Three targets for the future:
- According to the government programme, the Finnish Government is committed to meeting emission reduction targets and moving towards carbon neutrality in 2035 followed by carbon negativity.
- Finland’s obligation under EU law is to reduce the effort sharing sector’s green house gas emissions (non-ETS) by 39% by 2030 (from 2005 levels).
- The new Climate Change Act entered into force in 2022. The Act set emission reductions targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050 and laid down the target of carbon neutrality in 2035.
Key pillar of Finland’s climate policy is the Climate Change Act. The scope of the Act was extended to cover emissions from the land use sector (i.e. land use, forestry and agriculture) and for the first time the Act includes a target to strengthen carbon sinks.
The emission reduction targets in the Climate Change Act are based on the recommendations of the Finnish Climate Change Panel. The emission reduction targets are -60% by 2030, -80% by 2040 and at least -90% but aiming at -95% by 2050, compared to the levels in 1990.
Trends in greenhouse gas emissions and necessary emission reductions
An annual way of monitoring the implementation of climate policy is the Climate Report. The latest release, Annual Climate Report 2023, is from July 2023 (report to be published in full in English later this year).
The Annual Climate Report 2023 revealed that while Finland’s total emissions decreased by approximately 4% compared to the year before, additional measures are needed particularly to strengthen the carbon sink of the land use sector to achieve climate targets. Based on current estimates, the target of reducing emissions by -60% by 2030 is possible to achieve. The land use sector became a minor carbon sink again in 2022, but the sink is well short of the targeted level. The size of the forest carbon sink varies substantially from one year to the next, but the sink has declined significantly over the past few years. The achievement of the Finnish effort sharing sector’s obligation set at the EU level is also uncertain.
Key policy measures to achieve the government’s climate targets
The focus of Finnish government is on promoting the clean transition and investments in industry. Finland seeks to strengthen its competitiveness and attractiveness as an investment target for renewable industries by doubling its production of clean electricity. The share of renewable energy in energy production will be increased, and action will be taken towards phasing out the use of fossil fuels in heat and electricity production by the 2030s at the latest. More information can be found on the Government Programme: Finland and clean energy.
We will update this article with a list of policy measures in the Autumn 2023, as Finland’s new government gets fully going with its legislative work.
Here are Finland’s climate targets in a nutshell.
Read more about the current Government’s climate policy:
Finland’s national climate policy (Ministry of the Environment)
Finland’s national climate and energy strategy (2022) is a medium-term action plan that covers all greenhouse gas emissions and removals achieved through carbon sinks:
Carbon Neutral Finland 2035 – national climate and energy strategy
National climate and energy strategy has been prepared in coordination with:
- Finland’s Medium-term climate change policy plan (2022) that applies to the effort-sharing sector, and
- Climate plan for the land use sector (2022) that includes specific measures taken to increase carbon sinks
Read more on the Climate Change Act 2022:
New Climate Change Act into force in July