The Environmental Code

Last updated: 5 November 2017
Swedish Environmental Code (SFS 1998:808), whose overall objective is to promote sustainable development, brings together the principal legislative provisions in the area of the environment. In applying it, the environmental quality objectives are to serve as a guide. The Code includes general rules of consideration that are to be observed in connection with all activities and measures. Large-scale environmentally hazardous activities are subject to a permit requirement. Anyone seeking a permit to establish, operate or alter an environmentally hazardous activity has to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS). The purpose of an EIS is to identify and describe the direct and indirect impacts which the planned activity or measure could have, for example on climate. Greenhouse gas emissions are one of the factors considered as part of the permitting procedure under the Environmental Code. As from 2005, however, the authorities may no longer impose limits on carbon dioxide emissions or the use of fossil fuels by installations covered by the EU ETS.
Measures in the area of spatial planning chiefly affect emission trends in the longer term, and can be of great significance in that perspective. Physical planning measures are primarily governed by the Planning and Building Act (PBA). Many such measures, as well as major infrastructure projects regulated by the Roads Act and the Railway Construction Act, are also subject to some of the provisions of the Environmental Code.

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