Finland's emissions

Finland's national greenhouse gas emissions are calculated in an annually updated inventory. Province-specific data regarding emissions from heating, consumption of electricity and traffic are provided on a weekly basis online.

Producing emission data

Maintained by Statistics Finland, the greenhouse gas emissions of Finland are calculated in an annually updated greenhouse gas inventory [1].

The inventory includes the emissions of the following greenhouse gasses: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), fluorohydrocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Emission amounts of different gases are summed by changing each emission to an amount of equivalent carbon dioxide [2] (CO2e).

The inventory uses the following division of industries:

  • Energy sector (burning of fuels and their production and distribution)
  • Industrial processes (emissions released from industrial processes and the use of raw materials)
  • Use of solvents and other products (use of nitrous oxide in industrial processes and medicine, use of paints and solvents)
  • Agriculture (methane and nitrous oxide releases from animal digestion, treatment of manure and agricultural land)
  • Waste management (treatment of waste and wastewater, for example, landfill sites and composting)
  • So called LULUCF sector (land use, land use changes and forestry)

Emissions in 2008

In 2008, Finland's greenhouse gas emissions totalled 70.1 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2e) [1]. A little over three quarters of them were based on energy or released from the energy sector (figure 1).

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Figure 1. Greenhouse gas emissions by main sectors in Finland in 2008. [1]


Nearly half of the emissions in the energy sector were created by energy production, 20 per cent by the industry's own energy production and construction and 25 per cent by traffic (Table 1).

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Table 1. Finland's greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 (without the LULUCF sector). [3]


In 2008, the emissions were 10% smaller than the previous year and 1.2 per cent below the Kyoto Protocol commitment level [1]. The biggest reduction was in the emissions of the energy industry (-21%). In addition, for the first time in the 21st century, traffic emissions were smaller than the previous year (-4%). In Finland, the net sink is the LULUCF sector (land use, land use changes and forestry).

Development of emissions so far

From 1990 until 2008, Finland's annual emission levels have shown notable variation (table 2). This has particularly been influenced by the importation of electricity and production of fossil condensing power, whose amount depend on the availability of water power on the Nordic electricity market. In addition, the situation is influenced by the economic situation in the energy intensive sectors of industry each year, weather conditions and the amount of energy produced with renewable sources of energy. [3]


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Table 2. Finland's greenhouse gas emissions in 1990-2008, excluding the LULUCF sector. Emissions are presented as amounts equivalent of million carbon dioxide tons (CO2e). [1]

Future development of emissions

According to the Kyoto Protocol, in 2008-2012, Finland must keep its greenhouse gas emissions on the level of 1990 on average. This equals to approximately 71 million tons of CO2e per year. It seems obvious, that this goal will be achieved.

With its regulations regarding Emissions Trade, industries outside the Emissions Trade and increase of renewable energy, the European Union has set its member states concrete emission goals for 2020. For the Emissions Trade sector, EU has a common emission goal: at that time, its emissions must be 21 per cent below the sector's emissions in 2005. As a goal outside the Emissions Trade sector (buildings and traffic from the energy sector and agriculture and waste sectors) Finland has been defined a 16% reduction obligation from the 2005 emission level, which should be achieved by 2020.

The long-term climate and energy strategy of Prime Minister Vanhanen's II Government in 2008 addressed means that Finland could use to nationally respond to the obligations set by EU reaching to 2020. The 2009 Government Foresight Report lays out goals and measures that are needed to achieve a low-carbon Finland. As a part of international cooperation, it commits to reducing Finland's emissions from the 1990 level by at least 80 per cent by 2050.

Real-time monitoring of emissions

Finland's greenhouse gas emissions (from heating, consumption of electricity and traffic) can be tracked by regions in real-time on the Internet at [4].


  1. Statistics Finland: Greenhouse gas inventory
  2. Berghäll, O., Ahonen, H.-M., Sinivuori, K. & Snäkin, J.-P. 2003. Kioton pöytäkirjan toimeenpanon säännöt. (Kyoto Protocol and its operational rules. Abstract in English.) Ympäristöministeriö, Helsinki. Suomen ympäristö 607, ympäristönsuojelu. 78 s.
  3. Tilastokeskus. 2010. Suomen kasvihuonekaasupäästöt 1990–2008. 3. korjattu painos. Tilastokeskus Katsauksia 2010/1, Ympäristö ja luonnonvarat. 66 s.
  4. CO2-raportti (reaaliaikainen maakunnittainen kasvihuonekaasupäästöjen seuranta)