The single-track political debate on current environmental issues is a defeat for the entire globe and has the potential to have serious consequences. The climate crisis is obvious and certainly not secondary, but the environmental crisis cannot be reduced to the climate crisis. The collapse of biodiversity is currently due more to the destruction of habitats and the general pollution of ecosystems than to global warming.
Overview – The Pirate Party wants to:
- Decisions concerning environmental issues must be evidence-based
- Innovation of environmentally friendly technologies is promoted
- The transition to a sustainable society continues and is being accelerated
- Energy production must essentially be fossil-free and consist of a mix of energy sources, including today’s nuclear power
- Protection for the forest and ecosystems is increased
- Grants for climate-smart food production take place, and that we help companies that want to apply for EU grants for climate-smart food production
- Support the possibilities for self-produced electricity via solar cells, solar collectors, geothermal and geothermal heat, smaller wind turbines, and more
- The policies developed are underpinned by the best available science, and supported by commitments at both regional and national levels to enforce compliance
- All policies and regulations must be designed so that it is easy to do the right thing
Introduction – Sustainable development means more than just climate policy
The single-track political debate on current environmental issues is a defeat for the entire globe and has the potential to have serious consequences. The climate crisis is obvious and certainly not secondary, but the environmental crisis cannot be reduced to the climate crisis. The collapse of biodiversity is currently due more to the destruction of habitats and the general pollution of ecosystems than to global warming. The pirate party wants to broaden the discussion and talk about pollution in the air, water and land, about the side effects of making car batteries for electric cars, the cost of scrapping your diesel car, that the wings of wind turbines mostly consist of petroleum and the cost of decommissioning an end-of-life wind power fleet at sea . We need to understand the synergies between different environmental problems, such as biodiversity loss and climate change, in order to achieve our global development goals.
Biodiversity loss and climate change are both driven by human economic activities and mutually reinforcing each other. Neither will be successfully resolved unless both are dealt with together. By focusing on the number of tons of carbon dioxide emitted or not as the most important indicator in public environmental policy, we risk overlooking problems with pollution in air, water and land, noise, impact on biodiversity and the natural landscape.
1. Stable and decentralized energy production
Fossil fuels have given us the tools to achieve a tolerable standard of living, but they have also put us in one of the biggest crises of modern times. If we intend to stop the climate changes we see today, the abolition of fossil fuels is a requirement that cannot be negotiated away. At the same time, a return to the living conditions that prevailed before the rise of industrial society based on fossil energy sources is not an option.
Nuclear power in the world has avoided about 55 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions over the past 50 years, almost equal to two years of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. In Sweden, hydropower has been as important as nuclear power to avoid carbon dioxide emissions. Today, all Swedish nuclear power plants are of the second generation type, and even these have extremely low emissions compared to power plants powered by fossil fuels. Recently, Finland has opened the world’s first nuclear power plant of the third generation type, with both greatly increased efficiency and better safety.
Sweden must be self-sufficient and willing to export fossil-free electricity
Energy supply is a socially important activity and an important safety issue. The Pirate Party wants to see energy production that is both gentle on the climate and adequate to meet both today’s and future energy needs.
Fourth-generation nuclear power – a fossil-free choice
What we call green electricity is that which comes from renewable energy sources that are constantly replenished, such as sun, wind, water and biofuel. Green electricity is fossil-free, but so is existing nuclear power, which is why the EU decided in February 2022 to include it as green energy as well. Nuclear power itself does not produce carbon dioxide, unlike oil, coal and natural gas. Fuel for fourth-generation reactors does not need to be mined because the small amount of uranium-238 they need is already in large stocks. It is a residual product from when the isotope uranium‑235 was enriched for today’s reactors. From that perspective, fourth-generation nuclear power is also renewable, and we have to choose between importing uranium from Russia or mining it in Sweden. These reactors also produce much more short-lived waste products as the nuclear fission destroys the problematic elements heavier than uranium, making the spent fuel easier to handle. Nuclear power is important to be able to meet an increased demand for electricity and at the same time maintain the stability of the electricity grid.
Better storage options
In order to be self-sufficient in energy and ensure always having access to electricity, our storage capabilities must be significantly expanded. The lack of storage is also the reason for the high volatility in spot prices for electricity. The need to store electricity has also become increasingly relevant in line with a growing share of weather-dependent electricity production. If, for example, it is very windy but it is not possible to use all the wind power that is produced at the moment, it is important to be able to save the electricity for times when it is not windy. Pumped hydropower is a large-scale storage option that involves own storage of water in order to be able to regulate electricity production. The Pirate Party works for Sweden to make better use of this storage option.
Therefore, we want to:
§1 Sweden’s energy production shall consist of a mixture of energy sources;
§2 Operating nuclear reactors continue to be operated, with the upgrades required to further increase the life and safety of the reactors if possible;
§3 The regulations are facilitated for other environmentally friendly electricity production such as e.g. hydropower where also pumped energy storage should take place on a larger scale. The latter in order to better utilize existing intermittent energy such as wind and solar power;
§4 Simplify rules and allocate grants, so that research and safe experimental facilities in third and fourth generation nuclear power can be maintained (Right now, much innovation is happening in the rest of the world in SMRs, small modular reactors that are often intended for mass production.);
§5 Sweden exports electricity associated with low emissions from e.g. nuclear power to other countries to help them;
§6 Sweden should avoid importing electricity with a large environmental impact, e.g. from fossil fuels. This by taxing selectively, and allowing imports from e.g. hydropower, nuclear power and cogeneration be unlimited;
§7 Develop policies underpinned by the best available science and supported by commitments at both regional and national levels to enforce compliance. ;
§8 All policies and regulations must be designed so that it is easy to do the right thing.
Nature provides us with oxygen, regulates our weather patterns, pollinates our crops, produces our food, feed and fibre. But it is under increasing stress. Human activity has altered nearly 75 percent of the Earth’s surface, squeezing wildlife and nature into an ever-shrinking corner of the planet. Our ecosystems both on land and in wetlands provide habitats for millions of species while cleaning air and water. Land destruction and deforestation lead to increased levels of greenhouse gases and threaten both the climate and the survival of animal species. Meeting our needs for food, energy, water and raw materials without harming biodiversity is essential for everyone’s survival. The Pirate Party wants to ensure sustainable use of ecosystem services, both on land and in waterways. We want to find sustainable methods in forestry and fishing to ensure that these can also benefit both current and future generations.
Therefore, we want to:
§9 Sweden’s energy production shall consist of a mixture of energy sources;
§10 Sveaskog, which is our largest state forest owner, shall have as its main task the preservation of Sweden’s forests. They should therefore have a lower yield target as the current target leads to our forests being progressively felled;
§11 Sveaskog, whenever possible, buys key biotopes in exchange for other forest; so that forest, which can be used for felling without equally drastic consequences for biological diversity, is cut down instead of forest with a significant part of Sweden’s ecosystem;
§12 Clearcutting and monocultures are phased out and more sustainable forestry is applied;
§13 There must be a personal responsibility of forest owners, both small and large, to use gentle and environmentally friendly methods;
§14 Sveaskog must also have a greater responsibility to use environmentally friendly methods, and be innovative in its forestry;
§15 Calcification of acidified lakes and watercourses takes place to counteract the negative effects of acidification on animal and plant life;
§16 Policies are developed and put in place, which are underpinned by the best available science and supported by commitments at both regional and national levels to enforce compliance;
§17 All policies and regulations must be designed so that it is easy to do the right thing.
The Pirate Party supports an integrated approach to managing the entire food production landscape – arable land, livestock, forests and fisheries – in a way that addresses the interconnected challenges of food security and climate change.
He who knows the most reaps the best
The Pirate Party supports the development of high-tech cultivation systems in cities where vertical farming and aquaponics are two good examples.
Vertical farming is an agricultural technique where the cultivation is moved to e.g. high-rise buildings, either indoors or on facades and roofs. By combining methods used in greenhouses and hydroponics, it is possible to grow fruit, vegetables, edible mushrooms and algae close to the consumer all year round. Harvest time is greatly extended and is not nearly as dependent on favorable weather to maintain quality, production and yield.
Aquaponics is revolutionizing urban culture
Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines conventional aquaculture, such as the cultivation of fish, shellfish or algae in ponds, with hydroponic cultivation, i.e. plants in water, in a symbiotic environment.
Vertical farming and aquaponics also help improve biodiversity because it does not cause disturbance to the soil surface, helping the natural animal populations that live in and around farms to thrive. Both methods offer the possibility of completely eliminating the need for pesticides – as pests cannot enter the controlled environment and cause crop damage, and fungal diseases struggle to gain a foothold when moisture levels are managed. In addition to this, indoor farming can be good for the environment as it greatly reduces the amount of fossil fuels needed for farming equipment. This equipment is used today to sow, fertilize, fight weeds or harvest crops, and could be much more efficient with vertical farming.
Therefore, we want to:
§18 Sweden works for the EU to introduce requirements for more detailed lists of the environmental impact of food products;
§19 Meat production in Sweden increases to reduce the need to import meat from countries with poorer animal husbandry;
§20 Patents on GMOs are prohibited;
§21 The possibility of long-term use of laboratory-grown meat is being investigated;
§22 Environmentally friendly packaging is used;
§23 Support the development of high-tech cultivation systems in cities, e.g. vertical farming and aquaponics;
§24 Calcification of acidified lakes and watercourses takes place to counteract the negative effects of acidification on animal and plant life;
§25 Policies are developed and put in place, which are underpinned by the best available science and supported by commitments at both regional and national levels to enforce compliance;
§26 All policies and regulations must be designed so that it is easy to do the right thing.
4. Transport and infrastructure
The Pirate Party works to develop an innovative, reliable and sustainable infrastructure including public transport that supports economic development and human well-being, with an emphasis on innovations and low costs for the consumer to ride public transport.
A green transport infrastructure in cities gives people opportunities to get around under their own power – such as walking or cycling – or through environmentally sound means such as electric or biogas-powered trains, trams or buses. Although it is difficult or impossible to completely remove the car from the picture, there are ways to make our transportation infrastructure greener. The Pirate Party proposes green highways that use permeable materials in their construction to prevent metals and toxins from entering the groundwater as well as use recycled materials.
Transport must be taxed based on its environmental impact, not based on the type of vehicle itself.
Therefore, we want to:
§27 Zero fare in public transport is introduced;
§28 The flight tax is abolished and replaced with taxation based on the fuel’s actual environmental impact;
§29 The vehicle tax for trucks must be based on the long-term impact of the emissions. Both in terms of carbon dioxide and directly harmful substances such as e.g. nitrogen oxides and particulates;
§30 Develop policies underpinned by the best available science and supported by commitments at both regional and national levels to enforce compliance;
§31 All policies and regulations must be designed so that it is easy to do the right thing.
5. Emissions and pollution
Anyone who, through their business activities, risks contaminating the environment must fund funds for future remediation. As discovery can often take time, this should apply regardless of whether the company still exists.
Therefore, we want to:
§32 Responsibility for environmental crimes must be able to be claimed by the company board that was active when the environmental crime was committed;
§33 Get to the bottom of understanding the synergies between biodiversity loss and climate change to maximize the impact of action;
§34 Develop policies underpinned by the best available science and supported by commitments at both regional and national levels to enforce compliance.;
§35 All policies and regulations must be designed so that it is easy to do the right thing.
6. Recycling and reuse
There is no shortage of criticism against Western overconsumption in the political debate today, but the same cannot be said about the analysis of its cause, as most choose to see overconsumption as a consequence of the individual’s egoism. The Pirate Party believes that this anger towards the consumer is misdirected. The wear-and-throw society should rather be seen as a symptom of the existence of artificially short-lived products.
The Pirate Party advocates circular economy and right-to-repair, and wants to see a society that penalizes the production of goods that are intentionally designed to be short-lived, fragile and difficult or expensive to repair.
Even if the problem with short-lived products is fixed, there will always be a desire to upgrade or replace things you have bought. It can apply to a game you’ve grown tired of, an item of clothing you’ve outgrown, or a mobile phone that no longer lives up to your standards. Therefore, it is important to create incentives for private individuals to go the extra mile to the thrift store or take the time to post a sales ad.
Therefore, we want to:
§36 An excise tax on non-repairable electronics is introduced;
§37 The VAT on the purchase and sale of second-hand goods is abolished;
§38 Develop policies underpinned by the best available science and supported by commitments at both regional and national levels to enforce compliance;
§39 All policies and regulations must be designed so that it is easy to do the right thing.
7. Animal rights
It’s about the animals’ needs and not ours
Regulations must be adapted to the needs of animals and not humans. As a result of human needs, rabbits must be kept in small cages their whole lives, while dogs can only be locked in cages in the car. A cow may be tied up in the same place for eight to ten months straight, while a horse must be allowed to move freely in its natural gaits every day. There is no animal welfare research to support these differences, it is supported by the fact that humans are closer to horses and dogs and therefore have a vested interest in them being treated better than rabbits and cows.
Therefore, we want to:
§40 Lists of contents on animal feed shall have the same accuracy requirements as for food products intended for humans;
§41 Stealing and/or killing a companion animal is classified as animal cruelty and crime against person;
§42 Bringing pets to shelters is allowed;
§43 Antibiotics must not be used on healthy animals;
§44 Adapt regulations to the needs of animals and not humans;
§45 Develop policies underpinned by the best available science and supported by commitments at both regional and national levels to enforce compliance;
§46 All policies and regulations must be designed so that it is easy to do the right thing.
8. The fishing industry
Fishing plays a crucial role in the domestic food supply. Yet many fish populations are not managed according to scientific advice and best practice, a reality that is taking a toll on many important marine species. We must manage our fish stocks sustainably, and ensure the well-being of the habitats and ecosystems on which they depend.
Research initiatives have found ways to improve the quality and accuracy of fisheries data worldwide. Reliable catch data is critical to implementing effective fisheries management and helps us identify trends in catch and changes in our fisheries. The information can then be used to detect overfishing, protect small-scale fisheries and focus resources on improving data collection.
Therefore, we want to:
§47 Improving data collection for more efficient management;
§48 Policies must be underpinned by the best available science and supported by commitments at both regional and national levels to enforce compliance;
§49 All policies and regulations must be designed so that it is easy to do the right thing.