Finland aims to be carbon neutral by 2045.
Finland’s long-term objective is to be a carbon-neutral society. Finland aims to reduce emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050 from the 1990 levels. Achieving carbon neutrality will also require maintaining and strengthening carbon sinks.
Finland aims at reducing emissions in a sustainable manner. Deployment of innovations and new technologies provides opportunities for the economy while reducing emissions.
Finland is increasing the use of renewable energy sources and capitalise on the potential of increasing energy efficiency and developing cleantech solutions in all areas of industry. Finland is also working hard to ensure adequate energy self-sufficiency and security of supply. Moreover, the Finnish state and its municipalities are comprehensively commit to reducing carbon emissions in all activities. Finland is a forerunner in circular economy.
Finland’s story so far
Finland is committed to EU wide emission reduction targets (at least 40 % emission reduction compared to 1990 level by 2030 ).
The Energy and Climate Roadmap 2050 states that Finland aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 % from the 1990 level by 2050. Finland is currently reviewing this target during the preparation of its long-term strategy.
The National Climate Change Act sets out a GHG emission reduction target of at least 80 per cent by 2050 and establishes a planning and monitoring system for climate change policy to ensure reaching this target. The Act also enhances and coordinates the activities of state authorities in planning measures that are aimed at mitigation of climate change and adaptation to it. Furthermore, the Act strengthens the opportunities of Parliament and the public to participate in and affect the planning of climate change policy in Finland.
The Climate Change Act requires that the Government approve a medium-term climate change policy plan once per electoral/legislative term. The medium-term plans apply to the non-emissions trading sectors, i.e. transport, agriculture, building specific heating, waste management and F-gas emissions. The first Medium-term Climate Change Policy Plan was approved by the current government in 2017. Together with the Energy and Climate Strategy completed at the end of 2016, the plan implements the climate and energy policy objectives set in the Government Program. The plan also states that Finland aims to be carbon neutral by 2045.
Finland’s action from 2018
Finland supports climate action in developing countries, including promotion of renewable energy, carbon pricing and meteorological knowhow, as well as gender mainstreaming. Climate sustainability is a cross-cutting objective for all Finnish development cooperation initiatives, and an integral component of development cooperation activities under our priority area on food security, access to water and energy and sustainable management of natural resources. Finland provides support through bilateral, regional and multilateral channels, including the Green Climate Fund and Global Environment Facility. The climate perspective is also taken into account in the Finnish development finance company Finnfund’s financing. 114 million Euros of Finnish development policy investments are channeled into the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program, an innovative climate investment partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which uses Finland’s financing to leverage private sector financing for climate change solutions, especially in low-income countries. By de-risking climate investment deals, Finland’s financing enables market creation in the most challenging developing country contexts and catalyzes innovative climate projects that would not otherwise happen.
Finland has made a decision to prohibit the use of coal for energy by 2029 and to halve domestic use of mineral oil (petrol, diesel oil, light and heavy fuel oil, aviation fuels) from 2005 levels by 2030. Finland’s national renewable energy target for 2030 is 50% of the final energy consumption. This proportion is also Finland’s national input to the European Union’s binding target of 32% of renewable energy.
In May 2018, Parliament approved the act on the amendment of the act on production subsidies for electricity from renewable energy sources, which laid down provisions on the new premium system. The premium system is based on a competitive tendering process, and investments in different renewable energy sources compete with each other so that the cost-effectiveness target will be taken into account.
The National Energy and Climate Strategy and the Medium-term Climate Policy Plan have set the objective to increase the proportion of biofuels to 30% of fuels used in road transport and introduced a biofuel blending obligation for light fuel oil used for heating and machinery. The blending obligation of bioliquids in light fuel oil will be 10% in 2030.
The general EU-wide energy saving target for 2030 is a non-binding target of at least 32.5%. The energy savings in line with the Member States’ energy saving obligation are 0.8%/year of the final energy consumption.
The National Energy and Climate Strategy sets a national target of 55% for energy self-sufficiency. The target has been set according to the national rules for calculation and does not include electricity produced with nuclear power in Finland.
Farming in Finland is possible because of the warming effect of the Gulf Stream, which makes temperatures higher than would otherwise be expected at these latitudes. Finnish agriculture is based on family farms. Structural changes in agriculture have decreased the number of active farms and increased the average farm size. Cultivated area has however remained at almost the same level since 1990.
Most of the climate measures within the agricultural sector fall under the sphere of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, including the Rural Development Programme. Approximately 86 % of Finnish farms (90 % of arable fields) are committed to environmental compensation measures, which are part of the programme. Finland aims for a holistic approach to ecological challenges where goal is comprehensive sustainability of food production and consumption.
About 76% of the land area of Finland is forests. About 61% of forests are owned by private people and 25% by the state.
The reported sink of managed forest land has varied between -19.3 and -51.52 Mt CO2 equivalent between 1990 and 2016. This is 30 to 60% of total annual emissions in Finland. In 2016, managed forest lands were a sink sized -34.1 Mt CO2 equivalents. According to the estimation of the Natural Resources Institute Finland, forests will continue to act as a sink in Finland also in future. With the exception of 2009, wood products have in Finland mainly been a sink over the period 1990-2016. In 2016, wood products were a reported net sink sized -3.6 Mt CO2 equivalent. Wood products are estimated to remain sinks during the period 2021-2030.
The National Forest Strategy 2025 contains the key outlines of Finnish forest policy. The Strategy aims at a competitive operating environment for forest-based business, a renewal and diversification of the forest sector and its structures, and active and economically, ecologically and socially sustainable and diverse use of forests. The Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy drawn up under the leadership of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment aims at new economic growth and new jobs through the sustainable use of renewable natural resources. The National Forest Strategy 2025 implements the bioeconomy strategy in forests.
In transport sector, the aim is to increase the proportion of transport biofuels in all transport fuels consumed in Finland to 30% by 2030 and increase the number of electricity-powered cars in Finland to at least 250,000 and the number of gas-powered cars to 50,000 by 2030. There are subsidies in order to stimulate the renewal of the vehicle fleet, such as for purchase of electric cars and conversion to use gas or ethanol
Commuting and other short-distance transportation make up a big percentage of the GHG emissions in transport sector. The Finnish Government aims to reduce them by stimulating shift to walking and cycling and financing the development of better public transport services in the biggest cities in Finland.
Finland’s key policies and actions
Climate Change Act
Government Report on Medium-term Climate Change Policy Plan for 2030: Towards Climate-Smart Day-to-Day Living
Government report on the National Energy and Climate Strategy for 2030
Energy and Climate Roadmap 2050: Report of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Climate Issues
Climate Programme for Finnish Agriculture – Steps towards Climate Friendly Food
Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases