Finland pledges carbon neutrality on eve of EU presidency

(EurActiv, 5 Jun 2019) Finland’s new government said on Monday (4 June) the country will aim to cut its carbon emissions completely by 2035. The Nordic nation will take over the rotating EU presidency in July, with an ambitious pan-European climate deal still left on the negotiating table.

After more than a month of talks, Finland agreed on a new five-party government, which has now pledged to end eight years of austerity, boost employment numbers and increase fuel taxes. The coalition agreement also sets a carbon neutrality target for 2035.

It is one of the most ambitious benchmarks set by a major EU country and will obligate Finland to reduce its carbon emissions to below the amount that can be absorbed by forests, wetlands and new technologies.

Norway wants to achieve the same goal by 2030 but Finland’s differs in that it will not rely on buying international carbon credits and offsets like its Nordic neighbour.

The new target will require an update of the existing Climate Act, which currently pegs climate neutrality in 2045. Lawmakers also want to change the law so that Finland becomes a carbon negative country by at least 2050.

A full review of the plan is already scheduled for 2025.

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EurActiv, 5 Jun 2019: Finland pledges carbon neutrality on eve of EU presidency