A climate perspective into all municipal decision-making

Climate programmes

In accordance with the climate change and energy strategy [1] of Prime Minister Vanhanen’s II Government, urban and provincial regions are drawing up climate programmes. The Government Foresight Report on Long-term Climate and Energy Policy [2] for 2007–2011 includes a policy according to which the obligation will be applied to all municipalities in phases.

Mainstreaming of the climate perspective

However, municipalities should go further than this. The climate perspective should be mainstreamed [3] i.e. integrated into preparation and decision-making, so that all municipal sectors and organs as well as all those active in the municipality promote, with their actions, the objectives of mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.

Simultaneously, policy coherence should be increased – i.e. the coherence of objectives and decisions promoted, so that various sectors send non-contradictory messages to those in charge of practical operations (industrial enterprises, service providers, commuters, and households).

Assessment criteria for planning and decision-making

Municipal planning, all plans, programmes, and decisions in a municipality, should be assessed from the climate perspective in line with the following criteria:

  1. To what extent have the direct and indirect requirements and effects of climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation been taken into account?
  2. Have the contradictions between climate goals (mitigation and adaptation) and other goals been assessed, and has an attempt been made to reduce them?
  3. Has a value been assigned to the climate goals relative to other goals, and are there procedures available for the setting of relative priorities?
  4. Are there requirements and instructions available that address advance assessments and subsequent assessments (monitoring) to support the setting and pursuit of climate goals? Have indicators been created for this, and have they been used?
  5. Is internal and external expertise in mitigation and adaptation special topics available?

 

References

  1. Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö. 2008. Pitkän aikavälin ilmasto- ja energiastrategia – Valtioneuvoston selonteko eduskunnalle 6. päivänä marraskuuta 2008. Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriön julkaisuja, Energia ja ilmasto 36/2008. 159 s. http://www.tem.fi/files/21079/TEMjul_36_2008_energia_ja_ilmasto.pdf
  2. Prime Minister’s Office. 2009. Government Foresight Report on Long-term Climate and Energy Policy: Towards a Low-carbon Finland. Prime Minister’s Office Publications 30/2009. 188 p. http://vnk.fi/julkaisut/julkaisusarja/julkaisu/fi.jsp?oid=273275
  3. Mickwitz, P., Kivimaa, P., Hildén, M., Estlander, A. & Melanen, M. 2008. Ilmastopolitiikan valtavirtaistaminen ja politiikkakoherenssi. Selvitys Vanhasen II hallituksen tulevaisuusselontekoa varten. Valtioneuvoston kanslian julkaisusarja 6/2008. 74 s. http://vnk.fi/julkaisut/julkaisusarja/julkaisu/fi.jsp?oid=235407

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