Finland is intent on raising the number of electric and natural gas vehicles on its roads to 250,000 and 50,000 respectively by 2030, Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications, revealed in news conference on Thursday.
With the country currently having fewer than one thousand registered electric vehicles, measures such as tax incentives will be required to achieve this objective, she acknowledged.
“Finland's options are either a tax system reform or a practice that makes those who produce emissions pay for them. The objectives can't be reached without major structural changes,” said Berner.
The Finnish Government has committed to reducing emissions from transport by 39 per cent relative to the levels of 2005. The transport sector currently produces roughly 11 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 40 per cent of all emissions covered by the emissions trading scheme, and will have to make up 3.6 million tonnes of the 6 million tonnes in emissions cuts the country has commited to delivering.
Berner estimated that the objective can be reached by improving the energy efficiency of vehicles and the transport system as a whole in a technologically neutral way and by replacing petroleum-based fuels with renewable ones.
She also called attention to the importance of closer co-operation with automotive manufacturers and efforts to ensure the electric vehicle infrastructure is build based on actual market needs.
The Government also announced its willingness to promote the sharing economy, to develop automated and remote transport solutions, and to increase the efficiency of transport services to ensure they are genuinely competitive and available to everyone. The share of journeys made by foot or bicycle should according to it be raised to 30 per cent of all journeys.
The co-ordination of land use and transport must consequently be enhanced, according to Berner.
The Government's climate and energy strategy stipulates that transport emissions should be halved by 2030 and reduced virtually to zero by 2050. The strategy was designed to meet the objectives laid out the Paris Agreement and the emissions reduction targets adopted by the European Union by the end of the next decade, but it also looks further into the future, said Olli Rehn (Centre), the Minister of Economic Affairs.
“We're also looking further into the future, because we're now building a bridge towards entirely carbon-neutral and emissions-free energy use and production in Finland in 2050,” he stated.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi