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Finland far behind climate goals, think tank says

Research institute Etla says Finland needs to triple its current emissions cuts in order to be carbon neutral by 2035.

Liikennettä Oulun Limingantullissa.
Finnish industries would have to triple their rate of emissions cuts to secure carbon neutrality in 2035, Etla said. Image: Esko Jämsä / AOP

Finland's carbon emissions are dropping far too slowly to reach the country's climate goals, according to a fresh report from the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Etla).

After analysing emissions trends, the institute found that even if Finland embarked on a radically more effective emissions reduction plan than it currently has, it would not be enough to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by the year 2035.

In practice, the group said reaching its target would require a further seven percent reduction of fossil fuel emissions annually. That means Finland's current pace – a reduction of roughly two percent per year – would have to at least triple in order to avoid even more severe emissions cuts in the future.

"The public sector can support efforts to reach carbon neutrality by, among other things, funding research and technology development, removing harmful subsidies, introducing environmental taxes and helping develop the EU's emissions trading system," Etla said in a statement. "Carbon neutrality can also be taken into account in public procurement and infrastructure investments."

Etla's projections for average emissions cut levels extend through the year 2023, when the EU will assess the pace at which natural carbon sinks such as forests have grown.

Next month the Finnish government plans to consider new measures on how to reach the country's 2035 carbon neutrality pledge.

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