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Evaluation: Work on adaptation to climate change must be strengthened especially at the regional and municipal level

Government Communications DepartmentGovernment analysis, assessment and research activitiesMinistry of Agriculture and ForestryMinistry of the Environment
Publication date 26.8.2022 8.26
Press release 502/2022
Photo: Pasi Markkanen

Finland has made significant progress on climate change adaptation in recent years, which is reflected in the legislation and strategies of different administrative branches. These strategic objectives should now be implemented more widely by increasing concrete measures both in individual sectors and at the regional and municipal levels. This is according to a new overall evaluation of progress on national climate change adaptation policy published on 26 August.

In order to accelerate concrete adaptation work, it would be important to strengthen competence in organisations and increase the amount of permanent resources for adaptation work in the public sector. Easily accessible information tailored for different target groups would also play an important role in ramping up adaptation work.

Cross-border impacts of climate change must be better taken into account

According to the evaluation, adaptation measures should be examined both within individual sectors and from a cross-sectoral perspective.

“The risks associated with the impacts of climate change and preparing for them must also be an integral part of broader assessments of risks to society and projections of development paths. At the same time, we should make sure we are strengthening our adaptive capacity,” says Professor Mikael Hildén from the Finnish Environment Institute, who led the evaluation project.

Adaptation measures should better take into account the cross-border impacts of climate change, meaning how changes in temperatures, rainfall or wind patterns elsewhere ultimately affect Finland through international chains of events. To improve our ability to manage these cross-border impacts, it would be important to strengthen the capacity to handle adaptation issues in areas such as trade, finance, development cooperation and security policy.

Climate change will also bring about significant changes to the operating environment in the private sector. While these changes may lead to increased risks, they may also open up new business opportunities. Cooperation between the private and public sectors in developing adaptation measures may offer new opportunities for everyone involved.

The evaluation report also offers concrete recommendations for strengthening adaptation work:

  • More systematic adaptation planning should be carried out at the regional and municipal levels.
  • Coordination of adaptation measures at the regional level should be clarified.
  • Adequate compensation mechanisms should be put in place to cover the drastic impacts of potential extreme weather events.
  • Development cooperation funds should be allocated to strengthening adaptation measures in developing countries.
  • Information and tools should be provided to support adaptation work in municipalities and different sectors.
  • An advisory service should be established to support the formulation and implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures in municipalities.
  • Earmarked funding for adaptation work should be allocated through various funding programmes.
  • Adaptation content should be included in vocational and higher education degree programmes in key fields and in continuing education programmes.

The results of the evaluation will be used especially in drawing up the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan (KISS2030), which is currently under preparation.

“The rapid progress of climate change challenges us to find better ways to prepare for and adapt to its wide-ranging effects. The newly published evaluation gives us with a good foundation for responding to this challenge over the next few years,” says Kirsi Mäkinen from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, who is responsible for preparing the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

The evaluation was conducted as part of the implementation of the 2021 Government plan for analysis, assessment and research. The project was led by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), with researchers and experts from the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the National Resources Institute Finland (LUKE), the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and Tyrsky Consulting Ltd. The project organised several workshops for different groups and carried out a survey for municipalities together with the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities.

Inquiries: Mikael Hildén, Professor, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, tel. +358 295 251 173, [email protected]; Jaana Halonen, Research Programme Director, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), tel. +358 29524 6100, [email protected]; Kati Berninger, Research Director, Tyrsky Consulting Ltd, tel. +358 40879 8713, [email protected]; Kirsi Mäkinen, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 295 1621 04, [email protected]

The Government’s joint analysis, assessment and research activities (VN TEAS) produce data used to support decision-making, everyday operations and knowledge-based management. They are guided by the Government’s annual plan for analysis, assessment and research. The content of the reports published in the publication series of the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities is the responsibility of the producers of the data in question and does not necessarily represent the view of the Government. For more information, visit