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Long-term climate and energy policy adopted in Finland

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The Finnish Government adopted on 15 October, 2009 the Foresight Report on Long-term Climate and Energy Policy. Setting a target to reduce Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent from the 1990 level by 2050 as part of an international effort, the report marks out the road to a low-carbon Finland in 2050. Climate protection offers opportunities for efficiency, technology and jobs. Low-carbon products and services may become the new cornerstone of Finland’s economy and exports, and a number of solutions that reduce emissions may also increase people’s personal well-being.

Climate protection needs to promote development that is ecologically, economically and socially sustainable. Indicators of sustainable well-being should be elaborated to complement gross domestic product data.

The target of the foresight report is a shift to a thriving low-carbon society in which emissions have been reduced by at least 80 per cent from the 1990 level by 2050 as part of a wider international effort. Other industrialised countries, together with emerging economies, will each bear their own fair share of the responsibility. In practice, the achievement of emission reductions in Finland requires virtually zero-emission energy and road transport sectors in the long term.

The report puts forward a number of specific policy lines covering targets, actions and areas requiring further study. For example, the energy standards for new buildings will be revised in order to improve energy efficiency, and efficiency improvements will be required in renovations of existing buildings. Ecological tax reform will be continued, and information concerning the climate impacts of choices in everyday life will be made easily available to citizens.