Reducing emissions in Finland

The cheapest way to cut down greenhouse gas emissions is to save energy and increase energy efficiency. Renewable energy also has great potential. All in all, natural resources and materials should be introduced and used economically and sensibly in order to reduce emissions.

Energy conservation is the most cost-efficient method

There are several measures that should be used in parallel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Energy conservation and improvements in energy efficiency have been found the most cost-effective method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Up to 50% of the global target for reducing emissions could be attained by more efficient use of energy.

According to the Energy Efficiency Committee[1], Finland has scope to save 37 TWh (terawatt hours) of energy by 2020. The potential savings that could be attained by the various measures include: 8.5 TWh from the introduction of new private vehicle technology, 4.9 TWh from stricter energy regulations for new building projects and renovation construction, 2.8 TWh from broader energy efficiency agreements, and 2.1 TWh from energy efficiency requirements for equipment. According to the Finnish climate and energy strategy [2], by 2020 the annual end-consumption of energy must be cut down to the 2005 level, to approximately 310 TWh.

Energy sources matter

Using more renewable energy is another efficient method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels. Renewable energy comes from the sun, wind, water, biomass and heat stored in the ground. Currently, approximately one fourth of the energy used in Finland comes from renewable sources. Thanks to the waste-to-energy applications for waste wood and spent liquor from the wood processing industry, Finland is leading the use of renewable energy in Europe.

It's all based on sensible use of natural resources

The recycling and reuse of materials and products also promote economical use of natural resources and, consequently, help curb greenhouse gas emissions. Product design can significantly reduce the lifecycle emissions of products, while consumers' purchasing decisions and choices have an impact on the products that are introduced to the market.

Looking after the carbon sinks

Together with reduced emissions, enhancing the performance of carbon sinks also makes a big difference to mitigating climate change. Carbon can be sequestered from the natural cycle by capturing carbon dioxide from the burning processes and storing it in the soil or ocean floor.

References

  1. Energiatehokkuustoimikunnan ehdotus energiansäästön ja energiatehokkuuden toimenpiteiksi http://www.tem.fi/files/23350/TEM_ETT_Mietinto_8_6_2009.pdf
  2. Suomen pitkän aikavälin ilmasto- ja energiastrategia http://www.tem.fi/index.phtml?s=2542

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