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Since joining the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) in 2012, Finland has led significant efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and protect the Arctic, where the rate of warming is more than the global average. Finland advocates strongly for the Arctic, actively addressing the importance of mitigating black carbon emissions during its chairmanship of the Arctic Council between 2017 and 2019. In the CCAC, Finland has been active particularly in the residential initiative, the SNAP initiative and the HFC initiative and has consistently pledged to the CCAC Trust Fund.
Speaking to the 11th High Level Assembly of the CCAC in 2019, the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, said “As a partner of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, Finland is committed to this work on a global scale, because this is not just a regional emergency. If we lose the Arctic, we lose the globe.” In 2017, Finland, along with the other Arctic States, adopted a collective target of reducing black carbon emissions from their 2013 levels by 25-33% by 2025. Finland is dedicated to implementing the Framework for Actions on Enhanced Black Carbon and Methane Emissions Reductions both at the national level, and internationally.
In 2019, the Finnish National Air Pollution Control Programme (NAPCP) was introduced. The NAPCP comprises of actions to implement the emissions reduction commitments of Finland under the National Emissions Ceilings Directive (2016/2284/EU), as well as other actions to improve air quality. The NAPCP introduces measures that aim, among other things, to improve air quality by reducing emissions from small scale wood burning, the largest source of black carbon in Finland. These measures aim to improve guidance aimed at the general public, reduce the harm caused by polluting wood burning stoves and enhance the prevention of smoke hazards. To complement this programme, research is being carried out to develop emission-measurement methods and an emission-based eco-label for wood sauna stoves.
According to Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government Programme, Finland will be carbon neutral in 2035 and carbon negative soon after that. The national climate policy planning system, defined in the Climate Change Act from 2015, consists of a Long-term Climate Change Policy Plan, a Medium-term Climate Change Policy Plan and an Adaptation Plan. The planning system operates in parallel with the drafting process of the national Energy and Climate Strategy. SLCP issues are addressed as part of the climate policy, particularly in the Medium-term Climate Change Policy Plan. The Climate Change Act and key plans and strategies are currently under review.
Transport is Finland’s second largest source of black carbon. The 2017 Medium-term Climate Change Policy Plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas and black carbon emissions from transport with measures such as replacing fossil fuels with renewable and low-emission fuels and power sources, improving energy efficiency of vehicles and other means of transport, and seeking to improve the overall efficiency of the transport system.
At the international level Finland provides multilateral and bilateral aid, with the aim of supporting actionable and scalable solutions that lead to significant emissions reductions of methane and black carbon. The Northern Dimension and Regional Councils, including the Arctic Council and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, provide forums to take concrete action utilizing multilateral financial instruments such as the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership and the Arctic Council’s Project Support Instrument (PSI). Through the Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP), Finland has supported technology development and transfer. The EEP Mekong programme has financed biogas production from agricultural and municipal household waste in Thailand and Cambodia, while EEP Africa has funded the manufacture of clean cookstoves. Finland has contributed financial support to the World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) and Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF). Finland is also active in the Global Methane Initiative (GMI).
Finland has a high level of expertise in climate change and air pollution mitigation. During its chairmanship of the Artic Council, Finland chaired the Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane. Finland has acted as a co-lead in the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme’s (AMAP) Short-lived Climate Forcers Expert Group.
Read below for more highlights of Finland’s work.
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