Sweden's environmental goals are a guiding light in Swedish environmental work and define which environment Swedish policy should steer towards. All actors in society need to increase the pace of implementation of the urgent transition to a sustainable society.
Sweden's environmental goals describe what needs to be done to get there. By working actively with the environmental quality goals and milestones at multiple levels in society, we can increase the opportunities to achieve the overall generational goal - to pass on a society to the next generation where the major environmental problems are solved.
The environmental goals guide the whole society
Sweden's environmental goals are part of a larger system consisting of many different actors who work together to achieve the goals. Sweden's Environmental Objectives serve as a guide for the entire society's environmental work, both authorities and county administrative boards, municipalities and the business community and other actors. To achieve the goals, the whole society need to work together.
There is a total of 26 national authorities that works to achieve the environmental goals and eight authorities that are responsible for monitoring and evaluating one or more environmental quality goals.
International cooperation is often needed and the work at EU level is therefore important. In Sweden, the government has established the Swedish environmental goals and a committee with the aim of reaching a broad political consensus on several different environmental issues.
The environmental objectives system
The generational goal is intended to guide environmental action at every level of society. It indicates the sorts of changes in society that need to occur within one generation to bring about a clean, healthy environment. It focuses environmental efforts on recovery of ecosystems, conserving biodiversity and the natural and cultural environment, good human health, efficient material cycles free from dangerous substances, sustainable use of natural resources, efficient energy use, and patterns of consumption.
Environmental quality objectives
The environmental quality objectives describe the quality of the environment that Sweden wishes to achieve. There are 16 of them, covering different areas – from unpolluted air and lakes free from eutrophication and acidification, to functioning forest and farmland ecosystems. For each objective there are a number of ‘specifications’, clarifying the state of the environment to be attained.
To facilitate progress towards the generational goal and the environmental quality objectives, the Government adopts milestone targets in priority areas. These are designed to set out the changes in society needed to meet the environmental quality objectives and the generational goal.
Agenda 2030 and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development
Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development consists of 17 global goals for a better world. It is a plan of action for a sustainable future for mankind and our planet. Sweden’s environment objectives address the challenges that exist at the national level, specifically with respect to environmental sustainability.