Finland is prepared to lead the EU to new climate ambition

Finland has taken the necessary steps to lead talks on EU climate ambition during its presidency of the Council. Finnish presidency starts in July 2019. It is a time to discuss the Commission long term strategy on low-carbon economy. The discussions will aim to confirm the target of net zero emissions by 2050. Finland has recently taken new, forward looking positions in EU climate policy.

Finnish Ministerial Committee on EU Affairs decided on Friday 8 February to aim for 55 percent emission cuts by 2030 in the EU. This is backed up by strengthening and expanding the emissions trading system.  Early estimates show 55 percent overall in the economy would mean 61 percent reductions in the ETS sector. Finland is committed to making its footprint small and handprint large. The latter means reducing emissions globally for example by supporting the development of global carbon pricing.

EU Commissioner for energy and climate action Miquel Arias Cañete is looking for member states to express their support for the long term strategy in the Sibiu Summit on 9 May. In case all is not said and done by then, Finland stands ready to continue the work.

Finnish Energy sector supports a declaration by 8 out of 9 Finnish parliamentary parties from December 2018:

  • The EU should be carbon neutral before 2050
  • Speeding up the rate of emissions reductions in the emissions trading system
  • More EU funding to research, development and innovation
  • Finnish power and heat to be carbon neutral in the 2030’s
  • Finnish economy reaching net negative emissions in the 2040’s
  • Boosting the growth of carbon sinks in Finnish forests

Finland will hold parliamentary elections on 14 April. Therefore it is reassuring that these commitments are shared by almost all parties. These themes are thus likely to carry out to the next government who will lead the Finnish presidency of the Council.

Joona Turtiainen

Head of EU Affairs

Finnish Energy, Brussels

Twitter: @joonaturtiainen

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