Energy and climate policy are key issues for the whole of humanity because of global warming and climate change. They are important for me as well. I have worked around them as an engineer and for the last 18 years as politician.
Global warming is a serious threat but at the same time it is an opportunity for Finnish companies to create new business. The cleantech industry is a rising field of business in Finland and there is lots of know-how on resource-saving solutions.
Finland is also one of the world's leading countries in bioenergy. Neste Oil, the world's biggest producer of biofuels, is a good example of a successful Finnish cleantech company. The strength of Finland lies our diverse set of energy sources. In order to increase the share of bioenergy, the government of Finland has recently raised subsidies for wood used in energy generation and decreased taxes on peat.
Former Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen set up a parliamentary committee on energy and climate issues in June 2013 to prepare a roadmap of climate and energy policy to the year 2050. The committee consists of two representatives for each parliamentary group. I represented the National Coalition Party in the committee with the Minister of Economy Jan Vapaavuori.
That roadmap is now ready. The target is for Finland to be a carbon-neutral society in 2050. It is not an easy target at all. A carbon-neutral Finland by 2050 requires decreasing the carbon-dioxide emissions by 80–95 per cent from the level of the 1990s. It is based on the European Council's decision from 2009 to cut emissions.
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