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 are incorporated into the Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector.
Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector
The Government adopted a report on Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector on 8 July 2022. The plan specifies the means by which climate emissions from the land use sector can be reduced and carbon sinks and reservoirs strengthened.
The Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector contributes to Finland’s target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. The plan also implements 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 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 Plan will include an implementation plan and a plan on how the measures and their impacts will be monitored.
Government Report on Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector (in Finnish and Swedish)
Government approves Climate Plan for Land Use Sector (press release 8 July 2022)
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 monitored the drafting process and promoted the much needed dialogue with stakeholders. The process to prepare the Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector was interactive. As the work proceeded, numerous consultations and other participatory events were organised.
The environmental impact assessment of the Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector was conducted by Gaia Consulting and Pellervo Economic Research PTT. The environmental impact assessment was closely linked to the preparation of the plan, and its results were 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 Government's Catch the Carbon programme lay the foundation for the preparation and implementation of the plan.
Catch the Carbon programme has funded over 100 R&D&I projects
More than 100 research, development and innovation projects have been funded as a part of Catch the Carbon programme. These projects create new knowledge on climate-sustainable solutions for forestry and agriculture, engage stakeholders and actors in the land use sector as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sinks and reservoirs.
Variety of these projects have a strong practical applicability and they closely engage stakeholders to their project. These projects unite practitioners in a positive way and also enhance co-operation between public and private actors: farmers, forest owners, businesses, NGO´s, cities and communities, and citizens. Special emphasis is put on communication, interaction and competence to build better and strong implementation of climate-smart forestry and agriculture practices. For example, nudging is studied as a mean to enhance sustainable land use and food systems.
Plan coordinated with other strategies
In the drafting process of the Climate Plan for the Land Use Sector, 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 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 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.
Anna Salminen, Senior Specialist
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Natural Resources and Water Management Telephone:0295162002
Joel Järvinen, Senior Specialist
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Forests and Bioenergy Telephone:0295162133
Heikki Granholm, luonnonvaraneuvos
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Natural Resources and Water Management Telephone:0295162130
Tia-Maria Virtanen, Senior Specialist
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Natural Resources and Water Management Telephone:0295162066