While I am concerned by Sweden’s increased reliance on the automobile and big-box suburban development, Sweden is clearly a front-runner in terms of reducing carbon emissions and citizens concerned about environmental issues (e.g., carbon labeling for food, Europe’s first green capital).   I am currently in Växjö, Sweden, which proclaims itself as “The Greenest City in Europe”, largely based on it’s desire to be fossil fuel free by 2050 (a decision made way back in the 1990s).  For more info see here, and here.  So what I’m now thinking about is eco-labeling beyond food and consumer goods….what are the benefits (tourism, prestige?) that a small Swedish town gets in having such a label?  Maybe an environmental law professor looking for a place to do his sabbatical next spring?   I’m also noticing the striking similarities between the geography and demographics of Scandinavia and Vermont, and thinking how some Swedish-style additions to Vermont (e.g., universal health care, free pre-school, high-speed rail from Burlington/Montpelier to Montreal, NYC and Boston like Växjö has to Stockholm and Copenhagen) would make for an even better place.

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