Although, according to the climate report, the country could barely achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2035, the task looks even more challenging given the recent reduction in carbon sinks due to high logging rates and slowing forest growth.
“In terms of emissions, we are progressing towards a carbon-neutral Finland in 2035. However, in terms of carbon sinks, the situation is more difficult”, said Minister of the Environment and Climate Maria Ohisalo (Green).
“We can already say that a rescue package for carbon sinks is needed.”
Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday reported that experts have criticized the report for not taking evidence of declining carbon sinks more seriously. Although the report acknowledges that the sinks are smaller than before, it does not propose measures to correct the situation and continues to count on the assumption that the land use sector acts as a significant carbon sink.
“This is going to set a bad precedent because I think the magnitude of the carbon sink problem is being avoided,” he told the newspaper. “If the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity were taken as seriously as other crises, big measures would already be in place.
His disappointment was repeated Markku OllikainenChairman of the Finnish climate panel.
“It’s a bad thing [of declining sinks] it is not discussed with the seriousness it requires,” he told Helsingin Sanom. “It’s mentioned, but its implications are not discussed. I can’t say what’s being thought there.”
He pointed out that the first warning about the reduction of carbon sinks was received last year and the warning was confirmed by the preliminary data published by Statistics Finland in May. According to the data, the land use sector became a source of emissions in Finland for the first time in 2021.
According to Ollikainen, carbon sinks have always been the Achilles heel of Finnish climate action.
“There really hasn’t been a land use policy in Finland. We have lived in the hope that it will continue to function as it has always functioned,” he snapped.
He listed a series of measures that the government should take to reduce emissions from the land use sector: emissions from bogs and former peatlands should be limited, bog farming should be increased and forest management practices of continuous cover in forested wetlands should be increased. eliminate the need for improvement.
Kosonen, on the other hand, called for reducing logging in state forests and encouraging forest owners to protect and manage forests in a climate-friendly manner.
Ollikainen also acknowledged the progress achieved in reducing emissions. Emissions decreased during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, but they have not returned to pre-pandemic levels despite the recovery of economic activity.
The annual climate report is prepared to provide legislators with the latest information on the emissions framework, the longer-term plan for climate policy and progress in achieving land use emission reduction targets.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page