Finland are one of the leading nations in Environmental policy, recently they have published 2 more reports. First is the study on the effects of the EU 2030 energy and climate targets, released on the 30th May 2016. The second is more recently the report on a new model for decisions concerning the environment. This report was released on the 22nd June 2016.

What are the reports and how do they effect Finland’s climate and energy policy? By no means are they perfect but they are leading the way in this area and other nations should follow suit.

Effects of EU 2030 Energy and Climate Targets

Finland released a study on the effects of EU 2030 energy and climate targets. The report highlights that “The use of renewable energy will increase and carbon dioxide emissions will decrease significantly in Finland’s electricity and heat sectors by the year 2030”. With a strong focus on the increase of bioenergy within the renewable energy sector. The report found that based on market modelling, the price of emissions allowances and electricity would be raised significantly.

If economic growth forecasts were realised, then the EU’s emission reduction target can be met without subsidies. In Finland, won’t be any investment in solar and wind power prior to 2030, this would mean that they would not meet the required target.

But the focus will be on bioenergy, and this will grow significantly. The reason is bioenergy will replace fossil fuels and peat in the production of electricity and heat in the emissions trading sector.

Based on this study, the targets set by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Government Programme for renewable energy (over 50% in the 2020s) and self-sufficiency (over 55% in the 2020s), can be achieved through bioenergy.

It’s the transport sector that will prove the most difficult to increase the proportion of renewable energy, this would mean that the overall proportion would have to be slightly higher than 50 per cent.

New Model Proposed for Decisions Concerning the Environment

The recent study by the University of Eastern Finland and Enlawin Consulting, proposed the use of a one-stop-shop model.

The details suggest permit matters should be handled on a one-stop-shop model basis. It also suggested that it is necessary to amend environmental legislation, and develop e-services in decision-making related to the environment. Because current environmental decision-making is tied to several official decisions from separate departments or officials, the government commissioned the study.

The report proposed a model for the permit procedure built using the current model for the Environmental Protection Act, Land Extraction Act, and Water Act. It also proposed that it would integrate the permit procedure models used for the Mining Act, Chemical Safety Act, Nature Conservation Act, and Emissions Trade Act.

It concluded “a one-stop-shop model would necessitate integration of related legislation and development of e-services and other electronic practices” and “that model adaptability and flexibility would be required, applicants may also have to apply for permits at different phases of the ongoing process”.

Finnish Progress

Finland are on course for meeting those 2030 emission and energy targets set out by the EU. Bioenergy is a good source of renewable energy and investment is wise, the creation of bioenergy will still impact on emissions. Despite the difficulties of transport and the lack of investment from the electricity sector, Finland are still on course to meet the targets set out by the Government Programme.

The one-stop-shop model designed to make permit procedure simpler, and decision-making less complex in regards to environmental related projects. It would improve implementation for small and medium-sized projects. These are generally carried out over a short period and the clarifications required can be made whilst the process is underway.