Minister Berner: Climate change very apparent in the work of the Ministry of Transport and Communications – aiming for carbon-free transport
The message in a new Special Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is clear: The climate is warming at an alarming rate. Swift and radical changes are needed in order to ensure that temperatures do not rise more than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. The same also applies to transport. One fifth of Finland’s greenhouse gases come from transport and the majority of these from road traffic.
“Climate change will determine the human population’s fate, and its impact on the work of the Ministry of Transport and Communications has increased throughout the government term. Climate change will change the way in which we move. There is no simple solution, we will need a multitude of methods and no deed is too small,” Minister of Transport and Communication Anne Berner said.
“I have strong faith that people are able to solve problems when they work together. I am grateful that climate change has prompted authorities, researchers, representatives of companies and civil society organisations from the transport sector to work together to find solutions. We can provide the necessary expertise, attitude and technological solutions not only for Finland but for the world,” Berner continued.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is taking the following steps to respond to the impacts of climate
THE TRANSPORT CLIMATE POLICY WORKING GROUP ILMO45
The aim of the broad-based working group is to find the methods that will make it possible for Finland to achieve carbon-free transport by 2045. The group’s interim report, which was published in September, comprises three scenarios. It is already clear that there are no simple solutions. Changes will in needed in transport and mobility options, fuels, taxation, technology and attitudes. The group’s final report will be published on 12 December. The working group's documents can be viewed here:
PROMOTE WALKING AND CYCLING
The Government resolution and Ministry of Transport and Communications Programme to Promote Walking and Cycling aims to ensure that of current journeys the share travelled by walking and cycling will increase by 30 per cent by 2030. More information:
ACT ON TRANSPORT SERVICES AND MAAS
The most important legislative project related to transport and communications this government term will enable new services for transport, which will mean that not everyone needs to own their own car. The Act on Transport Services with its core idea Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is one method for reducing emissions. The documents for the three-phased legislative initiative can be viewed here:
PROMOTE RAIL TRANSPORT
Carbon emissions from road traffic can be reduced by moving transport from roads to rails. Rail transport services are being promoted by determining possibilities for faster rail traffic, for example, for the following routes Helsinki-Tampere, Helsinki-Turku and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport-Porvoo-Kouvola (the eastern railway). and by opening up commuter transport to competition. More information:
PROCUREMENT SUBSIDIES FOR ELECTRIC CARS
Electric cars are one method for reducing emissions. For this reason, the purchaser of a new electric care or a person with a long-terming leasing agreement for an electric car can be eligible for a EUR 2,000 procurement subsidy in 2018-2021 for cars that run fully on electricity. More information:
ESTABLISH A CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT UNIT
The environment has become a fourth theme alongside the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ services, data and networks. The unit, which will open its doors in January 2019, will be responsible for seeing to it that transport and communications systems have low emissions, load the environment as little as possible and are energy efficient.
The Special Report published by the IPCC on Monday added new support for Finland’s ambition in the area of transport issues in the European Union. On Tuesday, the EU’s Environment Council will make an important decision on the carbon emissions for cars and vans, meaning what types of cars manufacturers are permitted to manufacture. Finland’s objective is CO2 limits that are as rigid as possible so that we can meet the requirements laid down in the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Although the IPCC’s message is a serious one, there is no reason to despair. Hope is born from open-minded actions. The European Union’s challenge will be to set the requirements for climate change ahead of national targets,” Minister Berner commented on the upcoming meeting of the Environment Council.
Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner
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