LA 75/2008 vp – Annika Lapintie (Left Alliance) et al.
for the Parliament of Finland
Preamble for the Bill
Reduction objectives for greenhouse gas emissions
The Bill introduces a climate law, which sets the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction objectives
required to slow down climate change in Finland during 2010-2050
GHG emissions have to peak during the following 10-15 years. The European Union's ("An Energy
Policy for Europe", 2007) objective of reductions by 20 percent until 2020 is inadequate to combat
climate change and an inadequate model worldwide.
We propose that the reduction objective for gross amount of GHG emissions (in CO2 equivalent
tons) is to defined by legislation. The objective should require minimum 38 percent GHG emission
reductions from base level of 1990 by 2020 and at least 60-80 percent by 2050 (80 % in the
To achieve the objectives we propose a law for GHG emission reductions by 5 percent annually.
Means for achieving the emissions reductions objectives in the legislative program
We propose, to achieve these objectives, that the climate law (as a skeleton law) should enact a
national climate policy program, which structures both means to optimize energy use (to introduce
new technologies and energy saving actions) and measures to mobilize renewable energy (wind,
solar and bioenergy) sources.
Alleviation of mobilization of new technologies
In addition to the skeleton law several guidance measures are required. In addition to energy
optimization measures, energy saving measures and promotion of technology is needed. In addition
to the bill, special legislation is required, i.e. energy savings bill and public support
for zero emission energy sources for households, environment technology competition and
commercialisation projects. Also a investment guarantee system for electricity production is
required, which supports different kinds of new electricity production technologies in local
Environment-friendliness as a foundation for community planning
Adequate reduction of GHG emissions requires taking environment to account in all fields of life.
Ecological community structure is implemented by setting low emissions as a foundation in
community planning in building, housing and transport. A low emission lifestyle can be motivated
in renovation by supporting moving away from direct electrical or oil heating, enhancing the
availability of district heating, supporting solar energy, heat pumps and implementation of heat
reserving systems in one-family houses and free time apartments.
The availability and use of public transport and light traffic is enhanced by both building new rail
connections and light transport routes and raising operation subsidies. Both cargo and passenger
traffic shifting to rail roads is supported. Moving away from fossil fuels is supported by exempting
hybrid and electric cars from car tax. Low emission commuter traffic is promoted by implementing
congestion fees.
Investment guarantee system and the taxation of biofuels
Renewable energy could be promoted efficiently by fixed-term investment guarantee system, which
has elevated Denmark to a superpower of wind power. Exempting small-scale production from
biofuel production tax would make production of biofuels profitable in Finnish farms. References
gained from domestic markets would also alleviate export of Finnish technology. TÄHÄN ASTI
Production costs of renewable energy and energy efficiency are competitive. Commercialisation
and implementation of low emission technology requires however guidance measures. World Wide
Fund for Nature's (WWF) Power to the Future -report includes examples from measures, by which
public costs could be lowered and profitable business would emerge. Functional domestic markets
are also a prerequisite for export. The model introduces also implementation of guidance measures,
the payers, gainers and losers.
Guidance measures such as public procuration procedures and commercialisation plans of
technologies are not widely utilized. For example in Sweden a project for free competition in
technology brought 30 percent more efficient and 30 percent cheaper ground heat pumps to
domestic markets, which where installed 200 000 units in short time. Costs for emission reductions
achieved this way were only a fraction of costs compared to the subsidies Finland issued.
50 percent of electricity production by 2020 with renewables and energy saving
Implementation of emission reductions requires remarkable promotion of energy efficiency and
renewable energy use. WWF's Power to the Future -program points out, that the growing need for
energy can be sustained to the level of 2004 by 2020. For exampe mobilization of frequency
modulators and energy efficient motors in industry would cover 35 percent of the reduction. Other
measures include i.e energy efficient procuration plans in the public sector and energy savings
measures in electricity consumption and heating. These actions would cut over 1/6 of the CO2
emission expectations of the ministry of trade and industry in 2020.
Half of the electricity production in 2020 can be covered by renewables, if electricity efficiency is
promoted simultaneously. Wind power and bioenergy can be promoted substantially by building
solar energy parks and redirecting the structural change in forestry into bioenergy industry. Thanks
to renewables, the CO2 emissions would reduce almost a quarter of the emission projections of the
ministry of trade and finance in 2020. Additional need for energy and replacement of obsolete
capacity can be covered by these additions, which cover 24 percent of all energy and 34 percent of
all electricity demand in 2020 (WWF's Power to the Future -program).
Climate change worldwide
It's widely accepted projection, that if the world's mean temperature rises over 2 degrees, the
consequences for the environment and humankind are disastrous. Exceeding 2 degrees can mean
goodbyes to coral reefs, glaciers and rainforest, and great sufferings to especially the inhabitants of
the poorest countries. According to the most recent forecasts by the Intergovernmental Panel for
Climate Change (IPCC) the probability for lowest emission development scenario for warming by
2100 is 1,8 degrees (range 1,1 – 2,9 Celsius). In the highest scenario for emissions development the
warming is 4,0 degrees (range 1,4 – 5,8 Celsius).
To avoid catastrophe, the industrialized countries have to cut GHG emissions from 1990 level at
least 30 percent by 2020 and half the global emissions by 2050. Simultaneously the global demand
for energy is estimated to triple. Cutting emissions is an enormous challenge, but is still solvable.
The Big Ask -campaign
The objective of the Big Ask campaign in Finland is to pass a climate law. The climate law should
impose 5 percent annual emission reductions. The law would bind both the government in office
and the prospective governments in turn to implement their part of the emission reductions required
to combat climate change.
The same campaign for climate law is running or starting in 17 European countries. In European
level the campaign is coordinated by the Friends of the Earth Europe and it's known as The Big
Ask. Its objective is to become a trailblazer of the EU in combating climate change.
According to the campaign, 5 percent annual reductions would be enough in reasonable probability
to stop climate warming under two degrees. Consequences of warming over 2 degrees could be
By these grounds we propose, that the parliament will pass the following bill:
According to the decision of the parliament, the following is passed:
The purpose of the law
The purpose of this law is to enact obligatory greenhouse gas emission reductions required to slow
down climate change in Finland in 2010 – 2050.
In addition the purpose of the law is to define foundations, under which a national climate policy
program is established about climate objectives and measures to adapt to climate change and about
administering the program and the implementation between branches of administration.
The emission reduction objectives of the law
The gross amount of GHG emissions (CO2-equivalent tons) from Finnish territory is to be cut from
the computational base level of 1990 by 38 percent by 2020.
By 2050 the gross amount of GHG emissions defined in clause 1 is to be cut from the
computational base level of 1990 by 80 percent.
To achieve the GHG emission objectives defined in clauses 1 and 2 , the gross amount of emissions
is to be cut annually staring from 2010 by 5 percent compared to the level of the preceding year.
The computational level for emission reductions for 2010 is set to the level of GHG emissions in
1990 in Finland.
A national climate policy program
To implement the reduction objectives for GHG emissions of Finnish territory, the government
confirms every fourth year a national climate policy program. The content of the program is given
to the Parliament for discussion as a climate policy report before decision making.
The program consists of:
1) measures required to cut GHG emissions in different fields of society during the program
period; and
2) objectives included in the outcome objectives of the state's ministerial administration
In addition the program:
3) assembles all internationally and nationally available, most recent research information
about climate change and expose this information to all individuals and communities; and
4) specifies the most appropriate guidance measures required to achieve the climate objectives
The incorporation of climate objectives (according to the program) into the state annual budget is
enacted separately by law.
The program specifies the most essential climate policy measures covering whole program period,
the foci of surveillance and the reforms, legislative procedures, guidelines and recommendations
required to support them.
Strategic definitions of policy are constructed about measures temporally exceeding the program
The national program can be adjusted annually concerning the measures supporting the
achievement of the objectives of the program. Otherwise the national climate policy program can be
changed, if the intermediate objectives representing the achievement of the objectives are
The national program can also include most essential objectives and guidelines for measures
justified by combating climate change appropriately, concerning the implementation of the program
directed to state central- and regional administration.
The law can also include obligations for municipalities, communities and citizens necessary to
achieve GHG emission reductions to combat climate change.
The coordination secretariat for climate policy
To assemble and implement the national climate policy program and to implement the coordination
of national and regional actors, the government nominates for four years in turn, a coordination
secretariat, operating in the office of the government, in which all state ministries are represented.
The task of the coordination secretariat is to prepare drafts for the government about essential
actions required to achieve climate objectives defined in section 2, which are:
1) Preparation of the content of the national climate program; and
2) Promotion and matching up procedures of the accepted national climate program in
administration and decision making; and
3) Preparation of necessary legislative projects for the government, in coordination with
different ministries, and formulation of recommendations and guidelines.
The coordination secretariat must also take care of tasks specified separately in the induction
decision of the climate policy coordination secretariat made by the government.
Regulation about coming into operation
This law will come into operation on 1st January 2009.
The 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the law is applied first time in 2010. The actions enacted in the
3rd and 4th sections of the law are to be prepared straight after the law has come into operation.
Measures required to implement the law can be taken before the law has come into operation.
Helsinki, 9th of September 2008
Following MPs of the Left Alliance:
Annika Lapintie
Pentti Tiusanen
Merja Kyllönen
Erkki Virtanen
Paavo Arhinmäki
Minna Sirnö
Mikko Kuoppa
Jyrki Yrttiaho
Matti Kauppila
Markus Mustajärvi
Martti Korhonen
Jaakko Laakso
Esko-Juhani Tennilä
Veijo Puhjo
Translation (9.11.2008) from Finnish by Tatu Päkkilä (