Sectoral low-carbon road maps produced in response to the Government’s 2035 target

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 23.9.2019 12.07 | Published in English on 24.9.2019 at 9.15
Press release
Teknologiateollisuus ry:n toimitusjohtaja Jaakko Hirvola

Industrial sector organisations are responding swiftly to the Government’s ambitious Climate Neutral Finland 2035 target. Many sectors have already launched the preparation of their individual low-carbon road maps; a measure included in the Government Programme.

Large sectoral organisations such as the chemical, technology, forest and energy industries presented their road maps at the expert seminar organised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in Helsinki on 23 September 2019. The event attracted more than 120 representatives from various industry sectors and stakeholder groups.

“The sectoral road maps will accelerate the work to reduce industrial emissions. They help to ensure that the new industrial emission reduction measures will be sufficiently effective, yet realistic. These new low-emission solutions will offer Finnish companies significant opportunities for large-scale global business,” Minister of Economic Affairs Katri Kulmuni notes.

“Advanced technologies enable the Finnish industry to lead the way in emissions reduction. We can make an even greater impact by exporting our solutions to locations with considerable potential for reduction. What we want is a small footprint but a big impact,” explains Jaakko Hirvola, CEO of Technology Industries of Finland.

“Preparations for the carbon neutrality road map for the chemical industry began in autumn 2018. We have been running the Responsible Care programme, which is a global, voluntary initiative for the chemical industry,  for as many as 27 years, and it has helped us reduce energy consumption by 20% and greenhouse gas emissions by 34%. The chemical industry wants to be part of the solution, and is firmly committed to taking faster action to achieve the industry’s joint carbon neutrality target,” says Mika Aalto, Director General of the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland.

“Emissions from electricity and heating in Finland will become marginal in just over a decade,” predicts Jari Kostama, Director of Energy Production at Finnish Energy. “The next big challenge and opportunity for energy producers is to provide all sectors of society with clean energy generated with electricity, and heat from the side streams of our forestry sector. The industry is making preparations for the quick replacement of fossil fuel processes with electricity technology,” Kostama continues.

“The forest industry has already largely given up fossil fuels. We will see this development through while at the same time building both domestic forest resources and the climate benefit from export products. From the climate and economy perspective, this is an excellent combination”, says Timo Jaatinen, Director General of the Finnish Forest Industries.

Road maps describe the actions industries can take to reduce their emissions. They also point the way to renewal within industries. To respond to the growing global need for low-carbon solutions, Finnish companies plan to incorporate carbon reduction into their export and international growth programmes and create a new successful concept.

For the central government, road maps provide estimates of the expected development in the sectors. Areas covered include the development of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, as well as the investment needs of industry sectors. The estimates will be used to update the climate and energy strategy and the medium-term climate plan, and in discussions concerning policy measures required to achieve the 2035 target. In addition, the road maps help to allocate research and development financing, and promote international growth by providing estimates of the export potential of technology solutions.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the road maps of industrial sectors. It will ensure effective cooperation between the sectors and central government, and the inclusion of the administrative aspects in measures designed to achieve climate targets. Other ministries are responsible for road maps in their respective sectors. Extensive work on the carbon footprint in the construction sector is under way in the Ministry of the Environment, as well as work on a road map under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The Ministry of Transport and Communications will assess the need for sectoral road maps, considering other work to be launched by the Ministry.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment also encourages industrial sectors with small or medium greenhouse gas emissions to be actively involved. Work on road maps is about to begin in these sectors, too. The first discussion with representatives of the sectors was held in a productive spirit on 19 September.

Inquiries:
Riku Huttunen, Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 431 6518
Juhani Tirkkonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 365 3412
Jyrki Alkio, Project Manager, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7103
Mikko Paloneva, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7063