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Policies, measures and actions on climate change and
environmental protection in the context of COVID-19 recovery.


Last update 2 Sep. 2020


Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Krista Mikkonen

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Emergency measures in the short term (a few months to one year) to address concerns that have directly emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and may include forced action.
Socioeconomic measures in the medium term (one to a few years) with an environmental and climate focus to “build back better” from COVID-19, and usually involves planned, intentional action.
Paradigm shifts and measures in the long term (more than a few years to a few decades) toward redesigning current socioeconomic and sociocultural systems to be sustainable and resilient.

1.Climate mitigation measures

  • Transition to renewable energy

    Building a fossil-free welfare society
    Finland has banned the use of coal for energy by 2029 and we are providing energy companies with incentives for investments to replace coal already by 2025. By 2030, the domestic use of imported mineral oil, like petrol, will be halved and the use of fossil fuel oil in heating phased out. In properties owned by the central and local governments, oil heating will come to an end already in 2024 at the latest. The energy use of peat will be at least halved by 2030. In district heating and building-specific heating, we will encourage investments to move away from fossil fuels to sustainable options, like heat pumps, with taxation and subsidies.
    Contact Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of the Environment
  • Sustainable transportation

    Towards fossil-free transportation
    Finland is committed to halving the emissions from transport by 2030 and this autumn the Government will will receive a report from a working group, which is developing a national roadmap for achieving fossil-free transportation by 2045. Emissions reduction measures will include reducing the use of fossil fuels by increasing the blending obligation of biofuels (from 15 % in 2018 to 30 % in 2029) and supporting digitalization and automatisation of the transport system. The Government is preparing legislation to support e-mobility by enhancing the charging infrastructure of electric vehicles. In the future, petrol station chains will be obliged to provide a certain number of charging points for electric cars. A national obligation to build charging infrastructure for electric cars whenever a large-scale renovation is completed in a housing company or on business premises will also be set. To promote more sustainable mobility, cycling, walking and public transportation will be encouraged financially. Climate change mitigation will be more strongly taken into account in land use planning so that fture community structures motivate people to choose walking, cycling or public transport, particularly in urban areas.
    Contact Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of the Environment
  • Industry sector

    Public private cooperation in climate action. Ministries have developed sectoral low-carbon roadmaps together with our energy-intensive industries, including the chemical, technology, forest and energy industry, as well as other sectors. These roadmaps were completed and published in early June 2020. They provide important information about the emission reduction potential in each sector and we will make use of them while drawing up scenarios in support of climate and energy policies. They also enhance the industries’ commitment to climate action.
    Contact Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
  • Others

    Supporting innovation and a green transition. The Finnish Government has decided to set up a climate fund based on the State Business Development Company (VAKE). The fund will focus on combatting climate change, promoting digitalisation and boosting low carbon operations in manufacturing industries. The fund will be one way to channel investments in developing the circular economy, clean technology solutions and energy efficiency.
  • Land sector

    Reducing land use sector emissions and enhancing carbon sinks
    The government will develop a comprehensive climate program for the land use sector that includes measures such as safeguarding management, growth and health of forests, promoting afforestation, reducing deforestation, reducing emissions of swamps and peatlands, climate-sustainable management of swamp forests, and reducing carbon emissions and strengthening carbon sequestration of agricultural land.
    Contact Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry

2.Climate adaptation measures

  • Adaptation planning

    Adaptation planning
    Finland was one of the first countries in the world to adopt a policy to guide climate change adaptation in 2005. The National Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2022 describes the current national adaptation policy framework. The aim of the adaptation plan is that the Finnish society has the capacity to manage the risks associated with climate change and adapt to changes in the climate. Based on the aim, the following objectives are to be achieved by the year 2022: 1) Adaptation has been integrated into the planning and activities of both the various sectors and their actors; 2) The actors have access to the necessary climate change assessment and management methods; 3) Research and development work, communication, and education and training have enhanced the adaptive capacity of society, developed innovative solutions and im-proved citizens’ awareness on climate change adaptation. A broad-based monitoring group consisting of relevant ministries and other authorities, regional and local actors, research institutes, expert organisation in fire and rescue services, and financial services coordinates the implementation of the Adaptation Plan.
    Contact Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry

3.Cross-cutting measures

  • Governance

    Preparing a sustainable taxation roadmap
    The Finnish Government is planning to reform the energy and transport taxation. The reform should be based on cost-efficiency and accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels while meeting the requirements of social justice. The roadmap will also aim to promote the circular economy.
    Contact Ministry of Finance
  • Others

    Focus on green recovery and developing criteria for it
    A working group on sustainable recovery was appointed by the Ministry of the Environment in April this year. The task of this working group is to propose measures that will promote economic recovery while also responding to the climate crisis and decline in biodiversity. The working group will give its final report in the autumn. So far it has developed a set of draft criteria to assess the impacts of individual measures on the climate, sufficiency of natural resources, circular economy, biodiversity, and state of the environment and given preliminary recommendations on sectors to focus on in recovery measures.
    Contact Ministry of the Enviroment
  • Governance

    Developing Finland's Climate Act
    The Climate Act adopted in 2015 establishes a planning scheme for a systematic and inclusive climate policy. The Act will be amended in a way that will enable Finland to achieve the target of carbon neutrality by 2035 and update the emissions reduction target for 2050. According to the Government Programme also the land use sector and a target for strengthening carbon sinks will be included in the Act.
    Contact Ministry of the Environment

4.Other environmental measures

  • Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumption

    Developing a strategic, horizontal circular economy program
    The program’s focus areas include circular economy in the construction sector, the role of cities and regions, circularity in heavy industry and new technologies and business models. It is being prepared in cooperation with key ministries and stakeholders and will be completed this year.
    Contact Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
  • Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumption

    Reducing emissions and promoting circularity in the construction sector
    In 2017, Finland launched a low carbon roadmap for construction. It aims at including the carbon footprint of building materials in Finnish regulation for new buildings by 2025. This means setting threshold values for life cycle emissions of different building types. Now the Finnish government aims to enhance the circular economy and increase the recycling of materials in the construction sector.
    Contact Ministry of the Environment