International climate change policy

The main international climate policy outlines were decided in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted in 1994. The aim is to stabilise the greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a 'non-dangerous' level.

The convention itself does not lay down any quantitative targets, but the industrialised countries have committed to reducing their carbon dioxide emissions as agreed in the Kyoto Protocol linked to the Convention. The first term of these commitments was 2008–2012 and the second covers the years 2013–2020. In the context of the Protocol an international calculation standard was decided for the sinks and emissions relating to forests, agriculture and land use.

A new comprehensive Climate Agreement was negotiated in Paris in 2015. The Agreement enters into force on the 30th day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least 55% of total global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified it.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is responsible for the role of forests, agriculture and land use in the Climate Agreement and for climate change adaptation. Growing forests sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (sink), carbon is stored in forests and forest products and forest-based products may substitute for fossil energy and unrenewable products. Land use has a significant role in creating greenhouse gas emissions.

Further information

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