Peak Oil

Sweden to go Oil-Free

By Ryan McGreal
Published February 09, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, the hammerblog reported that Iceland wants to eliminate petroleum use by 2050.

Sweden just announced that it wants to go much farther:

Sweden is to take the biggest energy step of any advanced western economy by trying to wean itself off oil completely within 15 years - without building a new generation of nuclear power stations.

Yanking its head out of the sand, Sweden's government has acknowledged the vast risks of climate change and oil depletion and has asked a task force of "industrialists, academics, farmers, car makers, civil servants and others" to investigate how to meet this ambitious goal.

Unlike other countries (Canada comes to mind), in which the federal government isn't even discussing peak oil, Sweden's government is facing the situation head-on.

According to the energy committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, there is growing concern that global oil supplies are peaking and will shortly dwindle, and that a global economic recession could result from high oil prices.

Mona Sahlin, Sweden's Minister of Sustainable Development (try to imagine that position in Stephen Harper's cabinet), notes, "A Sweden free of fossil fuels would give us enormous advantages, not least by reducing the impact from fluctuations in oil prices."

She adds, "The price of oil has tripled since 1996."

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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