Towards a carbon-neutral Finland – Government approves medium-term climate change plan

– from both a climate and a security policy perspective. At the same time, we must ensure that the transition is fair. Effective and also fair climate work is the guiding principle through the now completed medium-term policy plan. The plan includes various financial subsidies for both households and municipalities to make the phasing out of fossil fuels as smooth as possible, ”says the Minister for the Environment and Climate. Emma Kari.

Measures to promote a fair transition include financial support for the phasing out of oil heating, support for the purchase and conversion of low-emission vehicles, and support for the construction of charging points for electric cars.

According to Statistics ’s preliminary data, Finland’s emissions in 2021 were approximately the same as in the previous year. In the longer term, emissions have decreased.

“The good news is that last year emissions fell in the distribution sector, such as transport, agriculture and the waste sector. The medium-term climate change policy plan includes measures to continue and keep these emissions reductions on the road to a carbon-neutral Finland,” says Minister Kari.

“Last week we received quite alarming news that the land use sector has changed from a carbon sink to a source of emissions for the first time, according to preliminary data for 2021. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is in the process of preparing a land use climate plan.

With the help of the measures in the medium-term climate change policy plan, it is possible for Finland to achieve the emission reduction target proposed by the by 2030 for the effort-sharing sector, ie agriculture, transport, individual heating of buildings and waste management. . The planned measures will reduce emissions by an estimated 5.7 megatonnes by 2030 compared to the current emission trend.

Emissions from transport, agriculture and heating decreased

Emissions from transport will be reduced in accordance with the roadmap for fossil-free transport. Support and incentives to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to electricity and biofuels, renew the vehicle fleet and improve the efficiency of the transport system. Achieving emission reductions in transport will be ensured by continuing to prepare a national emissions trading and distance-based transport model for the transport sector if other national measures combined with EU-level solutions are insufficient. The distribution obligation for renewable transport fuels will be raised from 30% previously decided to 34% by 2030 and measures will be taken under the program to increase biogas production.

Measures to reduce agricultural emissions will be supported and strengthened. These include reducing emissions from peatlands, increasing in mineral soils, precision farming, climate-friendly food choices and reducing methane production in dairy cows.

Emissions from heating for each building will be reduced, in particular by abandoning oil and gas heating and introducing low-carbon solutions. This change is supported by investment subsidies and the household allowance tax credit. The is also to tighten the distribution obligation for renewable heating fuels by 2030, which will effectively reduce emissions.

Focus on municipalities and public procurement

Climate work in municipalities will be strengthened. Legislation is being prepared that obliges municipalities to draw up climate plans, either individually or together. An amendment to the law on the obligations of municipalities is scheduled to be submitted to Parliament in the autumn of 2022.

Public procurement also has an important role to play in reducing emissions. According to the plan, a decision of the will be issued on domestic and low-carbon procurement. The resolution sets an emission reduction target for public procurement, the implementation of which will also be monitored. Almost 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions related to public procurement come from the procurements of municipalities and associations of municipalities and about 20% from the procurements of the state.

What happens next?

Parliament gives its opinion on the medium-term climate change plan. Implementation of the plan will begin immediately.

The preparation of the medium-term climate change plan has been coordinated with the preparation processes of the climate and energy strategy and the land use climate plan. Together, these three plans cover all of Finland’s emissions and measures to reduce them. The plan continues the work done within the framework of Finland’s first medium-term climate change plan approved in 2017.

Source: Ministry of the Environment

Source: The Nordic Page

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