Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy discussed progress in climate work and ways to strengthen carbon sinks
On Friday 30 September, the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy discussed the latest Annual Climate Report to be published at the end of October and studies and further actions to strengthen carbon sinks.
At its meeting, the Ministerial Working Group examined the Government’s Annual Climate Report, which is to be submitted to Parliament at the end of October. The Annual Climate Report presents an update of the progress made in climate work and how well the targets are being met.
According to the proxy estimate of Statistics Finland, in 2021 the land use sector was for the first time a source of emissions instead of serving as a carbon sink. The emission reductions towards Finland’s carbon neutrality target for 2035 have been designed so that the Finnish forests and land use sectors should sequester 21 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2035.
The measures included in the Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector, approved by the Government in July, aim at a carbon sink effect corresponding to three million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. In this context, decisions were also made on additional measures and studies to supplement the Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector and to address the trend in carbon sinks. The Ministerial Working Group received an update on the progress made in these.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has commissioned the Natural Resources Institute Finland to study the reasons behind the decrease in the sinks and what it means from the perspective of the EU obligations for the LULUCF sector. The study is to be completed by the end of November, and the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy will use it to consider the additional measures that will be needed. An assessment of the Forest Act will be carried out by the end of March 2023 to also determine how the measures under the Forest Act can promote the growth of carbon sinks in the short and long term.
The process to prepare a new National Forest Strategy extending to 2035 is also under way, and among the objectives to be set are to maintain and increase the carbon sink and to promote climate targets. The proposal for the Forest Strategy will soon be sent out for comments.
The government proposal for the new incentive scheme for forestry was submitted to Parliament on 19 September. More than EUR 10 million in additional funding is proposed for nature management measures that promote carbon sequestration. A charge for changing land use is being prepared that aims to minimise deforestation.
The Ministerial Working Group also heard a summary of the meeting of the Climate Policy Roundtable, where the main focus was on the energy crisis and green transition. The Roundtable discussions stressed that measures taken in the short term may not override the long-term climate actions to promote the green transition.
Special Adviser to Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
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