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Finland is supporting actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. Some of the emission reduction efforts are based on European Union legislation. For example, black carbon emissions are reduced under particulate emission measures. These measures are carried out by implementation of the European vehicle emission standards according to the agreed timetable, by further development of the European emission standards for non-road engines, and by preparation of standards for small-scale combustion units. In its revision of the National Emission Ceilings Directive, the European Commission is proposing more stringent emission limit values for non-road mobile machinery, and possible additional emission ceilings for fine particulates and black carbon, and even for methane. The proposal is under consultation in 2013, and further negotiations are foreseen in the near future.
National policies on black carbon are being formulated according to the work during the last decade of several research programmes and individual projects on fine particulates and black carbon, and on their health effects. State research institutes — the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), VTT Technical Research Centre and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) — and the universities of Helsinki and Eastern Finland have participated in several of these studies. These institutes have also participated in international or EU-wide projects.
The Ministry of the Environment has supported the development of the Finnish Regional Emission Scenario (FRES) model at the Finnish Environment Institute. This integrated assessment model is used to calculate the exceedance of critical loads and assess health effects of air pollution. Recently, the model was expanded to include the assessment of radiative forcing from SLCP emissions in Finland. This allows for corresponding assessments of the effects of carbon dioxide and black carbon measures. Such work will form part of the 2013 review of the National Climate Strategy.
Additionally, the use of modern biofuels in transport is encouraged on the national level, and under local efforts, the procurement procedures of bus services are being amended to include lower emissions as one selection criterion. The Finnish Environment Institute has also launched a study to estimate possible reductions in particulate matter (PM) emissions from small-scale combustion over a period of 10 to 20 years. The study includes review of several measures for reducing emissions, such as product standards, information campaigns and add-on technologies, assessment of their potential for reducing emissions on a national scale, and assessment of possible impacts on human health and climate. The study will include and compare several SLCPs and greenhouse gases.
The 2008 National Climate Strategy already included measures for reducing methane emissions from waste management and agriculture and some reduction measures for HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). Further emission reduction measures are now being considered in the 2013 review process of the Strategy. For HFCs, Finland aims to influence the on-going revision of the EU legislation, and, in addition, is considering the use of voluntary economic instruments.
In the 2012 revision of the multi-pollutant protocol of the UN/ECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, Finland was in favour of including legal elements for black carbon. Finland also contributes actively to the work on short-lived climate pollutants launched by the Arctic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers, and is co-leading a project on Black Carbon Reduction from Residential Wood Stoves under the Arctic Council. Finland is also a participant in two development cooperation projects within the framework of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.