Finland regions

New climate change law aims for carbon neutrality – Climate Change

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On May 25, 2022, Parliament approved the government proposal for a new climate change law (government proposal HE 27/2022 vp). The law is due to come into force on 1 July 2022 and will repeal the Climate Change Act (609/2015) which has been in force in Finland since 2015. The current act and the new climate change act set goals and establish a framework for planning climate policy in Finland and monitoring its implementation.

Climate policy planning system

The new law provides for a climate policy planning system, which determines targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, targets for enhancing carbon sinks and adapting to climate change, and the measures needed to achieve these goals and targets in different administrative branches. The objective of enhancing carbon sinks has been added to the new law as a new element.

In accordance with the current law and the new law on climate change, the planning system includes a long-term action plan on climate change, a medium-term action plan on climate change and a management plan. adaptation to climate change. In the new climate change law, the planning system is complemented by a climate plan for the land use sector to be prepared at least every two electoral terms.

New climate goals

The new climate change law also includes provisions on new climate targets. The goal of the law and the climate policy planning system provided for by law is for Finland to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. Carbon neutrality means that greenhouse gas emissions are at most as high as their absorptions.

The new climate change law also includes new emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2040. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the effort-sharing and rights-trading sector. emissions of at least 60% by 2030 and at least 80% by 2040 compared to 1990 levels.

In the new climate change law, the 80% emissions reduction target set for 2050 in the current climate change law has been updated so that the target is to reduce emissions from the sectors of at least 90% by 2050, but aiming for 95%. compared to 1990 levels.

Act to complete

The Ministry of the Environment is preparing an amendment to the law which will introduce a new obligation to prepare climate policy plans at the municipal, departmental or regional level. The law will also be supplemented by a provision on the basis of which government decisions based on the law on climate change can be appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court. Parliament has asked the government to submit a proposal for the said amendments by the end of November 2022.

The Climate Change Act guides administrative action

The current and the new Climate Change Act concern the planning of Finland’s climate change policy and the monitoring of its implementation, ie the tasks of the authorities. We are closely monitoring the continued preparation of the amendment to the new climate change law as well as the impacts of tougher climate targets on substantive legislation directly guiding business operations.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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