Climate change mitigation in Finland
Climate change mitigation in Finland
Climate change is for the most part brought on by greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere as a result of human actions. The global effects of the phenomenon depend on the volume of emissions and the future development of emissions.
Climate change is a global problem and mitigation is strived at through various means. International cooperation is a focal factor in mitigating climate change. Even if emissions are reduced, measures must be taken to adapt to climate change.
International cooperation based on the UN climate treaty and the Kyoto Protocol
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) came into effect in 1994. The main goal of the climate convention is to stabilise the volume of greenhouse gases into a non-threatening level.
The Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC came into effect on 16 February 2005. The protocol set legally binding commitments for the industrial countries to lower overall emissions of six greenhouse gases by altogether 5.2 percent below the 1990 level during the years 2008-2012. Finland is committed to the climate convention and has ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
Negotiations are currently underway to establish a climate agreement for after 2012.The negotiations were initiated at the Bali Climate Change Conference in 2007, and the first results were achieved at the Cancún Climate Change Conference in December 2010. The last Conference between the Parties was in Durban, South Africa between 28 November and 9 December 2011.
In Finland, the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for coordinating climate negotiations under The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.
Climate policies and the European Union
The European Community and the EU member states of the time ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. The European Union (EU-15) is committed under the Kyoto Protocol to achieve overall reductions in greenhouse gases emissions amounting to 8 percent below the 1990 level in the Protocol's commitment period 2008-2012. The responsibility within the EU for achieving these commitments has been reallocated. Finland is committed to bringing national average annual emissions down to their 1990 level in 2008-2012.
In December 2008, the EU leaders reached an agreement on the Climate action and renewable energy package. The European Parliament endorsed the package in a vote on 17 December 2008. With the Emissions Trading Directive and the Effort Sharing Directive, the EU became legally committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020 with reference to the 1990 level of emissions.
The Ministry of the Environment acted as the Finnish representative in the negotiations.
National Climate and Energy Strategy
Finland is actively working towards mitigating climate change also on the national level. Under the government platform, the National Climate and Energy Strategy was compiled in November 2008. The strategy documents the central objectives and definitions of Finland's climate and energy policies until the year 2020. Also, visions until the year 2050 are included in the strategy.
In addition, the Government adopted in October 2009 the Foresight Report on Long-term Climate and Energy Policy. Setting a target to reduce Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent from the 1990 level by 2050 as part of an international effort, the report marks out the road to a low-carbon Finland in 2050.
The Ministry of the Environment was involved in the preparation of the Foresight Report and the Long-term Climate and Energy Strategy.
Data on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces data on the background of climate change, its effects and mitigation efforts. The Fourth Assessment Report is their most recent account on climate change. Preparatory work for the Fifth Assessment Report has been commenced. The report is due in 2013-2014.
The Ministry of the Environment has set up a national IPCC working group to coordinate and further IPCC undertakings in Finland. The working group is led by the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
More Information on Climate Change
Information on climate change is available on the Finnish environmental administration website under the heading State of the Environment.