Emissions from road transport declining in the 2020s – new measures still needed

Press release 23.04.2020 16.30 fi sv en

CO2 emissions from transport – projection and emissions targets in Finland. Source: VTT Technical Research Centre / Aliisa 2020 (Figure: Ministry of Transport and Communications)

Greenhouse gas emissions from transport are projected to decline in Finland in the 2020s. However, several new measures are still needed to halve transport emissions. 

According to a projection prepared by the VTT Technical Research Centre, the current measures will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport by a total of 37 per cent by 2030. 

“The baseline projection of transport emissions poses a serious challenge for the coming years but also builds confidence in the future. The developing technology and decisive action yield results. With the combined effect, the emissions are clearly declining – steps in the right direction,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

The key reason for the decline in emissions in the 2020s is the growing percentage of biofuels in transport. With the current legislation, the percentage will increase from the present around 14 per cent to 30 per cent by 2030. In addition, in the 2020s, the market has cars with increasingly lower emissions. The number of electric and gas-powered cars will grow, while emissions from petrol and diesel cars will decrease. It is projected that there will be around 350,000 electric cars in Finland in 2030. The number of gas-powered passenger cars will be less than 25,000. According to the projection, the reason for the relatively small number of gas vehicles is uncertainty about the availability of gas-powered cars after 2025.

The baseline projection of greenhouse gas emissions from transport is the basis for the preparation of climate policy in transport. The baseline projection is used when calculating the impacts of the measures on greenhouse gas emissions. A roadmap for fossil-free transport is being prepared at the Ministry of Transport and Communications. It is a plan for halving greenhouse gas emissions from domestic transport by 2030 and cutting to zero by 2045 at the latest. It is particularly challenging to identify the ways to eliminate transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

“The baseline projection of transport emissions is the starting point for climate recovery and the way towards renewable transport. In preparing the fossil-free roadmap, we are charting the measures required by the climate targets. The roadmap will be ready in autumn 2020,” says Minister Harakka. 

In future, most of the new, individual measures will reduce emissions fairly little. That is why the range of measures must be broad. The most important measure, the binding carbon dioxide emission limit values applying to car manufacturers have already been included in the baseline projection. 

One fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions in Finland come from transport. Road transport accounts for 95 per cent of emissions in domestic transport. The emissions production by the VTT Technical Research Centre is based on statistics and projections by the Transport and Communications Agency, Transport Infrastructure Agency and Statistics Finland. The baseline projection shows the extent to which the existing legislation and financing decisions can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport and the extent of new measures that are still needed. The baseline projection also includes a sensitivity assessment that takes into account uncertainties in the estimated development, such as the number of electric cars. 

What are the next steps?

The preparations for the fossil-free roadmap will continue during the spring, despite the exceptional situation. The remote meetings of the working group chaired by the Ministry of Transport and Communications will discuss ways of achieving the emission reduction targets.

The effects of the different measures will be assessed in two research projects and in Transport and Communications Agency Traficom and Transport Infrastructure Agency. The actual roadmap will be drawn up in the Ministry of Transport and Communications on the basis of the results from the working group and the impact assessments. The roadmap will be completed in autumn 2020.


Päivi Antikainen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 382 7101, paivi.antikainen(at)lvm.fi, Twitter @PaiviAntikainen

Saara Jääskeläinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 40 015 3745, saara.jaaskelainen(at)lvm.fi, Twitter @SaaraJskelinen1