The government is prepared to invest SEK 1 billion in the next six years in a national test centre for electric vehicles in Gothenburg on the condition that industry invests a similar sum, said Enterprise Minister Mikael Damberg on Tuesday, 5 September.
Two weeks ago the Swedish government raised its target over the number of new homes it wants built, from 250,000 by 2020 to 700,000 by 2025.
“Given the resources available in Sweden, it’s not realistic,” says JM CEO Johan Skoglund.
NCC CEO Peter Wågström is also sceptical, saying it will be difficult to achieve such volumes in the short-term.
Financial Markets Minister Per Bolund is convinced the markets will revalue fossil fuel assets. He believes environmentally unsustainable assets may well suffer from unanticipated or premature write offs, downward revaluations or be converted into liabilities, which is why the government is counting on the national pension funds to reduce their risk in fossil fuel assets.
“We expect the pension funds to lead the financial markets’ green transition,” says Per Bolund, rejecting suggestions that the government is exercising too much control over the funds.
The government is planning to launch an inquiry into the taxi industry, clearly setting its sights on Uber and its taxi services. Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson is admittedly wary of pointing out Uber, but the inquiry has been initiated because of the problem with “taxis’ with carpooling options”.
Anna Johansson admits that no other company offers such options in Sweden at the moment, but says: “This is not about making life difficult for a particular company. It’s about ensuring that we have a fair and well-run taxi industry”.
In the run up to last September’s general election, the Green Party said one of the first measures of a centre-left coalition government would be to stop Vattenfall from enlarging its lignite mines in Germany. Six months on, it’s business as usual at Vattenfall. Even if the Social Democrats and the Green Party have agreed that the state-owned utility must cut its carbon emissions, no new directives have been issued to halt the expansion plans.
So, what does the government intend to do? While the Green Party has called for the closure of the German coal operations, the Social Democrats have welcomed Vattenfall’s plans to divest the German coal business.
Moderate MP Lars Hjälmered is now demanding clarity from the government as to what it intends to do with the German business.