Transport and Communications Minister Timo Harakka (SDP) has said that he would not favour increasing diesel and petrol prices, according to news group Uutissuomalainen.
The news consortium reported on Saturday that the minister gave the assurance, despite that fact that a new report commissioned by his ministry indicated that fuel price hikes would be one of the most effective ways of slashing vehicle emissions.
The paper quoted Harakka as saying that many other measures are needed to avoid raising petrol and diesel prices.
One of the government’s targets is to halve greenhouse gas emissions from transport by the year 2030.
Last week, a report by Aalto University, the technology research centre VTT and the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom recommended strategies to meet that goal. The report declared that it would be impossible to halve vehicle emissions in 10 years without changing fuel prices.
Harakka said that he supported increased use of biofuels and biogas as petrol as well as the fastest possible production of industrially-produced fuels in mandatory distribution. He also noted that a bill to revive a cash for clunkers scheme to get old cars off the road has also been circulated for commenting.
"We have already begun the scrap incentive scheme, which will help renew the vehicle population and help relieve current distress in the auto industry," Harakka wrote via email in response to questions posed by the news group.
The minister noted that it is also possible to offset a possible fuel price hike for low income earners as well as residents of sparsely populated areas.
Edit: Updated at 3.27 pm on 18 October to reflect the minister's statement that he would not favour increasing prices for diesel and petrol..