Finland at the forefront of sustainable development budgeting
Preparation of the 2019 Budget is under way. The aim is to improve and ex-pand the way in which sustainable development is treated in the Budget, making it easier to identify the appropriations that relate to it. Finland’s ac-tions in this area have received attention internationally.
The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was approved two years ago. For the first time, all countries agreed on a joint action plan featuring concrete goals for sustainable development. Progress with the 2030 Agenda is monitored jointly each year. In accordance with the Government report on implementing the Agenda, Finland is focusing on two priority areas: a carbon-neutral and resource-wise Finland, and a non-discriminating, equal and highly skilled Finland.
Brainstorming provided ideas for sustainable development budgeting
In autumn 2017, at short notice, texts about putting sustainable development into effect in the different branches of government were included for the first time in a government budget submission, the 2018 budget proposal.
Under the direction of Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo, the Ministry of Finance arranged a seminar in November 2017, to which representatives of various organisations, public officials and others were invited. The seminar focused on the search for ideas about how sustainable development can be taken into consideration in the Budget. The participants numbered more than 100, and many different ideas were presented.
The results of the brainstorming have been used in determining the next steps in the preparation of the 2019 Budget.
Analysis broadened in 2019 Budget
In the justifications for the main expenditure titles in the 2019 budget proposal, the connections that the appropriations have with sustainable development will be brought out more clearly. The main title justifications will cover both of Finland’s priority areas and the 2030 Agenda connections.
A new element in the 2019 budget proposal will be a separate analysis focusing especially on the appropriation connections relevant to the priority area of a carbon-neutral and resource-wise Finland. The analysis will examine which appropriations represent specific advances towards the aims of this priority area. The analysis will be incorporated into the rationale section of the budget proposal.
The budget proposal and the budget review will also examine among the revenue estimates the main taxation issues that are of significance for a carbon-neutral and resource-wise Finland.
The rationale will also incorporate a qualitative assessment of elements of public funding that are detrimental to the environment, on the basis of earlier studies.
Sustainable development issues will also be emphasised in the budget review publication.
Finland among the frontrunners
Finland is one of the first countries in the world that is seeking to identify the connections between government budgeting and sustainable development. The work performed so far has generated extensive international interest in Finland’s inclusive framework. To ensure an appropriate model is established for Finland, it will be necessary to proceed gradually, one step at a time.
The challenges in our shared world are mainly challenges common to us all that we should resolve together. The Ministry of Finance views the sustainable development goals with ambition and wishes to further advance the sustainable development budgeting process.
Johanna von Knorring-Rosenlew, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 2955 30232, [email protected]
Mikko Kortelainen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 50 3018334, [email protected]