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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) on Monday urged Finland to adopt an active approach to developing a market for carbon sinks in Europe. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) on Monday urged Finland to adopt an active approach to developing a market for carbon sinks in Europe. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) says Finland should take steps toward establishing a so-called carbon exchange during its upcoming presidency of the European Union.

“We’ll now set our sights properly on setting in motion a carbon exchange for the EU, which would allow us to bring carbon sinks into the equation […] so that Finnish farms and forests can generate additional revenues by functioning as carbon sinks,” he announced after a seminar on climate actions in Helsinki on Monday.

“That way all Finns can, in principle, contribute to increasing carbon sinks. But a real marketplace is needed to accomplish this and that’s what we’ll try to set in motion,” he added.

Sipilä estimated that establishing the exchange would require that carbon sinks are verified and the longevity of carbon reservoirs is guaranteed, which in turn would require accurate information on forest growth and standing timber.

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“We’re already able to measure standing timber tree by tree with laser scanning. That’s why Finland should adopt an active approach to devising a market for carbon sinks. We could move forward in the years to come by launching pilot projects,” he envisioned.

The idea of a carbon exchange was floated also by other participants in the seminar hosted by Sipilä.

Mika Anttonen, the founder and board chairperson at St1, explained that the exchange would serve as a marketplace for carbon dioxide emitted to and removed from the atmosphere by essentially imposing charges on those producing emissions and re-distributing the funds among those providing solutions to remove carbon dioxide.

By establishing the exchange, he added, Europe could set a responsible example for the rest of the world and seize the “billion-euro opportunity” arising from commercialising the carbon market.

Sipilä also estimated that countries must make progress on three fronts in order to successfully combat climate change: they must reduce consumption that produces carbon dioxide emissions, increase their natural and artificial carbon sinks, and adopt new technologies to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The seminar drew almost 170 people from different sectors of the society to discuss concrete actions to combat climate change. Sipilä revealed that the participants intend to re-convene in a month or two to develop their ideas further.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi