Finland Aims to Go Carbon Negative by 2040
If the government's ambitious climate goals are met, Finland will become the first European country to achieve net-zero emissions. The Nordic country wants to achieve this objective by 2035 but has pledged to go one step further by committing to becoming carbon negative by 2040, absorbing more CO2 than it emits.
Finland is now well ahead of the EU's 2050 carbon balance target, making it a global leader in emissions reduction. South Sudan has a deadline of 2030. However, as a developing country, it is reliant on international climate finance to meet this goal.
Finland's new medium-term climate plan, which was approved by the government on June 2, is based on the findings of an independent group of economists at the Finnish climate change panel.
The world can only emit 420 more gigatonnes of carbon if we want to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Finland's fair part of the budget was calculated by experienced economists based on the country's population, ability to pay for emissions reductions, and historical responsibility for the climate catastrophe.
To honour the Paris Agreement and the demands of climate justice, they discovered that the EU and Germany must achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the early-2030s.
Due to larger carbon sinks, Sweden's data, which has similar national emissions to Finland but nearly double the population, produces a GHG neutrality target of 2040.
“Building a fossil-free welfare state is now more urgent than ever – from the perspective of both climate and security policy,” says Kari.
“At the same time, we must make sure that the transition is just,” Kari adds. “The plan contains various kinds of financial support to both households and local governments so that the process to phase out fossil fuels will be as just as possible.”
According to the minister, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has accelerated Finland's energy transition, causing the country to embrace wind power and energy efficiency. In the near term, however, it has resulted in some climate regulations being relaxed, such as the percentage of renewable fuel that oil dealers must include in their mix this year.
One option that the government is considering is a distance-based transportation tax. Finland intends to reduce methane output from dairy cows and ameliorate emissions from peatlands in the agriculture sector.
Climate action will be implemented at the local level as well, with a new law on local government obligations planned for autumn 2022.
Finland is also attempting to fulfil its ambitious objective in 13 years without relying on international carbon offsets, in which one country pays another to cut emissions on its own.
Climate activists have slammed such plans as ineffective.
Source: Euro News