A welcome major investment in climate action


With its research bill Forskning, frihet, framtid – kunskap och innovation för Sverige, the government is enabling Formas to invest heavily in the national climate research programme. The bill clearly encourages research on biodiversity and ecosystems as part of the programme. At the same time, Formas has been tasked with launching a new research programme on oceans and water.

Further measures include long-term funding for the research programme on a competitive and sustainable food sector and a mandate for the national programme for sustainable spatial planning to invest in research on topics ranging from social housing policy to climate adaptation, rural development and regional planning.

“It’s very gratifying that Formas has been entrusted with increasing the efforts to develop and strengthen research on the major challenges facing Sweden and the world,” says Ingrid Petersson, Director General of Formas.

With the new injection of SEK 100 million, the national climate research programme will allocate nearly a quarter of a billion kronor each year to research that helps to solve climate change challenges. This will make Sweden and Formas one of the largest funders of knowledge advancement for the climate transformation in all of Europe.

“Addressing the climate crisis demands both innovative solutions and an improved knowledge base,” says John Tumpane, department head at Formas. “It involves everything from technology development to research on policy instruments, behavioural changes and consumption.”

A new research programme on oceans and water is in demand among the government agencies and organisations that work on everything from clean drinking water and the threat of overfishing to changing behaviours and practices for a better marine and water environment. It will now be possible to take a comprehensive approach to all challenges related to our seas and water.

A first initiative under the oceans and water programme will focus on innovation for coastal towns and communities. This is an area that has been highlighted in upcoming European research initiatives. As early as the beginning of next year, the climate programme will make new investments in Swedish forest research and its importance for climate change mitigation.

“In Sweden, the debate about forests is polarised,” Tumpane says. “This call for forest research promotes knowledge-building that can reveal different perspectives and thus create decision-making input at many different levels of society.”

Many government agencies and organisations collaborate on the various national research programmes. As part of this collaboration, Formas and the research council Forte are now planning a call that addresses the meaning of a green transition for the development of today’s labour market and working life.

Updated:8 January 2021