The Ministry announced a plan to stop peat burning in Finland

The Ministry announced a plan to stop peat burning in Finland

A panel set up by the Ministry of Economy and Labor has proposed a plan to end the use of peat as an energy source.

The panel submitted a report to the Minister of Economy Mika Lintilä (Cen) on Wednesday.

According to the government’s program, the energy use of peat must be at least halved by 2030 due to its high greenhouse gas emissions. Next, the government will consider the proposals.

The working group requested a one-off exemption package for companies in the sector.

It also recommended partial state compensation for unsold stock to peat producers, the purchase of privately owned or leased peat production areas by the state forest company Metsähallitus, and the establishment of a panel to set compensation levels for the destruction of peat production equipment, among other things.

1,700 jobs at stake

Adaptation allowances should also be paid to entrepreneurs who cease peat production, and the options for early retirement of older entrepreneurs should also be clarified, the committee said.

In December, the Finnish Bioenergy Association estimated that about 1,700 people worked directly in the production and transport of peat, mainly in northern Finland.

The working group also suggested supporting the transfer of peat companies to new companies, which could be partly funded through the EU’s Fair Transition Mechanism (JTM).

JTM, which is part of the European Green Agreement, "The aim is to reduce the social and economic costs of the transition to a climate-neutral economy", According to a statement by the European Commission. It has a budget of € 17.5 billion.

Dirty like coal

As part of the government’s emissions reduction program, the use of peat for energy must be reduced by at least half by 2030. Burning peat from electricity produces more carbon dioxide than coal.

The center cabinet of the left has promised that Finland will achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

It has predicted that the use of peat as an energy source will end in the 2030s due to the higher cost of allowances, although "it is still used to ensure security of supply".

The government has promised to review peat taxation as part of a general energy tax reform.

Instead of burning peat, the government is working to increase its use in "innovative, high value-added products" in a way that is "in a fair way at regional and social level".

According to Statistics Finland, the use of peat as an energy source fell by nine per cent in 2019 to only four per cent of total energy consumption.

In the first three quarters of last year, it fell another 25 percent to 3 percent of total energy consumption. At the same time, Finland’s use of renewable energy rose to the EU’s second highest level after Sweden last year.

Source: The Nordic Page

Related Posts: