Climate change mitigation - Outlook 2020 (Finland)
- Climate change
In November 2008, the Finnish Government adopted a climate and energy strategy for Finland, with detailed insights into climate and energy policy measures up to 2020, and suggestions up to 2050. In October 2009, the Government adopted a more radical Foresight Report on Long-term Climate and Energy Policy which was published by the Prime Minister's Office in November 2009. The report presents the estimated emissions in 2050 using four different scenarios. In all cases, the 1990 emission level should be reduced by at least 80 % by 2050, and in one scenario, the reduction is over 90 %. The greenhouse gas emissions would be below 15 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2050. The report presents the quantitative targets, different lines of action, and guidelines for the future measures.
Figure 1: Finland's greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 in the various scenarios
Source: Prime Minister's Office
For Finland, the Kyoto based EU burden-sharing target is to have the emissions 2008–2012 at the same level as in 1990. It seems evident that Finland will reach the target in 2012 (Tracking progress towards Kyoto and 2020 targets in Europe, Greenhouse gas profiles - Finland).
The increasing demands on mitigation are likely to emphasize the role of carbon sinks. One option is to consider Protected Areas (PAs) as contributing to the maintenance of carbon sinks by sequestering and storing carbon in natural ecosystems. Fifteen percent of the world’s terrestrial carbon stock – 312 Gigatonnes – are stored in protected areas around the world. Finland has a comprehensive nationwide protected area system covering some 15 % of Finland’s total area counting legally established protected areas and other areas reserved in nature conservation programmes including European Natura 2000 network sites. Finland’s dominant habitat type, boreal forests, contain a large terrestrial stock of carbon, stored mostly in soil and leaf litter, averaging 60-100 tC/ha (http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/natural_solutions.pdf). Carbon sequestration may thus become an issue also in the management of protected areas. The fate and development of other sinks such as soil carbon and wood constructions are also likely to be discussed more in the coming years as part of a wider discussion on ecosystem services.
 Foresight Report on Long-term Climate and Energy Policy, Prime Minister's Office Publications 30/2009