The climate benefit of Swedish exports - a new measure for calculating the climate impact of exports and imports.

Astrid Kander

The climate benefits of Swedish exports

- a new measure for calculation of the climate impact of exports and imports

Global climate change is a challenge that the world must face together. A prerequisite for this is that individual countries can map emissions. This in turn requires accurate measurements. 

A country's total climate impact consists of that which occurs within its own borders and that which arises in the wider world, through trade and international activities. However, it is widely recognised that the production emissions of an importing country do not provide an accurate picture of the total climate impact, as they obscure the emissions that take place in other countries on its behalf to meet the demand it represents on the world market. Therefore, consumption-based emissions are increasingly used as a complementary measure. 

However, consumption-based emissions only capture half the picture of foreign trade. They focus on one scale - imports - but omit the other - exports. The consequences are that countries like Sweden, which is characterised by a significantly less carbon-intensive energy mix than the world at large and a significantly more climate-efficient export production, are disadvantaged. 

To address this, Professor Astrid Kander presents in this report a new measure called the technology-adjusted carbon footprint. It is a measure that takes consumption into account but also considers the climate impact of exports, making it more accurate. Kander says that because Sweden produces in an environmentally efficient way, the environment benefits when other countries replace their own production with Swedish-made products. So we should not slow down our economy but - on the contrary - scale up. 

Climate impact of Swedish exports 1995-2020 - Astrid Kander (pdf)

Contact us

Environment and Public Health Institute

Strandvägen 7A
114 56 Stockholm

Org. number: 559342-4947

Latest from on TT

Report launch: Is slim a choice?

Report launch: Is slim a choice?

How should the healthcare system look at obesity? And where do the new obesity drugs fit into the Swedish healthcare system? Doctor Vincent Flink asks this question...

Podcast: Health for the unhealthy

Nicotine and the brain

Doctor David Eberhard has written a report for EPHI on nicotine, the brain and addiction. Mr Eberhard asks whether addiction itself is really dangerous and how we distinguish between an addiction and a habit. The report is available in both English and Swedish. Watch the call from Brussels...

read more

EPHI in Almedalen 2024

Don't miss EPHI's exciting event during Almedalen Week 2024. A modern public health policy Economist David Sundén meets psychiatrist David Eberhard led by Henrik Jönsson to discuss nicotine and public health. Both David Sundén and David Eberhard are...

read more

Ephis CEO comments on the collaboration with Henrik Jönsson

As the leader of the Social Democrats, Magdalena Andersson, has suggested in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter that the Youtuber Henrik Jönsson is spreading hatred against the Social Democrats and has suspicious funding, I, as EPHI's CEO, feel the need to clarify a few things. Environment and...

read more

Is slim a choice?

Doctor Vincent Flink Amble-Naess has written a report for Ephi on obesity and medicines. Flink Amble-Naess notes that effective medical treatment for weight loss is now available. The question is who should get it, how it should be financed and how we...

read more

Parliamentary seminar on climate change emissions and exports

Together with Member of Parliament Rickard Nordin (C), EPHI organised a seminar on Professor Astrid Kander's report on the climate benefits of Swedish exports. In her report, Astrid Kander presents a new metric for measuring countries' climate-impacting emissions. The method takes into account...

read more

Wine package or care package?

One of the big news stories of the autumn, discussed around coffee tables at workplaces and in text message threads with friends, was about something that may sound as boring as "government communication on public health". I'm referring, of course, to the National Board of Health and Welfare's updated...

read more