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Supreme Court throws out climate case

The case was brought after the last government's final climate report.

Finnish forests, shot from above, with the sun peeking through the clouds.
Finnish forest usage is at the centre of current climate battles. Image: Topi Lainio / Getty Images
Yle News

The Supreme Administrative Court has dismissed a case brought by environmentalists over the government's reporting of climate targets and measures to achieve them.

Last October the government published its annual, legally mandated climate report. They did not, however, include an assessment of any additional measures required to meet climate targets.

The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and Greenpeace brought a case to try and force the government to include this information.

The organisations said that additional measures were required, as Statistics Finland reported in June 2022 that the land use sector in Finland had become a source of emissions in 2021, rather than a carbon sink.

Failure to include an assessment of measures needed to compensate for that indicated that the government had effectively decided that additional measures were unnecessary and that the government had changed a previously-agreed climate plan for the land-use sector, according to the organisations.

The court ruled that the primary responsibility for meeting internationally agreed climate goals lies with democratically elected politicians.

The court's role, on the other hand, is to ensure that politicians' decisions do not infringe on people's basic rights.

The court disagreed, ruling that the report's content was not subject to appeal on those grounds. It was a 3-2 split decision, with two of the judges arguing to accept the case.

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