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 16% by 2020 and by 39% by 2030 (from 2005 levels).
- The present Climate Change Act entered into force in 2015 in Finland. According to the Act, Finland must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 from the 1990 levels
These targets require accelerating emission reduction measures and enhancing carbon sinks. The present Climate Change Act will be reformed in 2021 so that the carbon neutrality target will be reached by 2035. Under the provision of the Act, climate policy planning and monitoring are defined. An annual way of monitoring 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 in 2021.
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.
At present, the key policy measures to achieve the climate neutrality target are:
- Reforming the Climate Change Act (2015) in line with the 2035 target
- Updating national climate plans covering both ETS (Emissions Trading System) and non-ETS sectors
- Transition away from peat and coal – Reforming heat and energy production
- 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 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)