DEBATE: Part 1 - A proposed Swedish chemical tax on textiles - is this a case study in great government leadership or political greenwash? | Sustainable Fashion Academy

Big Closets Small Planet with Michael Schragger

DEBATE: Part 1 - A proposed Swedish chemical tax on textiles - is this a case study in great government leadership or political greenwash?

Sweden has a reputation for being a sustainability leader in many areas, so you can imagine how curious we were to learn about a newish proposal from the current Swedish government for a chemical tax on textiles. The proposal was recently made available to stakeholders for comment, and of course, a robust debate has ensued. Is this proposal, as presented today, going to lead to a reduction in harmful chemicals in Sweden and globally? Or is it a smoke screen for a government that is looking for ways to raise revenues for its national budget? And is the proposal a done deal, given the political parties agreed to this ahead of time when forming a government?

October 28th, 2020 1 hour, 19 minutes 54 seconds
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About this episode

Sweden has a reputation for being a sustainability leader in many areas, so you can imagine how curious we were to learn about a newish proposal from the current Swedish government for a chemical tax on textiles. The proposal was recently made available to stakeholders for comment, and of course, a robust debate has ensued. Is this proposal, as presented today, going to lead to a reduction in harmful chemicals in Sweden and globally? Or is it a smoke screen for a government that is looking for ways to raise revenues for its national budget? And is the proposal a done deal, given the political parties agreed to this ahead of time when forming a government? In Part 1 of this episode, Michael speaks first with textile industry representatives to hear why they think the proposed tax is very problematic. You will hear from Jérôme Pero, Secretary General for the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry, Magnus Nikkarinen, Senior Policy Director in Sustainability at the Swedish Trade Federation, Mikael Larsson, researcher at the RISE Research Institute in Sweden, Eliina Brinkberg, Environmental Manager from Nudie Jeans Co. and Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Head of Sustainability at Lindex. In Part 2 you will hear from actors and experts who are more positive to the proposed chemical tax. Given we need bold and smart government leadership more than ever, we think this is an excellent case study for exploring what good government leadership can look like as well as which government actions can be problematic.

 

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About the host

Michael Schragger has been working at the intersection between sustainability, business, society and research for more than 25 years. He is an expert in analysing the impacts of environmental and social developments on business and society and mobilising stakeholders to achieve key sustainable development goals (SDGs). In 2009 Michael founded the Sustainable Fashion Academy (SFA) in order to dramatically improve environmental and human rights performance within the fashion and apparel industry. Michael participates as a senior advisor for a range of global sustainable apparel initiatives, ranging from finance to policy. He is a member of the steering group for The United Nation’s Climate Action in Fashion Charter. He also co-founded and directs The Swedish Textiles Initiative for Climate Action.

Michael currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Erika and kids Oz and Blimah (who, unfortunately, refuse to listen to his podcasts…).