According to representatives of the business community and environmental organizations, no major surprises were seen in Wednesday’s proposals.
EU Commission the proposals for the Union’s climate action, published on wednesday, recently raised both positive and negative ideas in business and environmental organizations.
As the package had been comprehensively anticipated and parts of it had been leaked in advance, no major surprises were seen by the representatives of the organizations.
Key measures proposed in the package include carbon taxes, zero-emission new cars by 2035 and the extension of emissions trading to road transport and heating buildings.
Business leading expert of the Central Federation (EK) Kati Ruohomäki says that it drew attention, firstly, to the fact that the Commission received the whole package on time.
Overall, EK described the package as reasonably successful. The EC believes that it is good that the role of emissions trading is recognized and that tightening is proposed for all member states and industries.
“Everyone will have to stretch here over the next few years,” Ruohomäki says.
Ruohomäki mentions how emissions trading and carbon tariffs are coordinated as the most important development target. The organization believes that free allowances should be fully allocated until carbon tariffs prove to be a viable solution.
For the forest industry specific issues in the legislative package include, for example, renewable energy and land use.
President of the Finnish Forest Industries Association Timo Jaatinen believes that the forest-based industries have much to contribute to the EU’s climate goal. However, he says the EU sees forests too much only through carbon sequestration and diversity, and does not pay enough attention to the replacement of fossil products.
“The Commission does not have a comprehensive understanding of this forest issue.”
Regarding carbon sinks, Jaatinen reminds that there are considerable variations in logging every year. The Commission’s forestry strategy, which has been on the agenda in Finland, has been completed, but is not due to be published until Friday.
Forest industry is also concerned about the proposal to extend emissions trading to shipping. Jaatinen points out that the forest industry is a very transport-intensive sector.
“Finland’s concerns about winter shipping have not been taken into account in any way. This is a big place to influence our MEPs and the government, ”says Jaatinen.
The Central Chamber of Commerce, together with the Forest Industry, also took a position on winter shipping on Wednesday.
Environmental organization Greenpeace Finland thinks it is positive that measures are being proposed, but the targets could be even stricter. According to Kosonen, the 55% emission reduction target should be seen as a minimum level that could be improved.
“It is now possible for us to show the world the direction and show how to manage such a big transition,” says Greenpeace Finland’s climate and energy expert. Kaisa Kosonen.
The umbrella organization Climate Action Network has calculated that the Commission’s proposals could reach net reductions of 58%.
For example Kosonen was even surprised by the goals of carbon sinks in land use. The entire EU aims for a level of 310 million carbon dioxide equivalents by 2030, of which a target level of 17.7 million tonnes had been tentatively proposed for Finland.
“If the EU proposed a target for increasing sinks, it would have been expected that there would be some increase for Finland as well.”
All representatives of the organizations emphasize that it is only possible to comment on the package at a general level. Next, the more specific blaming of the performances begins.