Göteborgs Stad (City of Gothenburg) is a port city with a strategic location between Oslo and Copenhagen. It has a population of around 548 000 and is Sweden´s second largest city. It was classed by Forbes as the world´s 12th most inventive city in 2013. The Gothenburg region, which spans 13 municipalities in Greater Gothenburg, has a population of 1,1 million. The Gothenburg region is right at the epicentre of Scandinavia and the Baltic States, and the gateway to a market of 190 million people. 70 % of Scandinavia´s total industrial capacity is located within a 500-km radius of the Gothenburg region and 30% of Swedish foreign trade passes through the Port of Gothenburg. Traditionally an industrial city, Gothenburg lost its shipyards in the 1970 and thus became largely dependent on the local automotive industry as a large scale employer. The city now faces the challenge of replacing the waning industrial employment with new jobs in services, new high-tech enterprises and qualified jobs in the knowledge sector.
Gothenburg has drawn up ambitious strategies for city development that aim to make it one of the most progressive cities in the world concerning climate impact, energy efficiency, mobility/logistics and social inclusion. The aim is that by 2050 the city will have a sustainable and ambitiously reduced level of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions: the average level of CO2 equivalent emission per person in Gothenburg will have to be reduced to less than 2t per person for the goal to be reached. The city has adopted an interim target which states that by 2020 emission levels of CO2 will be reduced by at least 40 % compared to the levels in 1990. Gothenburg has signed the EU Covenant of Mayors and has committed to go beyond the objectives of EU energy policy.
To foster international cooperation and innovation, the City of Gothenburg participates in many European networks and programmes; EUROCITIES, Climate-KIC (Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership for climate change), the EIP Smart Cities and Communities, ERRIN, POLIS, LUCI and the European EIT Climate-KIC network. The City of Gothenburg within all administrations and companies, are member of totally 51 organizations. Six of the memberships are directly linked to the municipal government: EUROCITIES, Göteborg-Oslo cooperation, the Scandinavian arena, Cities for Children, ICLEI and the Mayors for Peace.
In recent years, substantial effort has been put in to establish strategies for the development of the city in the years to come, including strategies towards 2035. These are four guiding documents: 1. Vision Älvstaden, 2. Traffic Strategy for a Close City 3. Green Strategy for a Dense, Green City and 4. Strategy for Gothenburg 2035 Expansion Planning – jointly indicate the direction Gothenburg will develop in over the next 20 years. Gothenburg will go from being a large town, to a green and close city, where nothing is far away.
The Climate programme for Gothenburg (2014-19) includes objectives and strategies that will help the city to realise the ambition of achieving an equitable and sustainable level of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Climate Programme concerns the long-term climate work of Gothenburg, which includes the municipal organisation as well as the commercial and industrial sector and all people living in Gothenburg. The programme primarily addresses politicians and employees in the City of Gothenburg, but will also function as guidance for local businesses and citizens.
The Climate Strategy states that Gothenburg will phase out fossil fuels in district heating production, and that the city will investigate new climate-neutral solutions such as waste heat and heat storage. The targets are ambitious – by 2030 all district heating will be produced by renewable energy sources and waste heat from industry and waste incineration. Also, by 2030, Gothenburg will produce at least 500GWh renewable power and 1200GWh biogas.
In addition, through the Environmental and Climate Committee, and with the support of the Swedish Energy Board, the City of Gothenburg has produced an Energy Efficiency Strategy, which has been adopted by the City Council and which will remain in force through to 2020. There is also a Green Construction Programme, which includes energy efficiency.
Gothenburg also considers being a signatory city to the Green Digital charter. The Green Digital Charter is a declaration committing cities to working together to deliver on the EU climate objectives through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). It therefore promotes progress in tackling climate change through the innovative use of digital technologies in cities.