Government’s climate policy: carbon-neutral Finland by 2035
According to Sanna Marin’s Government Programme in 2019 Finland will be carbon-neutral by 2035, and the world’s first fossil-free welfare society. This requires faster emissions reductions in all sectors and strengthening our carbon sinks.
Climate change, loss of biodiversity and overconsumption are different aspects of the same sustainability crisis, which is why the Government has adopted a comprehensive approach to their root causes. The means to achieve the target include new decisions on climate policy and nearly emissions-free electricity and heat production by the end of 2030s, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of building, promoting a circular economy, and a climate-friendly food policy. In taxation, the focus will shift even more to taxes on environmentally harmful activities. The decline in biodiversity will be halted by reforming the nature conservation legislation, increasing the funding for the protection of biodiversity and promoting a sustainable use of natural resources.
The work on this is led and guided by the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy, chaired by Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen. Work on the Government’s policy will be done in an open and transparent manner, including public consultations to hear the citizens’ views. Emissions reductions will be implemented in a way that is fair and just, both socially and regionally.
- Reform of the Climate Change Act
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment: Energy and climate strategy
- Medium-term climate plan
- Climate programme for the land use sector
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment: Low-carbon roadmaps for specific sectors
- Roadmap to fossil-free transport (in Finnish)
- Roadmap to low-carbon building (in Finnish)
- Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry: Climate-friendly food production and consumption
- Habitats protection, restoration and management programme ‘Helmi’
- Roadmap to sustainable taxation (in Finnish)
- Reform of energy taxation (in Finnish)
- Reform of taxes and payments in sustainable transport (in Finnish)
- Round table on climate policy
- Programme to promote a circular economy
- Reform of the land use and building act (in Finnish)
- Wood building programme
Ministerial working group
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
Minister of Transport and Communications
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade
Minister of Economic Affairs
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
Minister of Education
Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality
Senior Environmental Adviser, Ministry of the Environment
Riikka Yliluoma, Special Adviser to the Minister
Ministry of the Environment, Ympäristö- ja ilmastoministerin esikunta Telephone:0295250091
Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy discussed support from EU recovery package for transition towards carbon neutral Finland
On Wednesday, the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy discussed how the EU’s new recovery instrument could support a transition towards a carbon neutral Finland.
In July, the Member States of the European Union reached agreement on the EU’s multiannual financial framework and its climate element. At least 30 per cent of the financial framework and the recovery instrument must support climate goals, and all funding must support the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
“The EU’s recovery instrument is a unique opportunity to accelerate the transition towards carbon-neutral mobility, heating and industry. It is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss,” says Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen.
Ministerial group approved national targets for public wood construction
The ministerial working group approved the national targets for public wood construction to be published on 8 September. There will be quantitative targets for all public new construction and for types of public buildings, such as buildings used in education, teaching and healthcare. Since this spring, the Government Wood Building Programme, coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment, has worked together with stakeholders to formulate its targets. One of the Government Programme aims is to double the use of wood in construction during this government term.
Focus of renewable energy subsidies shifted to projects on new energy technology
The ministerial group received an overview of the economic instruments for renewable energy and of the energy aids granted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Energy aid can be granted to investment projects or investigation projects that promote the production or use of renewable energy, boost energy savings, increase the efficiency of energy generation or use, or otherwise facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon energy system. Since 2019, a separate appropriation of EUR 40 million has been reserved for investment aid for new energy technology and large-scale demonstration projects. Projects eligible for aid include biorefinery projects, projects that seek substitutes for coal and other fossil fuels in urban areas and other large-scale demonstration projects on new energy technology. Legislation that entered into force last year prescribes that Finland will phase out the use of coal for energy by 1 May 2029. A total of EUR 90 million has been reserved for the aid programme for energy companies who transition away from coal already by 2025. Priority will be given to projects that use non-combustion technologies.
Ministers received an update on the European Commission’s Hydrogen Strategy and Energy System Integration Strategy. The strategies will enable the introduction of low-carbon solutions across all sectors of the economy. In July, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment appointed a working group to examine possibilities to promote energy sector integration in Finland. The working group will explore the need for different forms of energy and the opportunities they offer for sector integration, and identify any obstacles to integration. It will also assess the possibilities of promoting the hydrogen economy and Power-to-X solutions.
Lastly, ministers were briefed on the outcomes of the second meeting of the Climate Policy Roundtable. The meeting agenda included the current state of emission reductions and the reform of energy taxation. The roundtable talked about low-carbon roadmaps in industry, utilisation of the EU’s recovery support, and links between the reduction of emissions and other issues in society. The tax reform for sustainable development was also considered important from the perspective of a just transition. The purpose of the roundtable is to create a common understanding of how Finland can make a just transition to a carbon neutral society even faster than envisaged so far. Different actors in society are broadly represented in the roundtable, from advocacy groups to NGOs and labour unions and youth organisations to the scientific community.
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.
- Government’s climate policy: carbon-neutral Finland by 2035
- Climate Policy Roundtable
- Wood Building Programme
Riikka Yliluoma, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, tel. +358 50 414 1682, [email protected]