Climate Action

Finland plans to ban coal by 2030

Last week, the Finnish government announced its plans to phase out the use of coal for electricity generation by 2030

  • 28 November 2016
  • William Brittlebank

Last week, the Finnish government announced its plans to phase out the use of coal for electricity generation by 2030.

Finland’s national climate target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Olli Rehn, Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs said: "Finland is well positioned to be among the first countries in the world to enact a law to ban coal ... This will be my proposal."

He also said: "Giving up coal is the only way to reach international climate goals."

Last Thursday, the government released its “Energy and Climate Strategy for 2030 and Beyond” with further details on how the country plans to phase out coal and make all energy production carbon neutral by 2050 - by using biofuels and renewables.

According to Reuters, coal accounted for seven per cent of all electricity generation in Finland in 2015, while renewables represent 45 per cent and nuclear 34 per cent of total electricity production.

The new plan will be presented to the Finnish Parliament in March next year for approval.

Finland’s plans for banning coal appear to be stricter than in other European countries such as France or the UK where banning coal has been discussed.

When the ban is put in place, Finnish utilities will be forbidden to produce energy from coal and the import of coal-based electricity will also be forbidden.

There have been criticisms about the new plans to phase out coal in the energy sector.

All sectors are working towards the achievement of the climate targets and the country plans on increasing the number of electric vehicles from 1,000 to 250,000 by 2030, as well as biogas-driven cars.

Another example of Finnish innovation in the environmental field is the new initiative of a Finnish energy company which announced its intention to create renewable fuel out of the fat from Christmas dinner leftovers.