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Finland’s 10 actions towards the green transition

It's time to take action. Our planet needs accelerated solutions, and Finland proudly leads by example in the green transition. Here are 10 concrete actions through which we are turning the green transition into reality.

1. Achieving climate neutrality by 2035

Finnish society at large has been working towards a cleaner future for decades, and we are committed to it at a governmental level: the aim of carbon neutrality by 2035 is enshrined in law. Whether a business, the public sector or an NGO, we want climate-forward thinking to infiltrate our actions. It has paid off: many of our companies rank among the most sustainable in the world and lead the way in ESG practices. Climate collaboration is cultivated in our society in myriad ways.


2. Cultivating a vibrant civil society

While the public and private sectors are working hard to promote a cleaner future, the true trailblazers of the fight against climate change can be found among Finnish civil society. From nature conservation associations and animal rights organizations to bird watching societies, NGOs like The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation have been working for a sustainable future since the 1970s.

3. Punching above our weight in climate policy

Our nation has ambitious climate targets. To make them a reality, the government will adopt a sensible and effective climate policy at the national and EU levels, respecting international agreements and going beyond them. The work is long-established: we were the first country in the world to adopt a CO2 tax in 1990. 

4. Driving ambitious clean power generation 

While over 90 % of Finland's power generation is already carbon neutral, we want to do even better: the current government program aims at doubling our clean electricity production. The energy transition is already underway as our carbon free power capacity increases and Finnish companies create new clean innovations. Our aim is to "plug the smokestacks" by 2035: The government is set to introduce policies to ensure that CO2 emissions to atmosphere from large industrial sources are eliminated by the mid-2030s. This lays the foundation for capturing and circulating bio-based carbon dioxide in hydrogen value chains.

5. Fueling innovation

As one of the top rankers in the Bloomberg Innovation Index, we Finns know how invest in R&D to create technological breakthroughs for a nature-positive future. Be it new materials, sustainable production processes, waste reduction, design, energy efficiency or circular economy, our businesses are working strategically on global-scale solutions for clean growth. And let's not forget the national level: we were the world's first country to write a roadmap to a circular economy for our nation!

6. Making and inviting investments

We provide the best environment for investment in a cleaner future: the total worth of private investment plans relating to the green transition in Finland is 200 billion euros. That's roughly 70 % of Finland's GDP! What's more, our cheap and clean electricity, reliable infrastructure, competent workforce and innovation-friendly legislation make Finland an attractive operating environment for international players who want to invest in clean solutions.

7. Delivering world-class education and research

Consistently placing well in rankings like OECD's Pisa and INSEAD's Global Talent Competitiveness index, Finland is known for its equality-advancing, top-quality education system. Complex challenges require systemic thinking, and our multi-disciplinary approach to research along with our highly educated workforce and diverse scientific community allow us to form unforeseen climate collaborations and partnerships.

8. Championing transparency and good governance

Among the least corrupt countries in the world, Finland provides a perfect setting for making positive change. Good governance runs in our veins and our strong institutions have sustainability in their DNA. No wonder we easily outperform the EU average when it comes to ESG.

9. Preserving our nation for nature

Living in a country of thousands of lakes where forest covers more than 75 % of the land area, we Finns have grown to respect nature and its offerings. Our forests and minerals provide valuable resources needed for the green transition, while our businesses know how put them into use sustainably.
Combating climate change must not come at the cost of lost biodiversity. Finland strives to solve the twin crises of climate change and nature loss together.

10. Expanding our handprint with all things Finnish

Many people are familiar with the idea of a carbon footprint, the size of which we should be reducing. Through all the ways presented above (and even more listed on Finnish Climate Collaboration's website Until We Act) we want to aim higher and focus on increasing our carbon handprint – expanding the scope of the positive impact we can make. This goes hand in hand with WBCSD's new guidance on avoided emissions: instead of merely looking at cutting greenhouse gases, we try to ingrain emissions savings in everything we do. Join us in moving from carbon negative to climate positive!

Action 2: Jussi Hellsten / City of Helsinki; Action 3: Julius Jansson / Unsplash; Action 8: Alex Inkiläinen / Unsplash; Action 10: Joni Kuusisto / Unsplash