The State of the Environment in Finland 2013 is a compact review of the state of the environment in Finland in 2013. It brings together the most important indicators which can be used to assess the state of the Finnish environment, to reveal trends and to evaluate the effectiveness of actions taken. The indicators represent eight different themes: Natural resources, Climate change and energy, Communities and transport, Air pollutants, Fresh water and the sea, Biodiversity, Chemicals and hazardous substances and Green economy.
Many of the indicators presented here show that the state of the environment is improving in Finland. Emissions into the air and water have clearly reduced over the last few decades. Several goals set for reducing pressure on the environment have either been met or are likely to be met by the year set in each target.
But not all environmental status indicators are positive. The most severe problems – climate change and loss of biodiversity – remain unsolved. The goals set in these areas also appear to be the most difficult to achieve. Halting the loss of biodiversity has been a set target in Finland for quite a while, but it has proved necessary to postpone meeting this target ever further. As regards climate change, the worldwide aim is to restrict global warming to a maximum of two degrees by 2100. With existing policies, it seems almost impossible that this target will be achieved.
The ongoing financial crises, which began in 2008, have affected the state of the environment in recent years. The effects have been both positive and negative. On one hand the recession has reduced the use of natural resources and other pressures on the environment on the other hand it has also slowed down a number of environmental policy processes such as international climate protection schemes.