Finnish automotive industry and the State conclude a Green Deal
The Finnish automotive industry, Ministry of Transport and Communications and Ministry of the Environment concluded a voluntary Green Deal on 22 November 2018. The Green Deal for the benefit of the climate is part of the Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development. The aim is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the transport sector.
“One fifth of the total greenhouse gas emissions comes from the transport sector, which is why the automotive industry and State need joint, concrete climate targets by which emissions from automobiles and heavy-duty vehicles can be reduced. The joint task we have now adopted is to achieve zero or low emissions in our vehicle fleet. What we are going to do is mainstream the alternative propulsion systems”, says Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.
On average, emissions from old vehicles are higher than those of new ones. This is why the vehicle fleet should be renewed to make better use of low-emission technologies that are based on alternative propulsion systems.
“One of the key messages of the recent IPCC report is that global warming can be kept below 1.5 degrees, but not without even faster and greater emission reductions. A lot of technical advancement is still needed to reduce emissions. In addition, all of us need to make sustainable choices and assume responsibility for the future. The Green Deal with the automotive industry is an important step along the path towards reducing emissions in the transport sector”, says Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing.
Rami Kittilä, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Automobile Industry in Finland, fully agrees with this. “The Green Deal supports the climate strategy of the automotive industry that also aims to renew the vehicle fleet with key measures concerning the reform of the tax structure for automobiles and promoting initiatives for purchasing electric and gas vehicles.”
Even before this, the automotive industry has been an active player in energy efficiency agreements and the sector’s own environmental programme. The new Green Deal shifts the focus of environmental action more towards consumer and company communication.
“The Green Deal contains several measures by which automobile dealers can make consumers more interested in matters such as alternative propulsion systems”, says Heikki Häggkvist, Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Central Organisation for Motor Trades and Repairs.
Carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars to be cut by 4% a year
The Green Deal for the automotive sectors is one of the measures of the Medium-term Climate Change Plan, according to which emissions from transport should be cut by half by 2030.
The target of the Green Deal is to:
1. reduce the average carbon dioxide emissions of newly registered passenger cars and vans by at least 4% a year
2. increase the share of vehicles that enable a high biofuel ratio especially in the heavy-duty fleet
3. promote the increase in the share of vehicles using other alternative propulsion systems so that in total they will represent 25% of the newly registered vehicles by the end of 2025
4. lower the average age of the vehicle fleet and the average age of demolition by 1.5% a year
In Finland negotiations are now under way on Green Deals for many different sectors to promote sustainable development and environmental objectives. The first one, the Green Deal concerning plastic carrier bags concluded in 2016, has already successfully reduced the use of plastic bags.
Individual car dealers and leasing companies may join the Green Deal by making a commitment online at commitment 2050.fi. The Green Deal is in force until the end of 2025.
The Association of Automobile Industry in Finland and the Finnish Central Organisation for Motor Trades and Repairs encourage their member companies to join the deal. Both associations are carrying out consumer and company communication concerning low-emission choices of vehicles and alternative propulsion systems. Companies are also using vehicles with alternative propulsion systems as demonstrator cars and loner cars during repair and maintenance and installing charging points for electric vehicles at their premises.
The State promotes low-emission vehicles through financial steering instruments such as aid for the acquisition of fully electric cars, public procurement and campaigns, and by developing advisory services and materials. The State also aims to reform the taxation of the transport sector to support the acquisition of low and zero emission cars. The broadly-based working group on Transport Climate Policy ILMO has set as the target to find means to achieve carbon-free transport in Finland by 2045. The key measures will be presented in the final report to be published on 12 December.
Ministry of Transport and Communications
Päivi Antikainen, Director of the Services Reliability Unit, tel. +358 50 382 7101
Saara Jääskeläinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2560
Ministry of the Environment
Magnus Cederlöf, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 250 060
Leena-Kaisa Piekkari, Specialist, tel. +358 50 320 1114
Association of Automobile Industry in Finland
Tero Kallio, Managing Director, tel. +358 40 729 4513
Rami Kittilä, Chairman of the Board of Directors, tel. +358 50 4355 616
Finnish Central Organisation for Motor Trades and Repairs
Pekka Rissa, Managing Director, tel. +358 500 417 300
Heikki Häggkvist, Chairman of the Board, tel. +358 400 587 324