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Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy discussed the reform of the Climate Change Act and procurement of low-emission vehicles

Ministry of the Environment 23.9.2020 17.43 | Published in English on 24.9.2020 at 12.00
Press release

On Wednesday 23 September, the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy discussed the reform of the Climate Change Act and preparation of legislation on the public procurement of low-emission vehicles.

According to the Government Programme, the Climate Change Act will be amended in such a way that the carbon-neutrality target to 2035 will be achieved. In particular, the Ministerial Working Group discussed how the climate policy planning system under the Climate Change Act should be reformed. The present planning system is composed of three elements: the medium-term plan concerning sectors not covered by the emissions trading scheme, the long-term plan to reduce all emissions, and the plan on climate change adaptation. The emissions trading sector is not covered by the planning system of the present Climate Change Act. The ministers pointed out that the planning system needs to be clarified. 

“The climate neutrality target has wide support in Finland. It is important that we plan our climate actions in such a way that the whole package is understandable for the people and it is easy to follow the progress towards the carbon neutrality target. The impacts of our policy must be monitored from the perspective of all emissions. This means that clear and unambiguous planning that covers all emissions and trends in carbon sinks is in a key position,” says Krista Mikkonen, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and chair of the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy.

The government proposal for the amended Climate Change Act is to be submitted to Parliament during 2021.

Boost to public procurement of zero- and low-emission vehicles

A working group of the Ministry of Transport and Communications is working on the implementation of the EU Directive concerning the public procurement of clean vehicles. The aim is to increase the percentage or zero- and low-emission vehicles in the public procurement of vehicles and transport services. 

The Ministerial Working Group stressed that swift reduction of emissions from transport is in a key position to achieve a carbon-neutral Finland, and the State should lead the way in this. Public procurement is an effective way to introduce new vehicle technology and reduce emissions from transport. The use of fossil fuels will be decreasing and there will be a growing demand for alternative fuels such as electricity, gas and biofuels when the legislation enters into force. The ministers also highlighted the need to take into account the different circumstances of municipalities and regions in implementing the Directive. The requirements set out in the Directive will be applicable from August 2021. The government proposal will be circulated for comment within the next few weeks.

The task of the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy is to guide and direct the implementation of the Government Programme with respect to promoting the carbon neutrality target, strengthening of carbon sinks and decision-making on climate and energy policy, while also taking into account social justice and international competitiveness.

Inquiries:

Riikka Yliluoma, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, tel. +358 50 414 1682, [email protected]