“Threshold Questions [for coalition co-operation] will naturally be resolved in the negotiation phase, he answered the question whether the opposition party could join the government coalition committed to the current goal.
He also expressed opposition to the idea of taking action to meet the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework’s goal of protecting 30 percent of the country’s land and sea areas. According to him, the target should depend on what kind of areas are protected.
The other participants were Sanna Marin of social democrats, Petteri Orpo the National Assembly, Annika Saarikko from the center, Maria Ohisalo green, Lee Andersson member of the leftist union, Sari Essayah of the Christian Democrats and Anders Adlercreutz Member of the Swedish People’s Party.
Orpo repeated on Wednesday that the coalition is not part of the government coalition that postpones the goal of carbon neutrality.
In his opinion, Finland should continue logging at the current pace – Purra, Saarikko and Essayah agreed with this view – but the felling of the state’s forests will be reconsidered. “I think it should be explored on state lands and in state forests, what’s left of them should be protected,” Orpo said.
Andersson, Marin and Ohisalo expressed oppositely their willingness to reduce logging.
The issue has been discussed in public since last year, when it was revealed that intensified logging has contributed to the collapse of carbon sinks in Finland, the bedrock of the national climate strategy. The next election period is critical if the country’s goal is to promote the ability of forests to sequester carbon dioxide and stop the decline of biodiversity while maintaining the economic benefits of forestry.
The eight parties also disagreed about the profit targets of Metsähallitus, the state company that owns about a third of Finland’s forests. Andersson, Marin, Ohisalo and Orpo announced that they are ready to continue lowering the profit target.
Only Essayah and Purra rejected the Climate Change Panel’s proposal to introduce a land use change levy – for landowners who clear forests for agriculture or construction.
All eight chairmen estimate that the fight against the climate crisis is ultimately also financially profitable.
They were also almost unanimous on the idea of building nuclear power capacity in Finland. Marin was the only one who did not express support for the granting of permits for new nuclear power projects, stressing that projects should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
“I’m not ready to give blanket permission to any kind of project,” he explained.
The discussion event was organized by WWF, Finnish Confederation of Business and Industry EK and Sitra. Its content was produced and moderated by Helsingin Sanomat.
Parliamentary elections will be held on April 2.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page