Four sustainability goals in a Swedish low-growth/degrowth context

Eléonore Fauré, Åsa Svenfelt, Göran Finnveden, Alf Hornborg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Continual environmental degradation and an unfair distribution of environmental burdens and benefits are two great challenges for humanity. Economic growth is often taken for granted when planning for the future. However, it is often argued that maintaining economic growth conflicts with keeping human activities adjusted to ecological boundaries and finite resources, at least for the more-developed countries. With this paper, we present sustainability goals for building and planning in Sweden to be achieved by 2050 in a context of limited or even negative economic growth. These goals should ensure that all groups in society have sufficient resources and a good life within planetary boundaries. We select four goals in a participatory process: two environmental goals related to climate change and land use and two social goals related to welfare and participation. Our results show that achieving the environmental goals will require significant reductions of Sweden’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and land use compared to today’s levels. Regarding the social goals, these are, in many aspects, reasonably well fulfilled in Sweden today, although disparities remain between groups of citizens. The main challenge, however, is to ensure that these goals are fulfilled even within environmental limits and if economic growth should halt
Original languageEnglish
Article number1080
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social and Economic Geography


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