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Can Climate Declarations Have an Impact on Greener Developments?

At the turn of the year, several new laws and regulations came into force. Some that will affect us in everyday life more than others, partly also depending on profession or interest. The new legal requirement to include a climate declaration in new construction is perhaps the biggest change in the construction industry at this turn of the year. In short, it can be said that it is primarily an accounting requirement, rather than a requirement in what the execution itself must consist of or what must not be done. The climate impact of the construction in question must be reported, a requirement for all new construction. The bigger question is will this have an impact on the environment around us?

At the start of the pandemic outbreak in March 2020, when everyone thought society would have restrictions for perhaps only a few weeks, the government submitted a bill to the Parliament of Sweden on supplementary rules for new construction. This time with the aim of making resource-intensive construction in Sweden greener. In the bill to the parliament, the Prime Minister at that time proposed:


“The government proposes that a new law on climate declaration for buildings be introduced, which means that the developer is responsible for drawing up and submitting a climate declaration to the responsible authority when a new building is constructed.”


Furthermore, it means that the final notice, something you must have before you can start using the finished building, cannot be given before the Housing Authority has received the climate declaration. The building board issues a final decision and the responsible authority for climate declarations is the Swedish Housing Agency.


The Housing Authority has the most recently updated guidelines for the climate declaration, and guidance to succeed in the right way. This is available in plain text, but also as online training.


The law does not primarily aim to initially reduce the climate impact of new construction. The purpose is to make visible, enable comparability and thereby also simplify in order to put demands or pressure in relation to the climate declaration in a second step. Similar action is now taking place in finance, where the EU taxonomy set up a system to rank, for example, investable shares in different ways, with climate impact as the focus. The system itself does not reduce the climate impact, but it makes it visible and simplifies in order to, for example, set the necessary requirements.


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