Evaluation: Sweden's programme for international climate cooperation contributes to reduced emissions and sustainable development

An external evaluation shows that Sweden's programme for international climate cooperation under the Kyoto Protocol is expected to result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions corresponding to 34.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The programme has also contributed to sustainable development and transfer of knowledge.

Since 2002, the Swedish Energy Agency has been in charge of Sweden's programme for international climate cooperation under the Kyoto Protocol. Through the programme, we have financed climate-smart solutions in other countries with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sustainable development. The last payments were made in 2022, but a few projects are expected to continue delivering emission reductions until 2025. As the programme is now being phased out, we have commissioned an external evaluation.

Emission reductions corresponding to almost three quarters of Sweden's annual emissions

According to the evaluation, which is based on data available in September of 2021, the programme has contributed to reduced global greenhouse gas emissions in a cost-effective way.

In 2025 when the final emission reductions will be reported to the Swedish Energy Agency, the programme is expected to have achieved reduced emissions corresponding to a total of 34.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. As a comparison, Sweden's territorial emissions in 2021 corresponded to approximately 48 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

As the final emission reductions are expected to be delivered in 2025, the actual volume of emission reductions achieved through the programme may differ slightly to the estimated amount in the evaluation.

Positive impact on sustainable development

The programme’s contribution to sustainable development has been harder to assess, according to the evaluation. Since this goal was added well after the programme had already been running for some years, there was initially a lack of systematic reporting and documentation. Nevertheless, through case studies and results from previous evaluations, studies, and project follow-ups, the evaluation found evidence that the programme has indeed promoted sustainable development in the countries where the projects were carried out.

Contribution to the development of global emissions trading

According to the evaluation, the Swedish programme has resulted in transfer of technology and knowledge in connection to the implementation of projects within renewable energy, energy efficiency, and methane gas capture. As a pioneer within international emissions trading, the programme has also provided insights to UN and EU negotiations on mechanisms for global emissions trading.

About our international climate cooperations

Sweden ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and committed, along with 36 other industrialised countries, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Kyoto Protocol, countries could either achieve the reduced emissions within their own boundaries or through efforts in other countries. Efforts abroad were carried out through “flexible mechanisms” such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI).

The Swedish Energy Agency will now focus on establishing international climate cooperations for emissions trading in accordance with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.