VäxjöSwedish town Växjö has managed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions caused by heating by 84 percent from 1993 to 2008. CO2 pollution per person, incl. total energy consumption and transport, has decreased in the same period by 35 percent, writes the latest issue of the magazine of the Nordic Centre for Spatial Development (Nordregio).

Växjö's efforts have brought the town awards and fame in recent years. For example, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recognised Växjö with the title of Greenest Town in Europe in 2007. This title gave Växjö its slogan – The Greenest Town in Europe.

These achievements have taken a lot of time and persistence. "We have to go back to the first oil crisis in the 1970s, when the prices of fossil fuels went sky-high. In Växjö, this resulted in a very important resolution: we decided to build combined thermal and power stations that use residue from forestry, such as the tops, branches and bark of trees, sawdust, etc.," explains Sarah Nilsson, Head of the Strategic Planning Department. "We decided to use this residue as a source of heat instead of just leaving it to rot."


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