Climate measures in the land use sector

 Achieving the target of a carbon neutral Finland by 2035 requires significant measures fast to reduce emissions in the energy and transport sectors, as well as emission reductions in the land use sector and strengthening carbon sinks and reservoirs. As stated in the Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government, during this Government term the land use sector will be even more closely linked to the planning and implementation of the national climate and energy policy. The Government Programme contains a good number of climate measures concerning agriculture, forestry and land use changes that will in future be incorporated into the climate change plan for the land use sector.

Climate Change Plan for the Land Use Sector

This year, a climate change plan will be drawn up for the land use sector. Statements and comments on the draft plan can be submitted from 14 April to 18 May 2022. The plan will specify the means by which climate emissions from the land use sector can be reduced and carbon sinks and reservoirs strengthened.

The Climate Change Plan for the Land Use Sector will contribute to Finland’s target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. The plan will also implement the climate targets of the European Union and international commitments. The target set for the plan is that the measures included in it will reach a climate impact of at least three million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2035.

The Climate Change Plan for the Land Use Sector covers measures targeted at carbon dioxide emissions from agricultural land, forests, land use changes and climate wetlands. In addition, the Climate Change Plan will include an implementation plan and a plan on how the measures and their impacts will be monitored.

Interactive drafting process

To support the drafting process, a working group composed of the key ministries was appointed in the beginning of 2021. The monitoring group for the package of measures for the land use sector monitors the drafting process and promotes the much needed dialogue will stakeholders. The process to prepare the Climate Change Plan for the Land Use Sector is interactive. As the work has proceeded, numerous consultations and other participatory events have been organised. 

The environmental impact assessment of the Climate Change Plan for the Land Use Sector was conducted by Gaia Consulting and Pellervo Economic Research PTT. The environmental impact assessment has been closely linked to the preparation of the plan, and its results have been used in specifying the measures to be included. The assessment also examined how the plan takes into account the principles of a just transition and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Measures in the Catch the Carbon package lay the foundation for the preparation and implementation of the plan. 

Plan coordinated with other strategies

In the drafting process, consistency with the Climate and Energy Strategy and the Medium-term Climate Change Policy Plan has been taken into account. Their preparation materials, including the Carbon Neutral Finland 2035 project, were utilised to draft the plan. The Climate Change Plan for the Land Use Sector will be part of the planning system under the Climate Change Act. The implementation of the plan will be monitored in the annual climate change reports to Parliament.

The Climate Change Plan for the Land Use Sector will promote overall sustainability. Climate measures in the land use sector will be implemented in several fields in cooperation with the Government’s other strategies, programmes and projects. The key processes include the National Forest Strategy 2025, the Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014-2020, measures under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union in the forthcoming CAP Strategic Plan, and the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2022. The plan is to be given as Government report to Parliament in summer 2022.

Greenhouse gas emissions reduced and carbon sinks and reservoirs increased in agriculture and forestry

In the land use sector, greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced especially in the use of peatlands and by preventing the conversion of forests into other types of land (forest loss). Carbon sequestration in forests can be promoted by taking care of forest health and productivity. Afforestation of wastelands is one way to increase the forest area and, through this, carbon sequestration.

To preserve carbon sinks and reservoirs, it is also important to prepare for the growing risks, including plant diseases and forest damages.

Production and use of scientific knowledge in a key position

Cost-efficient and effective implementation requires a strong knowledge base and impact assessments, which is why the production and efficient utilisation of scientific knowledge are in a key position.

Work to implement the climate measures is done across different sectors and in cooperation with private stakeholders. Many of the measures also contribute to the targets set in other Government strategies, programmes and projects. The current steering systems and incentives are being used to promote climate measures in the land use sector. 

Catch the Carbon – Synergies between climate measures in the land use sector and water management (file does not meet accessibility standards)

Related topics

Action measures
Responsibly from farm to fork
Climate-friendly Food Programme
National Forest Strategy 2025
Forests and climate change

Questions and feedback to [email protected]

Further information

Anna Salminen, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Natural Resources and Water Management 0295162002  


Joel Järvinen, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Forests and Bioenergy 0295162133  


Heikki Granholm, luonnonvaraneuvos 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Natural Resources and Water Management 0295162130  


Tia-Maria Virtanen, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Natural Resources and Water Management 0295162066