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Finland submitted a long-term emissions reduction strategy to the Commission

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 14.4.2020 13.00 | Published in English on 15.4.2020 at 15.09
Press release

Finland has submitted a long-term strategy to the European Commission describing emission reduction scenarios and related impact assessments until 2050. The scenarios are based on the goal of achieving carbon neutrality in 2035.

The preparation of a national long-term strategy is based on the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action (governance regulation), which requires that each Member State must prepare such a strategy. It focuses on presenting an outlook for trends in greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sinks by 2050.

Finland’s long-term strategy examines three different scenarios. In addition to the comparison scenario describing the development achieved with the current policy measures, the strategy presents two alternative low-emission scenarios.  These scenarios, called Continuous growth and Savings scenarios, describe alternative pathways to 2050.

The strategy also contains an assessment of the sectoral potential and need for emission reduction in the medium (2035) and long (2050) term to achieve Finland’s own emission reduction targets. The calculations presented in the long-term strategy are based on the premise that emission reduction costs will be minimised everywhere in Finland.

The strategy drawn up is not a policy document, nor does it propose sectors in which emission reductions should be sought. The Government will prepare a general outline of the allocation of emission reductions and policy measures (including the land use sector) in the context of the new climate and energy strategy and the medium-term climate policy plan by autumn 2021.

In the Continuous growth scenario, the emission reduction target for greenhouse gases (excluding the land use sector) in 2050 is 87.5% compared to 1990 emissions, and in the Savings scenario 90%. Both scenarios would result in the achievement of the carbon neutrality target for 2035 set in the Prime Minister Marin’s Government Programme. This requires a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in 2030–2035, and sufficient carbon sinks in forests and other types of land use to offset the remaining greenhouse gas emissions.

Achieving the carbon neutrality target by 2035 will therefore require extensive and effective measures and political decisions that will help to reduce emissions in all sectors and to build net sinks in various types of land use.

The differences between the emission reductions in the different scenarios can be attributed to the underlying technology assumptions, and to assumptions related to the structure of industry, society and the economy as a whole. In the Savings scenario, carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) will be implemented after 2030. Meanwhile in the Continuous growth scenario, CCS is not implemented, which will lead to very strict emission reduction measures in all sectors, including agriculture and industrial processes which, according to a techno-economic assessment, will struggle the most to achieve a strong reduction in emissions.

The long-term strategy is not binding on Finland, but it provides a comprehensive picture for future decisions of the challenges involved in the emission reduction target and the need for measures in all sectors. The optimised cost-effectiveness of emission reduction measures in the scenarios is important in terms of economic and ecological sustainability.

Petteri Kuuva, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4819
Bettina Lemström, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4116
Markku Kinnunen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4792

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