The report of the Finnish Climate Panel recalls the fair effects of electrification.
Critical The international and local justice effects of minerals and metals should be given urgent attention together with the issue of security of supply in Finland and Europe, the Finnish Climate Panel points out in its report published on Monday.
According to the report, critical materials address human rights issues worldwide, such as working conditions, child labor, serious harm to health and the environment, and the rights of indigenous peoples.
In electrification the economically most important materials needed are called critical materials. Some of them are rare earth metals.
“Outsourcing the disadvantages of production chains outside Europe cannot be an option,” the report states.
The report points out that, in addition to the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, electrification has social consequences. Climate and energy policy towards electrification should take better account of both citizens and global justice in Finland.
The report emphasizes the need to take into account the impact of mining on local communities and especially the Sámi, as most of the potential mineral reserves in Finland are in Lapland.
Climate panel found in its report six themes through which the equity effects of electrification are visible. In addition to the production of critical minerals, the themes include digitalisation, energy production, energy poverty, the abandonment of fossil fuels and participation in energy policy-making.
According to the report, the production and use of critical minerals and metals in particular, as well as energy poverty, have received relatively little attention in Finland’s energy policy decision-making and public debate.
Citizens ’energy poverty is often viewed through the difficulty of keeping a home warm. However, there are many other issues involved, such as energy needs related to long distances, telecommunications connections and the availability of various services.
In the future, energy poverty may occur even if not everyone can afford an air conditioner that is important for their health.
“In rural areas, for example, many are dependent on the car and thus on the energy used to drive when distances are long and public transport is not available. Similarly, renewable energy investments may not be made in a house in good condition if their price becomes too high in relation to the value of the house, ”the report states.
However, the report of the Climate Panel acknowledges that energy poverty in Finland has been reasonably low, but “its increase must also be monitored and possible new forms of energy poverty must be identified in Finland as society continues to electrify”.
Climate panel is an independent body of experts appointed by the Government to support climate policy.
The effects of an electrifying society and the energy revolution on social justice The report is based on the international research literature and the results of the stakeholder workshop.