Governments around the world are struggling to cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 2015 Paris agreement. But one southern Swedish city has achieved a fall in CO2 emissions of 58 percent per capita in 15 years. And its economy is also thriving, with GDP rising by a third in the same period.
Vaxjo has a power plant that runs on biomass from local timber. Local forest owners earn money from selling waste branches, sawdust and bark to the plant that supplies hot water and electricity to the city. Then the city makes more in taxes from the forest owners.
Vaxjo is taking other measures to reduce emissions. Car parking in new housing developments is restricted in favour of new bus routes. The municipality clears snow from cycle paths before roads in winter and has an urban garden growing tomatoes, squash and sunflowers. All essential steps according to the city.
Vaxjo governments say will have to go further to achieve the emission cuts required by the Paris agreement. Local politicians favour much higher taxes on fossil fuels and tax breaks on renewables.