Climate Neutral Finland 2035

Three targets for the future:

  • According to the Government Programme, Finland aims to be climate neutral by 2035 and the world’s first fossil-free welfare society. Carbon neutrality means that emissions and the sinks that sequester carbon are in balance, i.e. emissions caused by human activity are calculated to be as high as greenhouse gas removals.
  • 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 will enter into force 1 July 2022. The Act ensures that Finland’s carbon neutrality target for 2035 and sets emission reductions targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050. 

The Climate Change Act lays the foundation for national work on climate change in Finland. The Act will include emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2040, and the target for 2050 will be updated. The scope of the Act will be extended to also cover emissions from the land use sector, i.e. land use, forestry and agriculture, and it will for the first time include the objective to strengthen carbon sinks.

The emission reduction targets in the new Climate Change Act are based on the recommendations of the Finnish Climate Change Panel, and they are more ambitious in comparison to the current target (-80% for 2050). 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.

The reformed Climate Change Act sets emission reductions targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050.

Source: Ministry of the Environment

An annual way of monitoring the implementation of the plans is the Climate Report. In the Annual Climate Report 2021, the Ministry of the Environment estimates that Finland is on the right track, but new climate measures are needed to attain carbon neutrality in 2035. These additional measures will be proposed in the new Energy and Climate Strategy, set to be completed and published during 2022.

According to the Annual Climate Report 2021, a key factor for the carbon neutrality target is the expected carbon sink number in 2035. If the land use sector’s net sink of -21 million tonnes is adopted as the baseline, a decrease from the current 48 million tonnes of emissions to 21 million tonnes is needed to reach carbon neutrality. In the report, it is estimated that the current measures cover about 16 million tonnes of emissions reductions, but this leaves a further 11 Mt CO2 -eq as the current emissions gap.

The graph shows trends in Finland's greenhouse gas emissions and necessary emission reductions.

Net emissions mean the sum of emissions from the emissions trading and non-emissions trading sectors deducted by the net sink of the land use sector. Carbon neutrality requires zero net emissions. Instant preliminary data is given for 2020. Further measures are needed to reduce emissions by 11 million tonnes. Source: Ministry of the Environment, Annual Climate Report 2021.

At present, the key policy measures to achieve the government’s climate neutrality target include:

  • Sectoral low-carbon roadmaps for key industries: energy, chemical, forest and technology
  • Halving the emissions from transportation by 2030
  • Low-carbon construction and housing
  • Reducing land-use sector emissions and enhancing carbon sequestration
  • Reforming taxation to support sustainable choices
  • Helping industries to reduce their emissions

Read more about the new Climate Change Act 2022:
New Climate Change Act into force in July

Read more about the current Government’s climate policy:
Climate Neutral Finland 2035 (Ministry of the Environment)

Read more about the specific measures taken to increase carbon sinks in the land use sector:
Climate plan for the land use sector (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland)

, Updated 13.6.2022 at 11:20