Should Finland pay the EU a billion-dollar bill? Kai Maikanen: The situation remains open

Environment and Climate Minister Kai Maikanen (Kog) said the government had not given up on climate targets. However, according to the latest annual climate report, Finland will not reach its 2035 carbon neutrality goal.

Minister of Environment and Climate Kai Maikanen (kok) says it is still impossible to say how much money Finland will spend on buying emission units to meet EU obligations.

One recently prepared by the Ministry of Environment Annual Climate Report Based on this, Finland falls far short of the obligations in the EU’s LULUCF regulation for the years 2021-2025 in the land use sector without purchasing emission units. Reaching the obligation for the 2026-2030 season also seems uncertain.

The carbon sink is particularly affected by deforestation, which has been increased, for example, by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

According to Mykkänen, the extent of Finland’s deficit and the Commission’s interpretation of the matter are not yet known, as neither the supply nor the price of emission units is yet known.

– Now there are discussions with the European Commission about whether it is a big sin if we cut down a forest in Russia before, and now if we cut down in Finland we have to change it, if we talk about these short-term problems, Mikkanen says. Iltalehde in relation to the Suomi-arena in Pori.

Based on the annual report, Finland has not achieved the 2035 carbon neutrality goal written into the Finnish Climate Act.

Billions?

Finland’s costs of buying emissions rights could be in the billions, according to estimates last year by the Finnish Climate Committee.

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In an interview with Iltalehti a year ago, Maikanen said that Finland would negotiate with the EU to eliminate at least part of the emissions credit for the years 2021-2025.

How did these negotiations go?

– There is a work going on here among experts on how to isolate the effect of the cessation of Russian wood imports on this weakness of the sink from other statistics. This work is progressing well. Of course, the final decision must be made with the European Commission.

Michnan can’t answer when the negotiations will end, but he believes next winter and year will be crucial in this regard when the new commission begins its term and last season’s inventory will be very relevant.

Is the government abandoning climate targets?

– No more than the previous government. Two years ago, this situation of the current system was already visible, i.e. the carbon sequestration of forests has decreased as a trend for 15 years.

According to Prime Minister Maikanen Peter Orbon (kok) Government now brings Sanna Marin (SD) Disclose the facts related to climate targets more honestly than the government.

– Fossil emissions are going well, but not where they need to be to be carbon neutral in 10 years. There needs to be a big societal debate about this, can we find ways to restore that sink, can we fix that sink, for example by taking large amounts of carbon dioxide from factory chimneys, and how do we do that?

Michnan, while presenting the annual report to the media on Thursday He pointed out that in current forecast models, the sink in the land use sector can only recover sufficiently if it is significantly reduced from current levels.

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According to Michanan, the government’s goal is to increase carbon sinks, for example by developing forest management systems, changing the treatment of peatlands and increasing forest fertilization. In addition, the government aims to accelerate the reduction of fossil emissions, particularly in industry and energy production.

– That’s why the government will bring a firm tax carrot for clean transition investments, continue the tax carrot for electric cars, and start supporting mechanisms for large-scale recovery of carbon dioxide from large industrial emissions as a new opening, says Mikkanen. .

Hard turns?

According to Mykkänen, there will be negotiations within the group on what is the best way to take climate action, in terms of the most cost-effective and Finland’s competitiveness.

– Of course in every decision there is a discussion about whether it will affect the daily expenses, gas pipelines or transport of the company, which is an absolutely valid question. For 25 years, my view is that future competitiveness is gained by not being dependent on Russian fossil fuels.

According to Michonne, the government is capable of acting on climate matters and decisions will be made in the future.

– I believe this government’s decisions will accelerate rather than reduce our fossil emissions in 10 years.

As for his personal life, Maikanen says he will consider during the summer whether he will run for Espoo’s vacant mayor’s post next year. Mukkanan’s reflection said Formerly Länsiväylä.

– In the summer vacation, sometimes when I have time, I will consider it, but it has not been considered yet.

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