goal in ones mind. If you wish to avoid premature death, maintaining physical and metal heath has been proven to

        • No, the coal jobs are being lost to cheap gas - which right now is reducing US carbon output, Paris or no Paris.

          "Reducing"? Not really. Slowing the growth would be more accurate. Natural gas is still a fossil fuel and overall demand is still growing. Emissions remain far higher than is likely to be a good idea. The US will have to do a LOT more than simply swap coal for gas. We are the per-capita biggest polluters in the world and only China exceeds us in total emissions.

          • https://www.epa.gov/climate-in... [epa.gov]

            US carbon emission is the fat green area in the chart. Yes, we will eventually grow our back to in erased carbon again if we coast on natural gas, but the replacement of coal by gas buys us time to build the long-term reactor fleet that going carbon free will require.

            • Edit: 'erased'-> 'increased'. I was posting mobile.

            • by sjbe ( 173966 )

              Yes, we will eventually grow our back to in erased carbon again if we coast on natural gas, but the replacement of coal by gas buys us time to build the long-term reactor fleet that going carbon free will require.

              Nuclear fusion is never going to happen in a big way in the US. People are too scared of it and the liability is too great. Whether or not fusion is a good idea seems to be irrelevant to the discussion at this point. Politically the conservatives are indifferent to the problems of fossil fuels and deny that climate change exists and the progressives seem to think any fuel source that isn't renewable is the devil's work, including nuclear. Plus there is a lot of NIMBY and other issues in play. In short,

              • We can't really discuss fusion as an energy source because it doesn't exist yet, but I'm sure the flat-earth lobby will come up with a new set of specious objections to it when it does get here.

                NIMBY and hippie heads are going to explode when the realization sets in that if we want to go zero carbon, renewables won't do it. There are no more good places in the US to build dams, and we don't have many places where we can put in an installation like the one I saw at Hellisheiði. Yellowstone is National

      • by stomv ( 80392 )

        The areas that pollute the most, which are urban areas, tend to have leaders who support environmental regulations.

        The areas that pollute the most are not urban areas. On a per capita basis, the electricity, transportation fuel, and heating/cooling by folks in urban area is far less than suburban and rural areas. And while cities have lots of people, most Americans do not live in a large city -- they may live near one, but they've got their own local government and aren't subject to the mayor of a city of many-hundred-thousands (or millions). With respect to carbon emissions, you don't get to the majority unless you in

      • They won't succeed. Trump's promises about bringing back coal mining jobs will fail.

        He'll spin it as a great success, and that the haters in the media are spreading fake news. There really is no way to win with this guy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Nonsense. America is not "moving back to coal". That was just empty talk to win votes from stupid people.

      In the real world, achievements mean more than ambitions. If you look at which country has made the most breakthroughs in efficient lighting, better engines, more power dense batteries that charge faster, biofuels, solar energy, bigger wind turbines, and the manufacturing techniques to make it all happen, it is not Sweden, but America that is in front. Europeans should talk less and do more.

      • Now you talk about companies not countries right?
        Else it's a joke. May still be.

      • If you look at which country has made the most breakthroughs in efficient lighting, better engines, more power dense batteries that charge faster, biofuels, solar energy, bigger wind turbines, and the manufacturing techniques to make it all happen,
        I would guess that most of the things you mention here you buy from a european company.
        Your claim is basically completely idiotic. Biofuel, we have bio Diesel and Ethanol mix ins since dacades, most car engines are european or japanese, btw. making a super ineffi

      • Actually I was mistaken, the biggest wind turbine right now is a Danish one ... will take a while till GE is overtaking that again ...

  • Passing the buck? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HalAtWork ( 926717 )

    Is this passing the buck unfairly to some future politicians or are they actually gaining ground and on track already?

    • They are, in fact, significantly ahead of schedule already. I know we don't usually read the articles here, but at least read the summary ?

  • Sweden is cool. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This page is created by the company that runs the swedish powergrid
    http://www.svk.se/drift-av-stamnatet/kontrollrummet/
    At the botton you can se live data on the types of energy produced in sweden
    Kärnkraft = Nuclear
    Värmekraft = Heat power (burning wood and the like)
    Ospecificerat = Undefined, for instance oil or electricity pushed back to the grid when trains uses the breaks.
    Vindkraft = wind
    Vattenkraft = Hydro

    The map above (of the entire nordics and baltic area) show how electicity is transported an

  • Well, this significantly beats the previous plan.

    Carbon Neutral means they still plan to emit it.

    So the won't have to get rid of all their animals, and people, who breathe out the stuff.
    And their forests and other plant life gets to live, since they breathe in the stuff.

    Some enterprising soul must have taught them biology since their last announcement...

    • Animals and people are already carbon neutral.
      You can't breath our more CO2 than the carbon you've consumed, from plants can not have more carbon than they have previously removed from the atmosphere.

      • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

        Animals and people are already carbon neutral. You can't breath our more CO2 than the carbon you've consumed

        When you exhale CO2, it consists of the CO2 you breathed in plus carbon from foods you ate. So you're creating more CO2 than you consumed.

        • Erm... no.

          Everything you just said is wrong. Dead wrong.

          And no - you do not produce more CO2 than the plants you ate have removed. It's physically impossible for these numbers to ever NOT be identical - because for that to happen, because the laws of physics say you cannot create or destroy matter.

          • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

            Ok, I see your point now.

          • By this logic internal combustion engines are carbon neutral

            • No, because fossil fuels don't come from plants that were recently alive, and thus the carbon from them was not recently removed from the atmosphere.
              In fact, fossil fuels mostly date from the carboniferous period - when the first woody plants evolved, but nothing had yet evolved that could digest wood - so they never rotted, never decomposed and ended up becoming oil and coal instead. At the time, these plants all turning CO2 into oxygen but never decomposing raised the atmospheric oxygen level to around 40

  • What really needs to happen is that countries need to begin extracting carbon from the atmosphere and not just with trees but rather chemical machinery that actually generates piles of soot. Mandate that they be maintained and expanded year-after-year until atmospheric CO2 begins to decline. It's then a matter of funding which will come from taxes. To make it palatable to the greatest contributors of CO2, the tax will be distributed evenly among taxpayers. Later the evergrowing tax burden can be shifted

    • What are you on about? Compare the human-generated amount of CO2 being produced to a single volcano eruption. Also, last time I checked, plants needed CO2 to survive. Do you hate plants?

      • Compare the human-generated amount of CO2 being produced to a single volcano eruption.

        Massive volcanic eruptions like you describe block out sunlight and cause ice ages. Snow is highly reflective which re-radiates the sunlight while plants absorb the CO2. It's a complex but balanced process. Human-generated has none of these feedback mechanism and simply causes more heat from sunlight to be absorbed. Human-generated CO2 makes the planet increasingly hotter.

        Also, last time I checked, plants needed CO2 to survive.

        I'm not suggesting we remove every last bit of CO2, just remove the amount that we added. [wikimedia.org]

        Do you hate plants?

        Plants ate my entire family! On that day I

      • YOU SCHOULD Compare the human-generated amount of CO2 being produced to a single volcano eruption.
        Fixed that for you.
        If you ever had checked the numbers you would not look that dumb.
        Btw. the main concern of vulcano eruptions are sulfur emmissions. Which have a cooling effect!
        The planet would likely look really bad already if mankind had not a huge shipping fleet which burnes sulfur rich heavy oils.

    • What really needs to happen is that countries need to begin extracting carbon from the atmosphere and not just with trees but rather chemical machinery that actually generates piles of soot.

      Don't go to soot, compress that down to artificial diamonds, which have a lot of uses in industry and it means the carbon won't easily go back into the atmosphere. Or use the diamonds to help lower the artificially high prices DeBeers charges because they try to make people think diamonds are scarce (they're not).

      • Don't go to soot, compress that down to artificial diamonds

        The soot would be pure carbon, so you can process it however you like afterward, dummy.

    • The carbon in the atmosphere is in the form of CO2 primarily (there's some CH4, CO, etc., but mostly CO2). In order to make carbon out of it, we have to remove the oxygen atoms. The energy we get from coal is from turning C and O2 into CO2, and in order to turn CO2 into C and O2 we have to provide that much energy. Effectively, we'd be running coal plants in reverse, except less efficiently.

      If we've got the power, we can better use it by not burning coal in the first place. If we get a surplus of powe

      • If we've got the power, we can better use it by not burning coal in the first place.

        True but people won't do this willingly, so taxing CO2 emitting system is the first step.

        If we get a surplus of power not from fossil fuels, we might consider some sort of carbon-liberating mechanism like you suggest, but we're a long ways away from that.

        We really aren't. All that is needed is a few well placed feedback loop taxes and we'll be free of the bad technology that caused this problem and on to reversing the damage done.

        • The bad technology is vital to modern civilization right now. I'd figure that most of our power comes from burning fossil fuels, and electricity production is the low-hanging fruit.

          There's two ways to reduce the amount of CO2 going into the air. One is to not put as much in, and one would be to put it in and then take it out. The first is going to be much more efficient. Therefore, as long as we're still generating electricity with fossil fuels, if we get more power from other sources we use it to re

          • The bad technology is vital to modern civilization right now.

            Actually, it's not vital at all but rather just what we are currently using. It's used for one simple reason: it's cheaper. However, the only reason it's cheaper is because they don't have to pay to clean up their mess. If we begin to tax them the amount that it costs to clean up the mess then we can stop the rise of CO2 because we'll be removing CO2 from the atmosphere using the money they earn to put it in the atmosphere. It's a direct feedback loop, how can you not see how this works?

  • Must be nice to be in Sweden... Here in California, neither source is considered 'renewable' or green, and many don't consider them carbon neutral either.
  • If Sweden is serious about this, then that means that they expect nothing but zero-emission vehicles on their roads by 2045. Sounds to me like Musk should talk to them about building a Tesla Motors factory there, and maybe another Gigafactory to make batteries, he'd make a killing.
  • You can reduce carbon emissions, for example the carbon emissions required to create a nuclear power plant can be less than that required to create the power a Nuclear plant would produce over its lifetime, but you are still producing tons upon tons of carbon, An Electric vehicle can prevent a little carbon over its lifespan (biofuel supposedly adds far more carbon than normal gas), but it is still within an order of magnitude. Every lettuce leaf you eat, every steak, every mown front lawn is linked to carb

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