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Finland ranks ninth in EU climate efforts

The Climate Action Network NGO has ranked Finland the ninth-best among 28 EU countries' efforts to combat climate change.

Kivihiilikasoja Helsingin Hanasaaressa.
File photo of coal pile at the Hanasaari power plant in Helsinki. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle
Yle News

Among 28 EU countries, Finland is ranked ninth in efforts to combat climate change, says Climate Action Network (CAN).

Finland's position behind Sweden and Denmark – the two other Nordic countries that also belong to the EU – is partly driven by the country’s policy on forestry, the non-governmental organisation said.

”With regard to forests, Finland is quite conservative and defends its own, rather than common, interests,” CAN Europe’s director Wendel Trio said.

”Finland is not bad, but it clearly does not defend climate issues as much as the other Nordic countries,” he added.

Last year, Finland’s forestry lobby won a major victory, after the EU’s proposal to cap forestry levels was amended to their approval.

Sweden tops list

According to CAN, Sweden ranks number one in its attempts to meet EU climate change targets, which include a 20 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by the year 2020. Also, EU states are expected to improve energy efficiency levels and increase their use of renewable energy resources.

“Sweden has really become much more active in its efforts in the past few years,” Trio said. Portugal and France held the second and third spots, respectively.

At the other end, Poland, Estonia and Ireland were deemed to have made the bloc's weakest efforts in fighting climate change. Poland has made little progress in trying to meet the EU’s climate targets by 2020 and has lobbied the EU to allow subsidies to coal plants longer than initially planned, according to CAN.

The two-week United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 24) begins in the Polish city of Katowice on Monday 2 December.

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