National climate change policy

The national Climate Change Act (609/2015) entered into force on 1 June 2015. The Act lays down provisions on the planning system for climate change policy and monitoring of the implementation of climate objectives. The aim of the planning system is to ensure the fulfilment of the obligations binding on Finland in reducing and monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and to take national measures to mitigate climate change and adapt to it. The Act lays down a long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction target of at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990.

The National Energy and Climate Strategy adopted in 2016 specifies the key objectives and policy outlines until 2030 concerning both the emissions trading and the non-emissions trading (effort sharing) sectors. In 2014, the Parliamentary Committee on Energy and Climate Issues gave a report on the Energy and Climate Roadmap 2050.

The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for coordinating the preparation of the medium-term climate change policy plan under the Climate Change Act and for policy preparation in its own administrative branch. The medium-term climate change policy plan includes an action plan concerning measures to mitigate human-induced greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, transport and waste management, with respect to industrial F-gases and in building-specific heating, and estimated trends in greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of policy measures on these. The Parliament adopted the first plan on 14 March 2018.

YHA Kuvapankki
Image Bank of the Environmental Administration

Responsibilities of the Ministry of the Environment in climate change policy

The Ministry of the Environment is the Finnish coordinator for the UNFCCC negotiations on climate change and the negotiations on climate issues in the EU. The Ministry is also the responsible agency in Finland with respect to the UNFCCC.

In the national climate change policy, the Ministry’s responsibilities include land use and regional planning, waste policy and construction, which are all strongly connected to climate change issues. The Ministry is also responsible for coordinating the medium-term climate change policy plan and the annual climate change reports to be submitted to the Parliament under the Climate Change Act.

The Ministry of the Environment guides the actions of the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment concerning climate change mitigation.

National targets

The Climate Change Act lays down the national long-term emissions reduction target for greenhouse gases. The goal of the planning system is to ensure that the total greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere owing to human activity will be reduced in Finland by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990. The long-term emissions reduction target concerns all greenhouse gas emissions, but the medium-term climate change policy plan only concerns the non-emissions trading sectors, i.e. greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, transport, waste management, industrial F-gases and building-specific heating.

In accordance with the EU climate and energy package, Finland has approved the EU target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2020, compared to 1990. Finland's individual targets are:

  • To reduce emissions by 16% in the non-emissions trading sectors (such as construction, building-specific heating, housing, agriculture, transport and waste management, and industrial F-gases).
  • To increase the use of renewable energy to 38% of energy end-consumption.

Besides these, operators covered by the EU-wide Emissions Trading System are to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 21% by 2020, compared to 2005.

The EU is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, compared to 1990. By 2030 emissions from the effort sharing sectors in the EU should be reduced by 30% and the national emission reduction target for Finland is 39%. Operators covered by the Emissions Trading System are to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 43% by 2030, compared to 2005. Energy efficiency should be improved by at least 32.5% and share of renewable energy raised to 32%. Member States are obliged to improve their energy efficiency by 0.8% a year in 2021-2030. The national targets concerning renewable energy are decided within the governance of the Energy Union on the basis of the energy and climate plans submitted by Member States.

Finland's national climate change policy is based on international and EU policies on climate change. Each year, Finland reports to the European Commission and the UNFCCC Secretariat on the progress made in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The Statistics Finland is responsible for the national monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions, and it also compiles on a regular basis a country report on policy measures concerning climate change in Finland.

Further information

Jarmo Muurman, Senior Environmental Adviser, tel. +358 295 250 185,

Published 2018-09-25 at 9:55, updated 2019-03-19 at 9:26