Climate neutral Finland in 2035? – Preliminary results of follow-up studies indicate that the objective is very challenging but can be achieved through broad-based policy measures
Climate neutrality can be achieved by 2035 only if comprehensive and consistent emission reduction measures are implemented in all relevant emission sectors and sufficient carbon sinks are maintained. The sink of forest land has most effect on the development of the carbon sink. The most effective way to reduce emissions from cropland is to abandon the cultivation of peatland.
These conclusions were included in the preliminary results of the PITKO follow-up study assessing the long-term trend in total emissions and the emissions reduction paths and of the MALUSEPO reports evaluating greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sinks in the agricultural sector, land use and forestry.
The reports were presented in a seminar organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on 15 November 2019. The final results will be completed in December. These follow-up studies will update the calculations of the PITKO and MALULU reports published in February to correspond to the Climate neutral Finland 2035 target recorded in the Government Programme.
“We already knew before that the Government's objective was challenging. Now we have researchers’ detailed modelling and preliminary calculations of what it concretely requires in different fields and sectors,” says Riku Huttunen, Director General from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
“The studies confirm that carbon neutrality in 2035 is not impossible, provided that policy measures are consistent. Broad-based research will continue and comprehensive policy outlines are to be drawn in the 2020–2021 climate and energy strategy and in the medium-term climate policy plan,” says Huttunen.
The results will be used for the preparation of emission reduction measures and in the preparation of the long-term low-emission strategy (LTS) reaching until 2050 to be submitted to the EU.
The LTS does not yet propose any new policy measures. Climate and energy policy measures will be considered in the preparation of the Government's climate and energy strategy and the medium-term climate plan next year.
The PITKO follow-up study is prepared by a consortium led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT, Finnish Environment Institute and Merit Economics). The follow-up study of the MALALU report (MALUSEPO is carried out by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
A recording of the seminar will be available online after the end of the event (on 15 November at 15) at: https://www.mediaserver.fi/live/tem
Petteri Kuuva, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4116
Tiina Koljonen, Research Team Leader, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Oy, tel. +358 20 722 5806 (PITKO follow-up study)
Jyrki Aakkula, Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Institute Finland, tel. +358 29 5326 045 (MALUSEPO)
Presentation materials of the seminar (15 November 2019):