Architecture affects the wellbeing of people and nature in significant ways. Good architecture and design stand the test of time and can be converted into new use if necessary. These are key themes in Finland’s new architectural policy programme. The programme sets out objectives and measures for developing the sustainability of the built environment comprehensively between 2022 and 2035.
The EU ministers responsible for the environment and climate change issues will meet in Brussels on 20 December to discuss the EU’s climate package (Fit for 55 package), the Battery Regulation and the Soil Strategy. State Secretary Terhi Lehtonen will represent Finland at the meeting.
On 16 December, the Government submitted a report to Parliament on the development of housing policy. The report summarises the principles and objectives for housing policy and presents solutions to housing challenges for the years to come. The housing policy development programme aims to provide good and affordable housing for everybody. The key objective of the development programme, implemented in 2021–2028, is to promote a long-term perspective in housing policy.
On 16 December 2021, the Ministry of the Environment opened a call for applications by which companies, municipalities, associations and other actors may receive funding for projects that promote carbon reduction in the built environment. The amount of funding available totals EUR 1 million and the deadline for the applications is 11 February 2022.
The use of information created in zoning and building permit procedures is changing. The built environment information system to be introduced in 2024 will bring this information together in a nationally interoperable and machine readable form.
According the OECD’s review, the development of Finland’s environmental policy has been positive in recent years. The OECD considers the carbon neutrality target and targets related to promoting biodiversity and a circular economy as highly relevant. However, the current measures will not be enough to reach the targets that have been set and, according to the OECD, this will be a challenge for Finland in the coming decade.
At its meeting on Thursday 9 December, the Climate Policy Roundtable discussed low-carbon construction. Concrete measures to promote low-carbon construction that were identified include life cycle analysis of emissions from buildings, land use planning and community structure, and investments in research and development. The meeting was chaired by Terhi Lehtonen, State Secretary to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, and Sara Nyman, member of the Finnish National Youth Council Allianssi.
Milja Henttonen, Jarno Lappalainen and Erkki Perälä have been appointed as Special Advisers to the new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Emma Kari. Antti Heikkinen and Riikka Yliluoma will continue as Special Advisers to the Minister.
On Friday 19 November, the President of the Republic transferred and appointed Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen as Minister of the Interior and appointed Member of Parliament Emma Kari as the new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. The President of the Republic also released Maria Ohisalo from her duties as Minister of the Interior and her membership in the Government.