Human action warms up the climate, with severe consequences. The target set in the UN climate change negotiations is to keep the rise in global average temperature below two degrees, and even to limit it to below 1.5 degrees. Strong and fast emission reductions are needed to stay within these limits. Climate warming will continue despite the efforts to mitigate it, which means that adaptation is also needed.

In Finland, the Ministry of the Environment leads the climate negotiations under the UN Convention on Climate Change and negotiations within the European Union on climate matters. In Finland’s national climate policy, the Ministry is responsible for the overall coordination between the Government ministries and for legislative and policy preparation and reporting within its own sphere of activities. The Ministry of the Environment also serves as the secretariat of the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy.

The responsibilities of the Ministry of the Environment include land use and regional planning policy, construction, waste policy and promoting a circular economy, which are all closely linked to emission reductions and climate change adaptation. In addition, the Ministry’s mandate includes biodiversity – and loss of biodiversity is also interconnected with the progress of climate change.