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Climate minister Tiilikainen: Finland’s carbon sinks should be recognized in the EU

News 2017-05-10 at 11:59

The Paris agreement insists that by the end of this century greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sinks are in balance.

“I have set a goal for Finland to be carbon neutral by 2045. To reach this goal, we need our forests”, says Mr. Kimmo Tiilikainen, Finland’s Minister for Housing, Energy and the Environment.

The European Commission is currently processing a legislative proposal for land use, land use-change and forestry (LULUCF). The goal of the proposal is to integrate the land use sector to the EU’s 2030 emission reduction targets.

According to minister Tiilikainen, Finland is dedicated to reducing its emissions to reach the EU climate goals.

“But in some aspects, the LULUCF proposal fails to reach the big picture. For the Commission, Finland’s 29 million tons of carbon sinks seem now to equal zero. Or even worse – our sink might be looked at as an emission. This is not valid, science-based math”, he says.

Using forests for the needs of bioeconomy does not mean destroying the carbon sinks, the minister explains. As a result of sustainable forestry, forests continue to grow, and over time absorb even more carbon from the atmosphere than before.

“We shouldn’t be punished for taking care of our forests. Our carbon sinks should be seen for what they are: an important part of reaching the common, European climate targets”, Mr. Tiilikainen concludes.

See the full statement

Further information:

Special Adviser to the Minister Jyrki Peisa, tel. +358 50 364 0836, firstname.lastname@ym.fi.