Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy: Measures after coronavirus epidemic to support the building of a carbon neutral society
At its meeting on Wednesday 1 April, the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy discussed the economic measures after the coronavirus epidemic and the set of measures concerning a just transition.
At the moment, the main focus of Finland and its Government is on dealing with the acute coronavirus crisis, but at the same time measures should also be prepared to get the country back onto its feet after the crisis. Last week the leaders of the EU countries stated that the economic recovery measures to be taken in the EU after the crisis must be in line with the European Green Deal. At its meeting, the Ministerial Working Group noted that the measures to be taken in Finland will also be such that they will support and boost the climate and circular economy objectives in the Government Programme.
“The suffering caused by the crisis must be eased by all possible means. By rebuilding the economy we can ensure not only what we have today and tomorrow, but also wellbeing and jobs for the day after tomorrow. The economy must be brought back onto a sustainable path by taking action that supports climate work and transition into a circular economy,” says Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen.
“In the government spending limit discussion next week we will focus our resources to finding solutions to the acute crisis. However, the preparation of climate actions will continue on the basis of what was decided at the Government’s climate meeting early this year,” Mikkonen says.
The ministers also discussed the set of measures concerning a just transition, i.e. measures by which the Government takes into account the possible discriminatory impacts of climate actions. Such policy measures include setting up a parliamentary Social Security Committee, Climate Policy Roundtable and working group on peat, and the assessment of impacts on income distribution as part of the Budget. To support the Government’s work, various kinds of studies and surveys are being made concerning e.g. the transformation of the food sector, role of the bioeconomy, and impacts of climate policy on income distribution. The secretariat of the Ministerial Working Group follows the implementation of the set of measures concerning a just transition and reports on this on a regular basis.
Also on the agenda was the international climate work done in Finland. Climate change will be mainstreamed in all foreign policy making. The main objectives include tackling big polluters, fighting against the use of black carbon, and laying the foundation for exporting climate, environmental and circular economy solutions.
The Ministerial Working Group also adopted the national long-term climate plan to be submitted to the European Commission and discussed the feedback and comments received on the amendments to the Energy Efficiency Act.
The task of the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy is to guide and direct the implementation of the Government Programme with respect to promoting the carbon neutrality target, strengthening of carbon sinks and decision-making on climate and energy policy, while also taking into account social justice and international competitiveness.
Riikka Yliluoma, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, tel. +358 50 414 1682, [email protected]