Climate change mitigation - National Responses (Finland)

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Climate change mitigation - National Responses
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 21 Mar 2015


The Government's Long-term Climate and Energy Strategy of 2008 is a comprehensive package of different measures and the Foresight Report of 2009 emphasise several of the measures further. There has been an ambition to cover practically all sectors of society. The measures and projections for greenhouse gas emissions up to 2020 have been summarised in the National Communications (NC5) under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)[1]. (See also Report of the in-country in-depth review of the NC5 by UNFCCC)


It is expected that greenhouse gas emissions may vary considerably between years. The main reason for this is changes in the energy related emissions accounting for 80 % of the total greenhouse gas emissions. The overall objective is to reduce the emissions of GHG, increase the share of renewable energy and eventually also to reach a reduction in the use of energy. The goal is to increase the share of renewable energy to 38 per cent of total final energy consumption, to improve the efficiency of the energy system.


In spring 2010, the Finnish Government prepared a package of measures to increase the use of renewable energy and adopted a decision in principle on energy efficiency[2]. The EU directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (2009/28/EC) requires that in Finland the share of the renewable sources of the final energy consumption is 38 % by 2020. The estimate of final energy consumption in 2020 is 327 TWh of which 38 % is 124 TWh. The share of the renewable energy in 2005 was 87 TWh, and to reach the target, an additional amount of 38 TWh must be produced using renewable sources. This change would result in a decrease of 7 million tonnes in the CO2 emissions, and the decrease in the use of coal would mean an additional decrease of 2 million tonnes.


In addition to the general overarching strategies, the aim to curb the greenhouse gas emissions has produced a great number of different programmes, projects, and initiatives that involve the government, municipalities, enterprises, NGOs and private persons. At the municipal level, for example, the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority has a climate strategy for the Helsinki metropolitan region until 2030[3]. It seeks to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions by one-third of the 2004 level by the year 2030, achieving a level of 4.3 tCO2 per resident. This will amount to a cut of 39 % from the 1990 level.


The programme ‘ERA17 for an energy-smart built environment 2017’ (drawn up in 2010 by the Ministry of the Environment, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation Tekes) seeks to provide answers to the challenges posed to the built environment by climate change mitigation. When energy consumption and use required for construction amounts to over 40% of final energy consumption and nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, improving the built environment plays a key role in mitigating climate change and creating a competitive and sustainable society. If we include the impact of traffic, which is to a large extent defined by community structure, these figures are even higher. ERA17 provides a comprehensive action plan to improve the energy efficiency of the built environment, reduce emissions, and promote the use of renewable energy. The target is to be a pioneer in energy-smartness by 2017, the national jubilee year, and, by 2050, to make the Finnish built environment the best in the world. There are now 31 proposals for actions and measures[4], and according to the first impact estimates they will reduce the energy consumption of the built environment by approximately 20–30 % and greenhouse gas emissions by 10–35 % in 2010–2050.


In the project Carbon Neutral Municipalities (CANEMU), five Finnish municipalities have committed themselves to act as laboratories by striving to curb their carbon dioxide emissions ahead of schedule. The project aims at greenhouse gas emission reductions both in the near future (2-5 years) and in the longer term (6-20 years). Researchers, experts, businesses, politicians and local residents will together devise and tailor solutions that can reduce emissions, especially related to housing, transportation and foodstuffs.


The system for the Real time carbon dioxide emission monitoring presents the national and regional emission information. The five CANEMU municipalities are special cases and information on them is presented separately.


Information on climate change mitigation and adaptation will be systematically collected in a specifically designed Climateguide portal, which will organise climate change information. The portal will also provide access to practical tools for local and municipal planning and decision-making. The pilot version is now available and the portal opens in full in 2011.

Some of the essential sector-based national policies and strategies are presented in the publications



The issue of adaptation to climate change and the links between mitigation and adaptation is receiving increasing attention. The general basis is provided by Finland's National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Publication 1a/2005


R&D supporting mitigation and adaptation is ongoing. The Academy of Finland has launched a Research programme on climate change which will start in 2011 and Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation – has several programmes with climate orientation, for example Sustainable community 2007-2012.

[1] The National Communications are produced every four years, and Finland's fifth Communication was finalised in 2009.

[2] Government Decision on Energy Efficiency Measures, Ministry of Employment and the Economy

[4] Kirsi Martinkauppi (ed.): ERA 17 Energiaviisaan rakennetun ympäristön aika 2017. Ministry of the Environment, Sitra and Tekes (in Finnish, Summary in English)


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