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Finland publishes new sustainable development strategy

Government Communications Department
Publication date 25.4.2022 17.11 | Published in English on 26.4.2022 at 16.40
Press release 257/2022
Panelists at the launch of the National Commission on Sustainable Development's strategy on 25 April 2022.
The launch of the strategy was held at the Think Corner.

Finland’s new sustainable development strategy was published on Monday 25 April. The strategy’s vision is a prosperous and globally responsible Finland that protects the carrying capacity of nature. The purpose of the strategy is to strengthen the work to advance sustainable development across government terms.

Drawn up by the National Commission on Sustainable Development, the strategy extends from 2022 until 2030. The Commission is chaired by Prime Minister Sanna Marin, and its members represent a broad range of different sectors in society.

The strategy is built around the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The UN’s 2030 Agenda guides all countries in the world in their work towards sustainable development. Last year, the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development prepared a national 2030 Agenda roadmap, and the new strategy is based on the results of this roadmap work. 

“The sustainability challenges at hand are systemic issues, so the solutions to them should also pay attention to systems and their needs for change. It is also important to build faith in our ability to influence what the future will look like. It is the joint task of the Commission and Finnish society as a whole to create a future worth striving for,” says Commission Secretary General Sami Pirkkala from the Prime Minister’s Office. 

The strategy is based on six areas where systemic change is needed to achieve a sustainable future:

  • Sustainable consumption and an economy and jobs that promote wellbeing
  • Education, skills and sustainable lifestyles
  • Wellbeing, health and social inclusion
  • A sustainable energy system
  • A food system that promotes wellbeing
  • Use of forests, waters and land in a way that strengthens biodiversity and advances carbon neutrality

Each area of change is different in nature and will require different kinds of changes in society. The areas of change that emphasise the economy, work and consumption and culture, competence and lifestyle will require significant changes in society’s mindsets. The area of change concerning health and wellbeing, on the other hand, will require shifting the focus of activities in society towards prevention. The areas of change affecting energy and food systems depend on ongoing technological and behavioural changes, which need to be supported and strengthened. Finally, the area of change concerning the use of forests, water bodies and land will require a comprehensive shift in our society’s ways of thinking in order to halt biodiversity loss.

In addition to the areas of change, the strategy outlines measures Finland is taking to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in other parts of the world, above all in developing countries.

Next, the Commission will start working on an implementation plan for the strategy, which will identify key operators and the most effective measures, for example. The strategy will also be presented to the political parties during the spring to support the parties in preparing their election programmes, thereby paving the way for the strategy’s implementation across government terms.

Inquiries: Sami Pirkkala, Chief Specialist, Secretary General of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, tel. +358 50 598 0724, Prime Minister’s Office