The Swedish carbon tax is the highest carbon price signal in the world and has contributed strongly to Sweden’s climate leadership in reducing emissions in hard-to-decarbonize sectors – building, transport and industry.
The strategy of implementation – strengthening the carbon price signal within a broader set of energy tax reforms – and its success at reducing emissions provide vital lessons for other European countries, such as Germany, that seek to strengthen their climate policy.
This study synthesizes the scientific literature on the Swedish carbon tax, discussing the evidence for its effectiveness as well as its transferability to the German context. It finds that a carbon tax provides one of the most effective ways to reduce emissions when low-carbon substitutes are available.
The present study forms part of a series of publications within the project “Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON)”. As part of this project, scientific analyses were conducted of national policy instruments that successfully led to greenhouse gas emission reductions in European countries in the building, transport, agriculture and small-industry sectors. The analyses particularly focused on the instruments’ effectiveness and their potential transferability to the German context.