Finland far behind climate goals, think tank says

Finnish industries would have to triple their rate of emissions cuts to secure carbon neutrality in 2035, Etla said. Photo of the port of Helsinki in Finland, January 14, 2016. (Mathiew Leiser/Eye on the Arctic)
Finland’s carbon emissions are dropping far too slowly to reach the country’s climate goals, according to a fresh report from the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla).

After analysing emissions trends, the institute found that even if Finland embarked on a radically more effective emissions reduction plan than it currently has, it would not be enough to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by the year 2035.

In practice, the group said reaching its target would require a further seven percent reduction of fossil fuel emissions annually. That means Finland’s current pace – a reduction of roughly two percent per year – would have to at least triple in order to avoid even more severe emissions cuts in the future.

“The public sector can support efforts to reach carbon neutrality by, among other things, funding research and technology development, removing harmful subsidies, introducing environmental taxes and helping develop the EU’s emissions trading system,” Etla said in a statement. “Carbon neutrality can also be taken into account in public procurement and infrastructure investments.”

Etla’s projections for average emissions cut levels extend through the year 2023, when the EU will assess the pace at which natural carbon sinks such as forests have grown.

Next month the Finnish government plans to consider new measures on how to reach the country’s 2035 carbon neutrality pledge.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Global ocean temperatures hit new record highs in 2019 causing devastating effects in the Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin stresses climate action in New Year message, Yle News

Greenland: Greenlanders stay chill as the world reacts to their heatwave, CBC News

Iceland: Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calls for climate action at Arctic Circle assembly, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Norway considers size limitation on passenger ships sailing to Svalbard, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian climate report stresses adaptation but no reduction in fossil fuel extraction, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: New report criticises Sweden’s climate policies, Radio Sweden

United States: Bering Sea region focus of recent papers on climate risk to northern communities, Eye on the Arctic

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