Quick preliminary data shows that Finland's greenhouse gas emissions decreased in 2022. According to the preliminary information, the decrease compared to the previous year was four percent.

The total greenhouse gas emissions, excluding the land use sector, amounted to 45.8 million tonnes of CO₂-equivalents, which is two million tonnes less than in 2021.

"The emissions from the burden-sharing sector decreased by three percent and fell below the emission quota set by the EU for 2022 by approximately 1.3 million tonnes (CO₂-eq)," says Pia Forsell, Head of Development at Statistics Finland.

Finland's greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 36 percent compared to the base year 1990 and by 46 percent since 2003 when emissions reached their highest level during the 1990-2022 period.

In 2022, the land use sector returned to being a net carbon sink. According to the preliminary data, the net carbon sink in the land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) sector amounted to -1.0 million CO₂-equivalent tonnes.

"The decrease in harvesting volumes compared to the previous year contributed to the land use sector shifting from a small net emission to a small net carbon sink," says Senior Actuary Sini Niinistö.

"The assessment of whether the sector was a net emission source or a net carbon sink will be refined in the next release of the greenhouse gas statistics, for which updated information on wood products, land areas, and forest inventory will be available," adds Niinistö.

The energy sector remained the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in 2022, accounting for 72 percent of Finland's total emissions. However, emissions from the energy sector decreased by 1.3 million tonnes of CO₂-eq compared to the previous year.

"The decrease was primarily influenced by the decline in natural gas consumption. Natural gas prices were exceptionally high last year, and the cessation of pipeline gas imports from Russia at the end of May 2022 further reduced its usage," says Senior Actuary Päivi Lindh.

The decrease in natural gas consumption reduced emissions by 2.1 million tonnes of CO₂-eq. However, the use of coal replaced some of the natural gas in energy production, resulting in a 0.8 million-ton increase in emissions from coal.

According to the preliminary data, emissions from industrial processes and product use decreased by nearly 12 percent. The significant reduction in emissions was mainly due to a nearly one-fifth decrease in emissions from the metal industry, resulting from a reduction in steel production.

Emissions from agriculture remained at the same level as the previous year, at slightly over six million tonnes.

"A slight decrease in the number of cattle and pigs reduced emissions from enteric fermentation and manure management, but higher crop yields increased soil emissions from crop residues, resulting in overall unchanged emissions from agriculture," explains Niinistö.

On the other hand, emissions from the waste sector continued to decrease. Emissions from waste treatment decreased by five percent compared to the previous year.

The emission and removal data for 2022 were calculated at a rougher level and using different methods than the data for preceding years. The data will be refined as all the information used in the calculations becomes available. The preliminary data for the greenhouse gas statistics will be published in December 2023, and the official data will be released in March 2024.