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Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1080;

Four Sustainability Goals in a Swedish Low-Growth/Degrowth Context

Division of Environmental Strategies Research, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
The Department of Human Geography and the Human Ecology Division, Faculty of Social Sciences, Lund University, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 18 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Full-Text   |   PDF [247 KB, uploaded 1 November 2016]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability goals; degrowth; environmental justice sustainability goals; degrowth; environmental justice
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fauré, E.; Svenfelt, Å.; Finnveden, G.; Hornborg, A. Four Sustainability Goals in a Swedish Low-Growth/Degrowth Context. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1080.

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