As national coordinator for Fossil Free Sweden, Svante Axelsson leads the way for Sweden to become the first fossil-free welfare nation in the world. He joined us during Expo 2020 to discuss, among other things, the importance of the HYBRIT intiative on this journey.
It was a national coordinator positively beaming with pride and joy that spoke to us after taking part in our Deep talk session Fossil-free steel and beyond – enabling a carbon-free world economy.
One of the most important contributions of HYBRIT, according to Svante Axelsson, is changing the narrative: about the role of northern Sweden, about the mining industry and about how the green transition will impact everyday lives. We are starting something here in the north, that may spread all over the rest of Sweden and the world.
”We are changing the debate in Sweden – now the growth is happening in the north”, he says: ”[HYBRIT] is a starting point in Sweden, in changing mindsets. Because of this, we understand that fossil-free could be good for Sweden, for export and jobs. And that, perhaps, is the most important thing. If we change the mindset we can get an acceptance to speed up the tempo in changing the whole society.”
Another change in narrative has been in going from a situation where the demand for fossil-free steel was called into question, to a situation where the question is if the supply can meet a rapidly increasing demand from customers:
”The technology is there, we can see that, economy-wise, it’s beneficial to be at the forefront. But we also need an acceptance for mines and more electricity, and so on. I think people in the street need to understand that this is possible, it will be good for us, but we need to make a lot of tough decisions very quickly”.
There’s a lot more from Svante in the interview above, and if you want to hear more about the journey towards fossil-free steelmaking, the whole Deep talk session is available here.