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More Research Needed To Reach Green Goals

Grants for environmental research in Sweden need to be increased by SEK 110 million if environmental policy objectives are to be met, according to a report from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to the government. Important areas requiring further research include the link between airborne emissions and health, biological diversity and health hazards in built-up areas.

"We need SEK50m to cover those areas of research which have lost funding, for example due to our research grants being cut. A further SEK 60m are needed in order to meet the environmental objectives," says Rolf Annerberg, head of the Swedish EPA.

In October, the Swedish government commissioned the Environmental Protection Agency to look into environmental research, together with the Council for Co-ordination and Planning of Research. The basis of the investigation was to strengthen environmental research as a whole. The government also wanted to establish, among other things, the consequences of the Swedish EPA losing their research grants in 1998.

According to the assessment made by Swedish EPA, the total investment in environmental research has not changed significantly; it is still around SEK 500m-600m. But the distribution has changed, and more changes are expected. The new system for funding has led to a restructuring of environmental research. Even if the research foundation MISTRA now finances a considerable part of the research previously funded by Swedish EPA, there is some research that does not fall within MISTRA's remit.

Environmental research
More grants are needed for research into establishing the limits for ecological sustainability. Among other things, the extent and effects of various environmental problems have to be assessed. The report contains a detailed list of research needed into all of the 15 environmental objectives set out by the government in the latest Environment Bill. Some examples are:

Environmental objective 1- Clean ai
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Contact: Erik Fellenius
erik.fellenius@environ.se
46-8-698-13-08
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
22-Dec-1998


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