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PRINCE Final Report "Environmental Impacts from Swedish Consumption: New Indicators for Follow-up"

  • Published on July 23, 2019
The final report for the PRINCE project, "Environmental impacts from Swedish consumption: New indicators for follow-up", published by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, presents new indicators of environmental impacts from private and public-sector consumption as well as investments, including both impacts inside Sweden and those in the countries and regions where products consumed in Sweden are produced.
The new results show that around two-thirds of the emissions of greenhouse gases and particulate matter occurred outside Sweden in 2014. As well as Sweden, emissions were in large major countries like China, Russia, Germany and the USA, but also in many other countries that Sweden imports from directly or indirectly. The model developed to generate the new indicators uses statistics from SCB on economic activity and environmental impacts in Sweden with the international MRIO model Exiobase 3, which links environmental impacts to economic activity in the global economy. This makes it possible to estimate environmental impacts along Sweden's supply chains. Among the results, the project confirms the findings of earlier studies that consumption of food and drink, transport and investments in construction and infrastructure account for large shares of nearly all the emissions of GHGs and air pollutants measured, and that use of fossil fuels are a key factor beyond a large share of consumption impacts. The report also includes a chapter on development of indicators for use and emissions of hazardous chemical products. "In this project we've developed broad indicators that instead of looking at individual chemicals give a general picture of the use of hazardous chemical products. A large share of chemical use and emissions happens outside Sweden, in the EU and beyond. That shows we need new tools to work towards sustainable consumption and production," says Göran Finnveden, professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, who led work in subproject 4. "The research results are an important resource for follow-up of the national environmental goals, especially the Generational Goal," says Anita Lundstöm of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. "Naturvårdsverket (the Swedish EPA) will work further with these results. The goal will be to develop tools that Swedish government agencies can use to follow-up on the environmental burden imposed by Swedish consumption."

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