Monday, June 25, 2007

Sweden: Going Green

Now this is something for the countries in the region and for that matter the rest of the world to emulate. Sweden has for many years been in the forefront of eco management and green solutions to overcoming global warming. Again we see how the Swedes are actively putting into practice what they preach and coming up with real solutions to real problems. Now we need to push our own governments to follow suit and to take the global environment seriously.

For the full article please visit: Common Dreams - Sweden: Going Green

by Louise Williams

VAXJO, Sweden - In the cool forest region of southern Sweden, the city of Vaxjo has turned off the heating oil, even on the darkest, snowbound days of winter. Coal, too, is gone and next on the fossil fuel hit list is petrol. In the underground car park of the local government offices there are no private vehicles, just a communal car fleet.

Staff, who cycle or take the local biogas buses to work, book ahead to use vehicles in the fleet, and fill up on biogas or E85, a blend of 85 per cent renewable ethanol. Petrol is still readily available to the public, but carbon emissions in Sweden are heavily taxed. Drivers pay about 80 cents a litre extra at the bowser for the privilege of spewing out carbon dioxide.

Vaxjo is chasing a fossil fuel-free future, and it’s almost halfway there without having sacrificed lifestyle, comfort or economic growth. When local politicians announced the phase-out in 1996, it was little more than a quaint curiosity. Oil prices were hovering around $US20 a barrel and global warming was still a hotly contested debate.

Today, at least one international delegation a week - mainly from China and Japan - beats a path to Vaxjo to see how it’s done.

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