Experts: Finland’s emissions are falling rapidly, measures to strengthen the carbon sink

Experts: Finland’s emissions are falling rapidly, measures to strengthen the carbon sink

“The future looks promising. The green transition will strengthen Finland’s competitiveness, raise labor productivity and promote attracting investments to Finland. viewed Markku Ollikainenchairman of the climate change panel.

“Using the full innovation potential requires effective public guidance.”

The climate change panel published on Thursday report outlines measures to enhance climate action in Finland. An independent expert panel tasked with advancing science-policy dialogue on climate-related issues is calling for the adoption of a hydrogen strategy to accelerate hydrogen-related innovation and the goal of eliminating emissions through carbon capture, use and storage. .

According to it, the transition should be accelerated if necessary by limiting the burning of wood-based biomass by imposing a carbon tax on wood burning plants of at least 20 megawatts.

Removing all tax exemptions for peat, on the other hand, would help stop the use of peat for energy by 2030.

The panel also expressed support for geothermal heat, industrial heat pumps, small modular nuclear reactors, demand-response mechanisms for electricity, and a national trading system for transportation emissions.

Some of the proposals that directly affect the public extend the system to encourage households to switch away from oil heating, encourage a shift to a plant-based diet and introduce carbon footprint labeling on food packaging.

Finland’s Climate Act sets the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. According to the Climate Change Panel, the European Union’s binding goals in the areas of division of labor and land use by 2030 are key milestones towards carbon neutrality.

“If Finland fulfills its EU obligations by 2030, the carbon-neutral goal will also be easier to achieve,” Ollikainen said.

Although emissions from fossil fuels and industrial processes appear to be falling faster than anticipated, the country needs to make a genuine effort to cut emissions from sharing efforts to target levels.

“The national transport emissions trading system, reducing emissions from energy production and consumption, and reducing methane emissions from agriculture offer the greatest potential for further reductions in the work-sharing sector,” said Jyri Seppäläprofessor from the Finnish Environmental Center (Syke).

Increasing the net carbon sink of the land use sector to the level required by the bloc of 27 countries – an estimated -17.8 to -11.7 megatons of carbon dioxide is the biggest challenge of the national climate policy, and the current measures fall short of the target. Finland’s land use sector, the cornerstone of national climate policy, became a source of emissions for the first time in history in 2021 as a result of intensive logging and slowing forest growth.

Failure to meet the target would force the country to either purchase carbon removal units from other member countries or implement additional emission reductions in the effort-sharing sector.

“Due to the seriousness of the situation, Finland must draw up a rescue program for the net sink of land use in cooperation with all stakeholders in the sector,” said. Kristina LångResearch professor at the Natural Resources Institute (Luke).

“The network sink can be strengthened with many different measures by reducing soil emissions, minimizing the loss of forests and accelerating the growth of forests.”

The climate change panel believes that carbon sink and biodiversity goals can be reconciled with the goals of the forest industry. In practice, business activities should be limited to a smaller area while more forest areas are brought under strict protection, Ollikainen crystallized for YLE.

Emissions from the land use sector can be reduced, among other things, with carbon sinks grown by reforestation of marshes and abandoned mineral soils and shallow peat fields. In turn, deforestation can be reduced by requiring a permit to convert peatlands into agricultural land and charging a land use change fee for the clearing of forest areas.

The climate change panel emphasized that the central government must be ready to resort to measures that control the supply or demand of wood, if necessary.

“Cutting could be curbed by clarifying the Forestry Act, so that the trees are old and thicker when felled, and by clarifying the thinning guidelines to ensure that no large initial thinnings take place,” Ollikainen told YLE.

Forest owners, on the other hand, should receive support for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide, so that the turnover period of the forest increases and the total area covered by forests increases.

“A tax or an emissions trading system could be applied to fellings made by the forest industry, making it more expensive to acquire a cubic meter of wood,” he suggested.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page

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