Government talks wrestle with carbon-neutral target practicalities

Experts have pointed out the government's ambitious aren't matched by concrete policies to make carbon neutrality a reality.

Government parties meet for 2-day climate summit in Helsinki, 3rd February 2020 / Credit: Laura Kotila, VNK

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has convened a two-day meeting of coalition government partners to discuss how Finland can transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

The event brings together the Social Democrats with the Centre Party, Greens, Left Alliance and Swedish People’s Party to discuss policy measures and timetables for action to hitt the government’s ambitious 2035 goal.

Experts have raised doubts whether there are enough concrete measures in the current government programme to bring Finland anywhere close to the target of carbon neutrality, and this week’s meeting is expected to look at those problem areas where commitments exceed action.

The forum brings politicians together with leading experts from academia, as well as the Finnish Meteorological Institute; the Finnish Environment Institute; VTT Technical Research Centre; Natural Resources Institute; Sitra Innovation Fund; and the Bank of Finland.

A key factor in the government’s climate strategy is how to reduce carbon emissions without impacting the economy or hurting jobs. Ministers will discuss those issues during Tuesday’s session.