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Ministry unfolds roadmap to emission-free vehicles by 2045

The country's long-stated goal is to at least halve transport emissions from 2005 levels by the year 2030.

Liikennettä Länsiväylällä Espoossa.
Länsiväylä motorway Espoo, file photo. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has issued a draft roadmap for Finland's goal of transitioning to carbon-free vehicular transportation over the next decade.

The country's long-stated goal is to at least halve transport emissions from 2005 levels by the year 2030.

In 2005 the emissions from road transport amounted to around 12.5 million tonnes of carbon, and by 2030 the plan is to reduce the amount to 6.25 million tonnes.

The ministry's three-phase roadmap, published on Friday, is particularly relevant to road transportation, which accounts for the majority of Finland's overall transport emissions.

The map sets a course for transition to zero emissions by the year 2045, according to transport and communications minister Timo Harakka (SDP), who said he was pleased with the roadmap.

"Transportation will play a major role in achieving national emission reduction targets. We will start by supporting and encouraging firms and citizens to use increasingly sustainable modes of transport," Harakka said in a ministry statement.

Update vehicles, charging point infrastructure

The government will assess whether there is a need for additional measures in order to halve emissions by 2030 in the autumn, according to Harakka. Such measures could include emissions trading schemes or increases on fuel taxes.

In October, a ministerial working group said that in order to reach the emissions goals, Finland would need to replace fuel-burning vehicles with 700,000 electric ones and to tax combustion engine-powered vehicles at higher rates.

The first of the three-phase roadmap aims to make the transition from fossil fuels by updating vehicles on the roads as well as the implementation of energy efficiency strategies via subsidies and incentives.

The first phase also suggests expanding pedestrian and cycling infrastructure as well as further supporting public transport initiatives.

The roadmap listed several goals and strategies, including the expansion of electric as well as biofuel distribution obligations, expanding public electric vehicle charging infrastructure, giving support to housing associations and workplaces to set up e-vehicle charging stations, setting up charging stations at petrol stations as well as encouraging ride sharing schemes.

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