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PM tries to secure Nat’l consensus on climate change

09 Oct 2018, 00:37 ( 8 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. File Photo Finnish government by Lauri Heikkinen.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said on Monday that a round table discussion of all political parties should be arranged to discuss the climate policy, after the international climate panel (IPCC) made the recommendation to restrict the climate warming to one and half degrees Celsius instead of two.

The requirements envisaged in the IPCC report were a further blow to the Finnish plans to create a primarily wood based biofuel industry in the country.

Sipilä said, however, that the need to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide opens a huge market for new technological solutions.

"Finland has a chance to become a major power in combating climate change," he said.

Sipilä compared the climate policy with security and foreign policies. He underlined that nonpartisan decisions would be necessary.

Professor Markku Ollikainen, chairman of the Finnish national climate panel, said on Monday Finland should reconsider the idea to start producing fuel from the Finnish forests.

He told a Finnish language newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that the biofuels made of wood would increase the carbon load four times more than what fossil fuels do. "Finland must rethink its whole land usage policies," he said.

Ollikainen pointed out that increased industrial use of wood would reduce the Finnish carbon sink.

"We have three ways of reducing carbon emissions from land. We can stop claiming new arable land from the forests, and we should plant forests to unoccupied land. One alternative is to create economic incentives to forest owners so that more carbon is tied down to forests," Ollikainen said.

Earlier on Monday Kimmo Tiilikainen, the minister of the environment said on national TV, Yle that Finland would remain at "the two degrees aim" for the time being.

He said that Finland alone cannot attain anything, but will push the EU to make more progress. "The EU must also show strength in international talks," Tiilikainen said.

 Tiilikainen's claim was criticized by Sanna Marin, vice chairman of the main opposition party in the parliament Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue (Social Democratic Party of Finland-SDP).

Marin told national broadcaster Yle that Finland should rather take immediate steps. She added that the temperature increase would be more serious in the Arctic areas and here the 1.5 degrees impacts like 5 degrees.