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Finnish researchers urge steeper carbon emissions cuts to fight climate change

Finland's top climate researchers say the country must cut carbon emissions by up to 100 percent to meet the targets laid down in the Paris climate accords.

Kivihiilikasoja Helsingin Hanasaaressa.
Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle
Yle News

Finland's climate panel, a group of 14 leading climate change researchers, say the government needs to target an 85-100 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2050 if it is to fulfill its obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement.

The international accord seeks to limit temperature increases due to climate change to below 2 degrees Celsius.

"The main message is that Finland's climate policy needs to be more ambitious," said the panel's chair Markku Ollikainen. "We need much bigger reductions in emissions and more carbon sink capacity."

The panel also suggested Finland's medium-term climate goals should be more ambitious. Current targets are to reduce greenhouse gases by some 39 percent by 2030.

The recommendations were submitted to Environment Minister Kimmo Tiilikainen on Thursday.

Carbon strategy being formulated

"It gives a strong signal that we need to do more and that we need to work faster to meet the targets in the Paris Agreement," said Tiilikainen.

The government had asked the panel for recommendations on fighting climate change, to feed into a new climate strategy slated for completion before parliamentary elections due early next year.

Under Finland's 2015 Climate Law, government is required to formulate a long-term climate strategy at least once every ten years. The strategy currently in the works will be the country's first.

This plan will also be submitted to the EU Commission to inform the EU's Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy by 2050.

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