On Wednesday 25 August, the Climate Policy Roundtable discussed the EU's Fit for 55 package, which presents the means that will enable the EU to reduce its emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

The members of the Roundtable considered the 55 package as an important and necessary opening. It was also seen to support Finland in achieving its own carbon neutrality target and to bring opportunities for Finnish companies. The implementation of the package will increase the demand for sustainable solutions, which will benefit Finland as a country with high-level competence and technologies.

However, the Roundtable also stressed the challenges associated with the broad scope of the package and the complexity of climate policy in general. The management of the package as a whole and identification of all the interconnections and combined impacts is a demanding task that requires intensive dialogue across the administrative branches and constant impact assessments.

The proposals of the Fit for 55 legislative package concern tightening the targets and regulation of emissions trading and extending it to new sectors, effort sharing between countries, social fund, renewable energy and energy efficiency, emission limits for motor vehicles, role of the land use sector, and carbon border tax and energy taxes. The Roundtable discussion also contributed to the process this autumn where the Government together with the Parliament will formulate its position on the proposals.

The Climate Policy Roundtable considered the strengthening and extension of emissions trading as important and welcome. Stronger carbon pricing creates predictability and ensures that emissions will be reduced. The emission reduction target set for Finland in effort sharing between Member States was considered challenging but attainable and necessary. Setting up a Social Climate Fund was also supported, with certain reservations. The purpose of the fund would be to promote the possibilities of citizens who are in the weakest position to improve energy efficiency and use clean transport. The topics discussed also included certain issues specific to Finland related to e.g. winter navigation and utilisation of biomass.

The Roundtable stressed that, in estimating the costs of the measures, it is also important to consider what the costs would be if no measures were taken. From the perspective of EU citizens and consumers a just policy is one that helps everyone to reduce their own emissions. Justice between the EU countries is further enhanced by the fact that the climate measures of the EU extend to a larger number of systems than before.

Source: Ministry of the Environment