The Swedish shipping industry has been active in decarbonising shipping. Its industry association has set a target of zero-carbon shipping by 2050 and many Swedish shipping companies lead in low-carbon shipping. The country has many innovative green vessels projects. For example, Stena Line runs a ferry on methanol; Sirius Shipping has developed a ship-to-ship LNG bunkering vessel; numerous Swedish shipping companies have services with LNG-propelled vessels, and both HH Ferries and Green City Ferries have introduced electric ships.

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Sweden’s progress is driven by stakeholder cooperation, and financial support, as well as regulation. This can be seen in the “Zero Vision Tool”, a platform for cooperation between shipping industry, government and the research community, to make maritime transport greener. This tool tests possible solutions and shares results with all relevant stakeholders, not only in Sweden but also in the Baltic Sea region. Financial instruments, including EU assistance and the Norwegian NOx Fund, also helped ship-owners to invest in expensive but lower-carbon ships. Stricter regulations on sulphur emissions, like the requirements in emission control areas (ECA), have further increasedthe demand for LNG propelled ships that reduce sulphur emissions and carbon emissions.

However, even in Sweden the decarbonisation of maritime transport is still at an early stage. More is needed if the sector wants to achieve its goal of zero-carbon shipping by 2050. The major challenge is how to take advantage of current initiatives and obtain more finance and policy support, both nationally and globally.

The Swedish Government has formulated ambitious decarbonisation targets. But, this has not translated yet into a decarbonisation strategy of the government for the shipping sector. Namely, in some cases government policy seems to be delaying the development of low-carbon shipping.

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