Finnish municipalities fight climate change

Ambitious goals

Local authorities have a key role in implementing international and national climate agreements. Nationally-agreed emission reduction targets are translated into action at the local level. Municipalities set the framework for the everyday activities by providing heating, public transport and local infrastructure, for example.

Finnish municipalities are frontrunners in climate action. Over 40% of the country’s population lives in municipalities committed to carbon neutrality by 2030. More than half of Finns live in municipalities that have set themselves ambitious climate targets. For example, 54 HINKU-municipalities in Finland aim to reduce their emissions by 80% by 2030, compared with the level of 2007.

Joining networks pays off

Local authorities are not on their own, but have united their efforts worldwide. There are numerous climate networks and commitments, which are used to advance climate targets in municipal operations and decision-making. In addition to the ambitious HINKU-network (The Carbon Neutral Municipalities by 2030), organisations such as the Fisu (Finnish Sustainable Communities) network and Climate Leadership Coalition lead the way in mitigating climate change in communities. Finnish municipalities are also active in international networks.

Local authorities work together with the neighbouring municipalities, businesses, non-governmental organisations and local residents in order to improve wellbeing and stimulate business development.

Support from the Ministry of the Environment

Support for the local and regional climate action is provided by the Ministry of the Environment, which has published a Municipal climate change solutions programme (2018–2021). The four-year programme aims to accelerate climate action at local and regional levels. So far, the programme has mostly supported municipalities’ and regions’ own climate projects and experiments, but it has also funded some projects that aim to develop tools and increase information to benefit all municipalities.

What is more, the Ministry of the Environment has created programmes for sustainable city development and the increased use of wood in construction. Both of these programmes aim at a low-carbon society.

Other services

MuniFin, a credit institution owned by Finnish municipalities, the pension agency Keva and the state, offers green finance to selected projects that promote the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient growth. These projects seek to mitigate or adapt to climate change.

Some other important programmes that combat climate change include the Finnish Energy Authority’s regional energy counselling service and the Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities (CANEMURE) project, funded by the EU.

More information:

Olli-Pekka Pietiläinen, Project Manager, tel. +358 295 250 316,
Miia Berger, Specialist, Tel. +358 295 250 265,

Published 2019-02-14 at 15:26, updated 2019-07-03 at 12:44