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Finland pledges to be carbon neutral by 2035

10/06/2019
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Finland’s new left of centre coalition government has publicly pledged to make the country carbon neutral by 2035 as part of a swathe of new public policies which will see an increase in spending on public transport, green and welfare projects.
Finland pledges to be carbon neutral by 2035
(Finland’s peat-fired Toppila Power Station in Oulu. Image via Pixabay).

The new coalition government includes 19 ministers: seven from the Social Democratic Party, five from the Centre Party, three from the Greens, two from the Left Alliance, and two from the Swedish People’s Party. The government’s first major policy document, Inclusive and competent Finland – a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable society – is the source of the government’s ambitious carbon neutral target.

The policy document notes that Finland has already made impressive progress on decarbonising its economy, having reduced its emissions by over 21% compared with 1990 levels and is on target to achieve the EU’s 2020 climate targets early. However, the new government is adamant that more can be done to reduce emissions.

A statement from the government suggests that not only will Finland aim for carbon neutrality, but will in fact seek to achieve carbon negativity:

“The government is acting in a way that will lead to Finland being climate neutral in 2035 and exhibiting negative carbon dioxide emission shortly thereafter. This is achieved by accelerating the emission reduction measures and strengthening the carbon sinks.”

To facilitate the move towards carbon neutrality, Finland’s Climate Act will be updated, setting emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2040, “that correspond to developments towards climate neutrality.” These targets will be re-evaluated in 2025. “The evaluation will take into account, among other things, the latest scientific information, technological developments, other countries’ emission reduction commitments and opportunities for international flexibility.”
Members of Finland's new coalition government
(Members of Finland’s new coalition government. Image via Finnish Government).

The policy document also calls for Finland’s electricity and heat production to be “virtually emission-free before the end of the 2030s.” This is in-line with the country’s previously agreed commitments to end the use of coal as an energy source by May 2029, end the use of peat as its main source of energy during the 2030s and ending its use of oil for heating by the early 2030s.

The new government also intends to appoint a ministerial working group to concentrate on climate and energy issues and prepare climate policy as a whole.

To fund these radical decarbonisation plans, the Finnish government aims to raise €730 million through taxes, including those on fossil fuels and selling off state assets.

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Recent Comments
“virtually emission-free before the end of the 2030's” I just had to give a funny comment: when I was working in Oil&Gas in Middle East, the famous words was: Devede-Kulak. It means the EARS of a CAMEL, the first being very small, compared to the latter being HUGE. Yes, I also wish to say our Finnish Brothers: Your "carbon neutral by 2035" is just another Devede-Kulak. Do you have an idea of what CHINA and INDIA will be doing then ??? Have you ever heard of Chernobyl ??? Better stick to your wood-burning-SAUNA, and ride BICYCLES on SNOW.
ANDRE GURSES, 12 June 2019
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Finland pledges to be carbon neutral by 2035 - Time to read 3 min
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