The United Nations Ocean Conference was held in Lisbon from 27 June to 1 July 2022. At the Conference, states pledged to contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially that concerning life below water. Finland’s delegation was led by Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä. State Secretary Terhi Lehtonen and Permanent Secretary Juhani Damski attended the Conference as well.
The EU target of carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest was decided during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2019. On 29 June 2022, the EU Environment Council in Luxembourg reached general approaches on the key legislative proposals of the 55% emission reduction target by 2030, i.e. the Fit for 55 package, after long negotiations.
Finns are clearly much more worried about the state of nature on the global scale than about the state of Finnish nature. A barometer on the connection to nature was conducted to find out about our relationship with nature and with preserving biodiversity, and how the responsibilities should be divided between the different stakeholders.
The EU ministers for the environment and climate issues meet in Luxembourg on 28 June, where they will discuss the EU’s Fit for 55 Package. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Maria Ohisalo.
The annual meeting of the European Goose Management International Working Group under the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds AEWA will be held in Helsinki on 21–23 June 2022. AEWA and its Individual Species Working Groups (ISWG) are important for Finland in terms of the protection and sustainable exploitation of the migratory aquatic and shore birds found in Finland. The meeting will consider the most recent data on goose population trends and decide on possible further measures with respect to the populations within the mandate of the European Goose Management Platform.
The Ministry of the Environment requests comments on the act concerning the new Built Environment Information System. The act is part of the digital transformation of the built environment. The legislation is being reformed in such a way that the digitalisation of the sector can proceed. The change will have an impact on the information management of numerous stakeholders. Data created in building permit and zoning processes will be harmonised, machine-readable and readily accessible.
The project carried out by the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE ‘Indicators for sustainable urban development’ was a multi-stage participatory process to draw up a proposal for key indicators for sustainable urban development. The aim is to support cities, ministries and other stakeholders in monitoring sustainable urban development. The follow-up project to be started now will test the key indicators that have been identified in municipalities interested in this work.
The Climate Change Act lays the foundation for national work on climate change in Finland. The reformed Act sets emission reductions targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050. Now the target of a carbon-neutral Finland by 2035 has for the first time been laid down by law.
The Ministry of the Environment sent out the proposal supplementing the Climate Change Act for comments on 8 June. In future, the Act would oblige the municipalities to draw up climate plans either alone or together with other municipalities in the region. Provisions to clarify the procedure for requests for review would also be added to the Act. Comments are to be submitted by 3 August.