Finland ninth, Sweden first in EU climate efforts: enviro group

Windfarms set on deserted islands are photographed on July 29, 2017 near the Aland Islands, in the Baltic sea. Climate Action Network ranked Sweden first among EU nations in climate efforts, while Finland lags behind in ninth place. (Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images)
Among 28 European Union countries, Finland is ranked ninth in efforts to combat climate change, says Climate Action Network (CAN).

Finland came behind Sweden and Denmark – the two other Nordic countries that also belong to the EU – is partly driven by the country’s policy on forestry, the non-governmental organisation said.

”With regard to forests, Finland is quite conservative and defends its own, rather than common, interests,” CAN Europe’s director Wendel Trio said.

”Finland is not bad, but it clearly does not defend climate issues as much as the other Nordic countries,” he added.

Last year, Finland’s forestry lobby won a major victory, after the EU’s proposal to cap forestry levels was amended to their approval.

Sweden tops list

According to CAN, Sweden ranks number one in its attempts to meet EU climate change targets, which include a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by the year 2020. Also, EU states are expected to improve energy efficiency levels and increase their use of renewable energy resources.

“Sweden has really become much more active in its efforts in the past few years,” Trio said. Portugal and France held the second and third spots, respectively.

At the other end, Poland, Estonia and Ireland were deemed to have made the bloc’s weakest efforts in fighting climate change. Poland has made little progress in trying to meet the EU’s climate targets by 2020 and has lobbied the EU to allow subsidies to coal plants longer than initially planned, according to CAN.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in the Polish city of Katowice next week.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Dramatic changes to Yukon glaciers a warning for the planet, researchers say, CBC News

Finland: Finland could halve emissions by 2030 while saving money: study, Yle News

Norway: WWF urges Norway to protect its Arctic forests to help fight climate change, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Monchegorsk, Russia: a mining town with green aspirations, Cryopolitics Blog

Sweden: After the IPCC’s devastating report, what can Sweden do to fight climate change?, Radio Sweden

United States: Permafrost thawing under Arctic lakes warming climate faster than expected, says study, CBC News

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