Finnish climate policy
Together with other EU member states, Finland ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. In terms of global climate policy, Finland acts as part of the European Union. This means that national preparation and implementation are largely governed by climate and energy policy targets and measures agreed within the EU.
The Kyoto Protocol requires that, during 2008–2012, the European Union (‘EU-15’) reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 8% below 1990 levels. This target has been further divided into member state-specific targets within the EU. In accordance with this internal effort sharing, Finland has undertaken to stabilise its emissions at 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Post-2012 effort sharing was agreed upon the adoption of the EU climate and energy package.
Finland aims to implement the targets of the Kyoto Protocol and contribute actively to the establishment of a global post-2012 climate agreement.
Long-term Climate and Energy Strategy
The EU’s target is to reduce GHG emissions to at least 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, as well as increasing the average share of renewables to 20% across the EU.
In the emissions trading sector, the aim is to cut EU emissions to 21% below 2005 levels by 2020. In sectors not covered by the Emissions Trading System (ETS), such as transport and agriculture, the average reduction target is 10% by 2020 compared with 2005 levels.
The limitation target set for Finland in non-ETS sectors is a 16% reduction from the 2005 level by 2020. For the share of renewable energy in Finland, the target is 38% in 2020.
A Long-term Climate and Energy Strategy, prepared by the Ministerial Working Group on Climate Change and Energy, was approved by the Finnish government on 6 November 2008. This strategy defines the key targets of Finnish climate and energy policy as part of the EU targets. In order to achieve these targets, significant measures are needed to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. The necessary measures are outlined in the strategy, which extends to 2020 and includes visions covering the period to 2050.
The previous climate and energy strategy was drawn up in 2005. It defined measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the first 2008–2012 commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, as well as setting longer-term targets.
Finnish Carbon Procurement Programme (Finnder)
In accordance with a government decision, Finland is meeting part of its Kyoto target by purchasing seven million tonnes worth of emission reduction units over the 2008–2012 period. This will be accomplished through the Kyoto mechanisms. The units will be purchased from developing countries and countries in transition.
The Finnder programme has been launched, to acquire these emission units through the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation. In addition, Finland will use a total of 30 million euros to purchase emission units between 2013 and 2020.
National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change
The National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (2005) describes the impacts of climate change in Finland, provides assessments of Finland’s ability to adapt to climate change and defines measures to improve adaptation.
The environmental administration is the first administrative sector for which an action plan for adaptation to climate change has been prepared. The Action Plan for the Implementation of the National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change was published in June 2008.
Reporting and monitoring emission trends
Greenhouse gas emissions and removals are reported annually to the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the European Commission. The Kyoto Protocol requires the parties to have national inventory systems for greenhouse gas emissions. In Finland, national monitoring of GHG emissions is performed by Statistics Finland.
In accordance with the Commission Decision on GHG monitoring, policy measures and their impact on GHG emission trends must be reported to the Commission every two years.
The UNFCCC stipulates that the parties must submit regular reports (every 3–4 years) on climate policy measures carried out in implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. Statistics Finland is responsible for the compilation of this national communication, or country report, in Finland. The fourth country report was completed in 2006 and the fifth is scheduled for completion in early 2010.