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Swedish ban on new coal, oil and natural gas extraction to take effect


Swedish ban on new coal, oil and natural gas extraction to take effect

A Swedish ban on new contracts for coal, oil and natural gas extraction will take effect today as the Nordic country tries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – Photo: Gregor Kallina

Sweden’s ban on the extraction of coal, oil, and gas will enter into force today.

Sweden’s parliament, the Riksdag, voted in May to amend the Swedish Environmental Code and the Minerals Act so that permits would no longer be granted for the extraction of fossil fuels in a largely symbolic move towards phasing out fossil fuel in line with neighboring Denmark, which has also announced an end to oil exploration by 2050. Sweden’s decision comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed some EU members to seek alternative energy sources.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Sweden significantly reduced imports of Russian crude oil. Stockholm has been less affected than other European countries by the invasion-related shortages thanks in part to Sweden’s low direct dependence on Russian energy supplies. Natural gas accounts for only two percent of Sweden’s energy supply, and only eight percent of Swedish crude oil imports come from Russia.

The move to ban fossil fuel extraction is unlikely to have a major impact on other European nations, as the country does not produce significant amounts of fossil fuels, relying mostly on renewable energy sources like nuclear energy and hydropower. Oil-dependent European nations are likely going to seek out imports from other sources like the U.S., the Middle East and parts of Africa.

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