Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2023


John Van Buren


In 2021, Sweden was identified as the world’s most sustainable country and coined as a leader in global climate action. This paper analyzes the approach that Sweden takes to maintaining their sustainability as a nation and establishing environmentalism as a core value. Sustainability has deep roots in the country’s political and economic sectors, giving Sweden potential to be the world’s first net-zero nation. The first chapter demonstrates Sweden’s proportionately low environmental impact compared to other developed nations. The United States is used as a point of comparison throughout this paper in order to emphasize the progressiveness of the Swedish government and society. The second chapter analyzes the history of environmentalism in Sweden and reiterates their title as pioneers of the environmentalist movement. The third chapter examines environmental policy implementation by the Swedish parliament throughout the past several decades, including their framework for achieving carbon neutrality. Chapter 4 highlights Sweden’s dedication to sustainable economic development and their plan for transition to the circular economy model. The final chapter further evaluates comparisons between environmental action in Sweden and the United States, and provides policy recommendations for the United States based on the Swedish model.