Finland among the front-runners at international climate summit
In his speech at the Paris climate summit, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä strongly highlighted Finland’s high motivation and front-running role in climate and environmental issues. The international “One Planet Summit” event, organised by the French Government, the United Nations and the World Bank in Paris on 12 December, was attended by more than 50 Heads of State and Government. The purpose of the summit, organised on the second anniversary of the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, was to support the implementation of the agreement.
Climate warming threatens to exceed than the two-degree upper limit set in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. One of the key goals of the Paris summit on 12 December was to raise additional funding to combat climate change. Finland reported on a climate fund, which it founded in October together with the International Finance Cooperation (IFC). Finland will channel a total of EUR 114 million of development cooperation financing into the fund. The aim is also to attract into the fund a large amount of private capital.
“Via the fund, money will be invested in the least developed countries, in projects aimed at combating climate change. At the same time, the goal is to increase the number of jobs and thereby reduce poverty,” said Prime Minster Sipilä.
In his speech, Prime Minister Sipilä also reminded the summit that the international community really must act now in order to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
“In Finland, we are well on schedule with our national climate objectives. Our ambitious key objective is to stop using coal completely in energy production by 2030 and to become carbon neutral as a society by 2045,” said Sipilä.
“Finland’s experience shows that sustainable development and combating climate change go hand in hand. Our move towards a greener economy has already brought many benefits to the environment, society and the economy,” continued Prime Minister Sipilä.
Summit highlighted new initiatives
So far, the emissions reduction promises of the world’s countries cover only one third of the action required by the Paris Agreement. In Paris on 12 December, 10 climate initiatives were presented, in which countries were encouraged to participate. One of them is the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which encourages governments, companies and organisations to embrace the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power. Finland was involved in establishing this alliance at the Bonn Climate Conference in November.
In Paris, Finland joined a number of new initiatives on, for example, reducing transport emissions, and particularly marine transport emissions, as well as setting a long-term carbon neutrality target.
“These commitments will complement the emissions reduction promises made for the Paris Agreement. I am particularly pleased about the initiative on reducing marine transport emissions. It is important that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is also setting out on the path to reducing emissions,” said Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing Kimmo Tiilikainen.
“The Carbon Neutrality Initiative is an excellent opportunity to share experiences and best practices with other countries. In Finland, the medium-term climate change plan and the background reports of the Climate Change Panel point the way forward to 2045. The intention is to start preparing a long-term plan next year,” continued Tiilikainen.
Climate change work in the Arctic Council
Work on climate change is also a key part of Finland’s Chairmanship Programme in the Arctic Council. Finland considers reducing black carbon emissions to be one of the most important tasks of Arctic cooperation. Reducing black carbon emissions is one means of supporting the achievement of the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Photographs of the One Planet Summit for media use: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums
Inquiries: Riikka Pakarinen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 580 0833 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office.
Further information on the One Planet Summit: http://www.climatefinanceday.com/one-planet-summit/
Further information on the Finland-IFC Climate Fund: http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?contentid=367374
Further information on the Paris Climate Agreement: www.ym.fi/Pariisi2015