Greenhouse gas emissions from transport have increased
The second progress report on the Climate Policy Programme for the Ministry of Transport and Communications' administrative sector has been released. Monitoring data indicates that transport-related greenhouse gas emissions have risen since the previous study.
According to preliminary estimates, greenhouse gas emissions from transport were approximately 13.25 million tonnes in Finland in 2010. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Finland should keep its emissions at the 1990 level, which in the case of transport means some 12.76 million tonnes.
It seems that the main reasons for why emissions went up in 2010 include increased economic activity and the growth of heavy-goods transport. Not even the increased use of biofuels was enough to compensate for the effects of transport growth.
In order for the transport sector to reach its goal, further measures are needed, particularly to improve the energy efficiency of heavy-goods transport and to promote public transport, walking and cycling. With these measures, it is possible to reduce the adverse effects that growing transport volumes have on emissions.
Need for financial steering measures to be assessed later
The Climate Policy Programme includes five measures aimed at mitigating climate change. Out of these, progress has been made with regard to vehicle fleet renewal, although the renewal rate has not been as fast as had been hoped. Communications policy, too, and especially the development of information society services, are considered to be effective in curbing emissions both in business and administration, and in people's everyday lives.
However, further measures are needed with regard to improving the energy efficiency in transport and directing the growth of passenger traffic volumes in urban areas to more environmentally friendly transport modes. Measures proposed in the report include supporting operators that are party to energy efficiency agreements and investing in public transport and mobility management.
The last measure listed in the Climate Policy Programme is using stricter financial steering if the targets set are not reached through any other way. The purpose is to carry out an assessment on the need for financial steering in 2012.
The targets set for Finland will be further tightened by 2020, which is when Finland's greenhouse gas emissions from transport should be 15 per cent lower than in 2005.
Ms Saara Jääskeläinen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 40 015 3745