Finland became the first country in the world to adopt a CO2 tax in 1990, and in the decades that have followed, this Nordic country has committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2035 through education, innovation and collaboration between private and public sector organizations. For the first time, Finland has expanded its presence with its own pavilion at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) and will be calling for more collaborative action between governments, policymakers, and public and private entities to combat climate change and accelerate the green transition. In partnership with Finnish companies, which rank among some of the most sustainable in the world, Finland will provide insights into its sustainability roadmap and showcase key solutions that are helping the country achieve its ambitious carbon neutrality targets.
Finland’s Journey to Net Zero
Finland’s progress toward becoming carbon neutral by 2035 demonstrates the effectiveness of the country’s approach and commitment to leading the green transition. Between 1990 and 2022, Finland reduced carbon emissions by 34 per cent and is on track to achieving carbon neutrality by 2035. The country is taking advantage of its unique starting position to be a pioneer in providing green solutions. With more than 75 per cent of the country’s land area covered by forest and being the only European country with access to all the minerals needed for batteries, Finland has set its sights on tapping into green demand and providing innovative solutions to help organizations and governments around the world achieve their carbon neutrality ambitions.
Through public and private cooperation, Finland is leading the clean power generation charge. Over 90 per cent of the country’s power generation is already carbon neutral, and Finland aims to double clean energy production. Aiming to ‘plug the smokestacks’ by 2035, the Finnish government is set to introduce policies to ensure CO2 emissions from large industrial sources are eliminated by the mid-2030s, laying the foundation for capturing and circulating bio-based carbon dioxide in hydrogen value chains.
Finland was also the first country to write a roadmap to a circular economy, and its businesses are working strategically on global-scale solutions for clean growth. In addition to researching and developing new materials, sustainable production processes, waste reduction methods and ways to increase energy efficiency, Finland has established an attractive environment for investment in a cleaner future, with more than €200 billion of private investments planned in the green transition – roughly 70 per cent of the country’s GDP.
Expanding the Finnish Handprint
Finland and its partner companies are calling for increased action through collaboration ahead of COP28. During the Finland Pavilion’s two-week program, green transition leaders, environment and climate change experts, and public and private organizations will share insights into the policies, technologies and innovations that have enabled this small European country to achieve big things on its mission to fight climate change.
Severi Keinälä, Director of COP28 Finland Pavilion at Business Finland, said: “While the concept of a carbon footprint is well understood, and everyone is in agreement that we should be reducing it, Finland is aiming higher than that and encouraging other countries to do the same. We are now focusing on increasing our climate handprint – going beyond achieving carbon neutrality to have a positive effect on the environment. The Finnish government, together with business and industry, will promote the creation of a model for calculating positive climate handprints and setting targets for increasing the handprints of Finnish exports. Our hope is that COP28 will provide the perfect platform for us to go beyond pledges and promises and put together firm plans of action that will enable us to increase our positive impact at a global level.”
Finland Pavilion at COP28
Finland’s message is clear: more collaboration and action are required if we are to meet the world’s collective climate goals. In addition to hosting speakers from outside the business sector, the Finland Pavilion also provides opportunities to connect with Finnish companies contributing to the fight against climate change through innovation, digitalization and education.
For more information about the Finland Pavilion and Finnish partner companies, please visit: https://www.businessfinland.fi/en/cop28