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US, Sweden Launch Formal Joint Green Transition Initiative

April 1, 2022 by Kate Michael
San Diego Gas & Electric hopes to incorporate this solar power facility, known as Desert Green and owned by Invenergy, into its Borrego Springs, Calif., microgrid once more batteries are installed. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

WASHINGTON — Government and industry representatives from Sweden and the United States came together to solidify an alliance to mitigate the impact of climate change at the Atlantic Council on Thursday.

The two countries, which already have multiple collaborations to achieve their shared high ambitions for reducing emissions, strengthened bilateral efforts in research and development, innovation, trade, and investment by launching the Sweden-U.S. Green Transition Initiative intended to accelerate partnerships and combine resources toward a low-carbon economy.

GTI is a three-year, approximately $1 million initiative to start, and will be comprised of four positions. Three of these positions will be based in D.C. and one in Silicon Valley, with further support from agencies located in Sweden, including Business Sweden, the Swedish Energy Agency, and Sweden’s innovation agency, Vinnova.

“The objective of the Initiative is to increase cooperation between Sweden and the U.S. in the area of climate transition,” Annika Strandhäll, Swedish minister for Climate and Environment said at the launch.

“We welcome the U.S. ambition to be a key player in reducing global CO2 emission and drive the transition to a greener society,” she said, praising the recent passage of the U.S. Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill for showing “a clear commitment to focus on the climate transition.”

“Through these collaborations, I hope that we jointly can develop new innovative solutions and at the same time generate new green jobs both here in the U.S., but also in Sweden, of course.”

Sweden has ambitious green political goals and has taken the lead when it comes to the green industry transition, aiming to become the world’s first fossil-free welfare nation.

The Nordic country has proven to be a key innovator in green industry and is well positioned to serve as a strategic partner in support of U.S. efforts toward a clean green transition in the areas of transportation, electro-mobility, renewable energy, sustainable industry and green building.

Under the current administration, the U.S. has a target to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by the end of this decade, to produce 100% clean energy by 2035 and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“The U.S. [is] going to benefit from working with our Swedish counterparts’ long history of leading on climate action,” Julie Cerqueira, principal deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy said.

GTI promises to build on the countries’ close ties and to foster a deeper collaboration in an area in which Sweden has demonstrated prominence. It is anticipated to promote small- and medium-sized Swedish enterprises and deploy innovative solutions that Sweden has been developing and testing that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while reducing both nations’ reliance on fossil fuels.

“We could not be gathering at a more important time for the future of clean energy as we climb our way out of three existential crises,” Cerqueira said. “To emerge from these crises, we need to redraw the global energy landscape to transform the global energy system working in partnership with each other.”

Kate can be reached at kate@thewellnews.com

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