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Ministers Lintilä and Saarikko to discuss EU taxonomy for sustainable finance with Commissioner McGuinness

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of Agriculture and ForestryMinistry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Finance
Publication date 10.11.2021 14.38
Press release

Commissioner Mairead McGuinness will visit Finland on 10–12 November on the invitation of Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä and Minister of Finance Annika Saarikko. The Ministers and the Commissioner will discuss the EU’s sustainable finance classification system, or the EU taxonomy, with special focus on themes related to energy and forests. The Commissioner will also meet Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä in Helsinki.

Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union, will visit Finland on 10–13 November. The theme of her visit is the EU taxonomy, or a classification system that establishes environmentally sustainable economic activities.

“Nuclear power plays an important role in achieving Finland’s carbon neutrality targets. The EU taxonomy must be technology neutral, meaning it must treat different low-emission forms of energy equally. The taxonomy must encourage sustainable investment and accelerate the green transition,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Lintilä. 

No decision has yet been made in the EU on whether nuclear power is to be classified as an environmentally sustainable form of energy production in the financing criteria. A delegated act that was adopted by the European Commission in the summer and is currently being examined by the European Council contained no criteria for nuclear power. In Finland, nuclear power plays a crucial role in achieving the carbon neutrality target in energy production. It is therefore important that the Commission adopt a complementary delegated act and evaluation criteria for nuclear energy as soon as possible.

Minister of Finance Annika Saarikko considers the visit of Commissioner McGuinness an opportunity to highlight Finnish expertise in the energy and forest sectors and to discuss the importance of sustainable financing.

“We fully endorse the objective of the taxonomy to direct capital to sustainable investment.  At the same time, the financing criteria must be easy to apply, understandable and unambiguous, and suitable for different kinds of companies. If this is not the case, the taxonomy will fail to support the sustainable financing objectives in practice. It is important that the criteria are prepared in close cooperation with the Member States,” Minister of Finance Saarikko emphasises. 

The Commissioner will also meet Prime Minister Marin and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Leppä and visit Finnish forests and Olkiluoto

During her visit, the Commissioner will also meet Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä. The Prime Minister and Commissioner McGuinness will discuss the importance of criteria for sustainable finance for promoting climate and environmental objectives in forestry and energy production.

Forests and the forest industry play a key role in the transition to a bio-based circular economy. Finland has emphasised that the taxonomy criteria for forestry should make use of existing concepts and requirements, and that they should also be easy to implement. The criteria should also reflect the fact that decision-making power in matters regarding forests and forestry rests with the Member States.  

In addition to meeting the ministers, the Commissioner will visit the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant and ONKALO, a facility for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel under construction in Eurajoki. She will also learn about sustainable forestry and forest management and use in Finland.

Teppo Säkkinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 516 2868 
Nina Alatalo, Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs (EU and International Affairs), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 171
Katja Tuokko, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 465 5533
Petra Schulze Steinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 40 671 7278
Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for European Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 50 468 5949

Annika Saarikko Jari Leppä Mika Lintilä Sanna Marin