Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy prepares for next week’s climate seminar

Press release 2020-01-30 at 17:22

The Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy met on Thursday 30 January to prepare for the Government’s climate seminar A fair transition to a carbon-neutral economy, to be held on 3–4 February. The focus will be on how we can bridge the gap between climate actions and commitments and on the impacts of climate policy on Finland.

“A carbon-neutral Finland has become a widely shared priority: an ambitious climate policy finds strong support among both the people and businesses. We have heard the message from the Climate Change Panel that there is still a gap between out targets and the actions we have decided to take. At the meeting we will take a comprehensive look into the climate policies and the path we should take to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2035. We want to make sure that swift and consistent progress is being made in reducing emissions, and that the actions are targeted in a way that is fair and just”, says Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen.

The ministers also received reports of the state of play in terms of the set of measures concerning the land use sector and in the European Green Deal.

The extensive set of measures concerning the land use sector contains actions aimed at reducing emissions and strengthening carbon sinks. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry leads the work on forest management, afforestation, measures to reduce forest loss, emissions from mires and peatlands and emissions from agricultural lands, management of peatland forests, and strengthening carbon sequestration. The package also includes a research and development programme that will produce new information in support of e.g. the estimates for emissions and carbon sinks in the land use sector. Later on, this set of measures will be incorporated into the climate programme for the land use sector, to be drafted after the new Climate Change Act has entered into force.

The European Green Deal issued by the Commission in December presents a comprehensive roadmap to rebuilding the EU’s economy on a sustainable basis. The Green Deal comprises a broad range of measures for different sectors, including the European Climate Law, updating the emissions reduction targets to 2030, a Circular Economy Action Plan, and a programme to halt the decline in biodiversity. The ministers noted that an ambitious EU policy on climate issues also supports the achievement of the Government’s climate objectives. Finland considers that the EU should aim to reduce emissions by at least 55 % by 2030. In the efforts to influence the work done under the European Green Deal, Finland will consistently pursue ambitious policies and targets.

The Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy guides and directs the implementation of the Government Programme in promoting carbon neutrality, strengthening carbon sinks, and making decisions on climate and energy policy. Important aspects to be taken into account include social justice and international competitiveness. The composition of the working group changed when Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari started as a member, substituting for Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen.

Inquiries:

Riikka Yliluoma, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, tel. +358 50 414 1682, Riikka.yliluoma@ym.fi