After resolving an internal deadlock, the Finnish government has legislated a new climate change act; essentially an instrument to plan and monitor emissions cuts in the long term.
Commented on the implications of the new law the Finnish government underlined that its objective was to control emissions cuts and to enhance the predictability of climate policy.
“The current emissions targets, which extend until 2020, are simply not enough, and we must plan for the society of 2050 today,” said Mr Niinisto, a Greens Party MP.
In a recent poll conducted by Taloustutkimus, nearly 80 per cent of the roughly 1000 respondents said that they approved the new act.
The new law incorporates measures to both mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Essentially, the law, which is closely modelled on Britain’s Climate change Act, obliges Finland to reduce its emissions by 80 per cent by the year 2050.
In addition, it clarifies the distribution of responsibilities between various authorities in drafting climate policy and prescribes that a detailed report on the progress of the adaptation effort be presented to the Parliament annually.
Jan Vapaavuori, the Minister of Economic Affairs, pointed out that the new law was not a breakthrough, saying that a number of energy and climate strategies have been drawn up before it.
Mr Niinisto said Mr Vapaavuori was concerned whether the act could hamper industrial activities and bring about additional costs.
“We will commit to the emissions cuts cost-effectively in order to ensure that the economy thrives and the well-being of citizens increases.
“We will avoid unreasonable costs,” affirmed Mr Niinisto.