Science supports climate policy

Climate science produces knowledge in support of policy preparation in various ways, both nationally and internationally.

Climate Change Panel serves as the Government’s advisory body on climate policy

Nationally, the Finnish Climate Change Panel has a particularly important role. The task of the Climate Change Panel has been defined in the Climate Change Act: it is an independent expert body that issues recommendations for the Government’s decision-making on climate policy and strengthens a multidisciplinary approach to climate science.

At the moment, the panel is composed of 15 scientists, each of them representing the best expertise in their respective sectors, including forest research, climate change adaptation, meteorology, climate impacts of consumption, health, and fairness of climate actions.

The panel gives statements to committees and opinions on plans under the Climate Change Act, participates in working groups and provides scientific advice in various ways. The panel also carries out projects of its own that produce various kinds of reports and policy briefs.

The members of the panel are employed in universities or research institutes and they participate in the panel’s work on a part-time basis. The members are appointed based on proposals from universities and research institutes for four years at a time. The panel has a secretariat to assist it in its work.

The term 2020 to 2023 is the second term of the Climate Change Panel that was appointed by the Government. The first term was from 2016 to 2019. Before the Climate Change Act was adopted the Climate Change Panel was appointed by the Ministry of the Environment, and its term was from 2012 to 2015.


Heta-Elena Heiskanen
General Secretary of the Climate Change Panel
Ministry of the Environment

IPCC supports international climate negotiations

In international contexts, the independent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC established in 1988 has a particularly important role.

The main task of IPCC is to produce scientific reports on climate change. These are drawn up in scientific working groups that compile and evaluate the available scientific information on climate change and its impacts. Comprehensive Assessment Reports are published at regular intervals. IPCC also produces Special Reports and Methodology Reports to have more information on a specific issue and to provide guidelines for the calculation of greenhouse gas inventories.

The first part of the 6th Assessment Report of IPCC was published in August 2021. It discusses the scientific background of climate change and compiles information on changes in the climate system. The second part of the report deals with the impacts of climate change and adaptation and the third with climate change mitigation. The second and third part will be published in spring 2022. The Synthesis Report to be published in autumn 2022 summarises the results of the three sub-reports. 

The IPCC has published Special Reports on e.g. the 1.5 degrees target (Global Warming of 1.5°C, October 2018), sea, ice and snow (Ocean and Cryosphere, September 2019) and land use (Climate Change and Land, August 2019).

The Ministry of the Environment has appointed a national IPCC working group to prepare Finland’s work related to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The working group serves as the national IPCC network. Its responsibilities include putting together Finland’s positions and views and presenting these to the IPCC reports, communicating on the results and steps of IPCC’s work and promoting the participation of Finnish experts in IPCC activities. The Finnish Meteorological Institute serves as the secretariat of the IPCC working group.