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Finland Seek to Improve Their Already High Standard of Environmental Policy

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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 of June 2016.

They are far from perfect but they are leading the way, and every country on the planet should follow suit.

Effects of EU 2030 Energy and Climate Targets

As stated, on the 30th of May 2016, Finland released a study on the effects of EU 2030 energy and climate targets. The aim is to highlight the progress that has been made and to find out whether Finland will meet the targets. Not only does the study examine the alternative implementations of the EU 2030 energy and climate policy. But their impact on the electricity sector within the EU.

This also specifically highlights the impact made of Finland’s electricity and heat sectors, and the implementation of the objectives of the government program within these sectors.

Significantly, 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.

This is due to tightening emissions targets, and assumptions about the recovery of economic growth, and fossil fuel prices. If all national renewable targets and subsidy schemes were to be abolished within the EU. The price of emissions allowance would rise significantly higher.

The EU’s emission reduction target can be met by 2030. By the electricity sector investing in wind and solar energy on a very large scale within the EU. These investments could be implemented without subsidies. However, this would only be the case if economic growth forecasts were realized.

In Finland however, there won’t be any investment in solar and wind power prior to 2030. This would mean that they would not meet the required target. Rather than solar and wind energy, the focus will be on bioenergy, and bioenergy will grow significantly.

The idea is that fossil fuels and peat will be replaced by bioenergy in the production of electricity and heat in the emissions trading sector. This was based on this particular study. These targets have been set for the overall consumption of energy, including the transport sector.

It’s the transport sector that will prove the most difficult task to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 50 percent. This would mean that the overall proportion would have to be slightly higher than 50 percent.

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New Model Proposed for Decisions Concerning the Environment

The next piece of policy that was recently proposed through a report released on the 22nd of June 2016. The study recently made by the University of Eastern Finland and Enlawin Consulting proposes the use of a one-stop-shop model. The details suggest that permit matters should be handled on a one-stop-shop model basis.

The report also suggests that it is necessary to amend environmental legislation. As well as develop e-services in decision-making related to the environment. The study was commissioned by the government because current environmental decision-making is complex. Where it is tied to several official decisions from separate departments or officials.

The report proposes a model for the permit procedure that is built using the current model for the Environmental Protection Act, Land Extraction Act, and Water Act. The report itself concludes that a one-stop-shop model would necessitate the integration of related legislation and the development of e-services and other electronic practices.

The report does also states that model adaptability and flexibility would be required. Applicants may have to apply for permits at different phases of the ongoing process. However, this would depend on their ongoing plans.

In Short

Finland is on course for meeting those 2030 emission and energy targets set by the EU, although there will be difficulties. Bioenergy is a good source of renewable energy and investment is wise, however; the creation of bioenergy does cause a certain degree of emissions.

Despite the difficulties of transport and the lack of investment from the electricity sector. Where the clarifications required can be made whilst the process is underway.

Both studies were carried out as part of the implementation of the Finnish Government’s 2015 plan for analysis, assessment, and research.

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