Current projects

  • Consumer perspective in climate policy

    The individual consumer’s impact on climate change prevention has often been underestimated. However, household consumption forms a significant portion of Finland’s GHG emissions, approximately 70 per cent of GHG emissions of final domestic demand (SYKE’s ENVIMAT model).

    Objectives: The objective of the project is to clarify and organise the way the consumer perspective is handled in climate policy. The project report provides concrete examples of potential measures for curbing climate change, which can be used in political decision-making. The project focuses on housing, nutrition, mobility and other household product and service chains, including import and export.

    In practice: The project commences with a literature review and expert interviews, which are used to document various parties’ understanding of the consumer’s role in curbing climate change. After this, an interactive stakeholder process is initiated, during which three workshops are arranged. The workshop team compiles the investigation results from phases 1–2 into a synthesis, which includes political measures to promote climate action by consumers.

    Further information:
    Lassi Linnanen
    Lappeenranta University of Technology
    tel. +358 50 550 3305

  • Climate education

    The Climate Change Panel’s 2015 report on climate education revealed Finnish climate change education to be lacking.

    Objectives: The objective of the project is to help the public, schoolchildren and students get more involved in climate work. The project collects ideas for curbing climate change from young people and helps them adjust to the changes brought on by climate change. Their attitudes and concerns regarding climate change are also explored.

    In practice: A Community of Learners is formed, comprising of schoolchildren, students, teachers, climate change education experts, members of the Finnish Climate Change Panel, Arctic Centre staff and teacher trainers. The purpose of the Community is to create new, solution-driven material for climate change education.

    Further information:
    Ilkka Ratinen
    University of Jyväskylä
    tel. +358 50 344 9582

  • Carbon neutrality in climate policy

    Countries, municipalities, companies, organisations and even individuals have set carbon neutrality as their goal in order to reduce their GHG emissions. However, carbon neutrality has not been clearly defined, and different parties interpret the term differently.

    Objectives: The project clarifies the term “carbon neutrality”, which is the climate policy goal for countries, municipalities and counties alike, and establishes the rules and compensations related to achieving it. The project examines how carbon neutrality can be achieved on a temporal and regional level and from the perspective of climate agreements. The project also investigates how carbon offsets and various biobased  operations affect accomplishing the goal.

    In practice: The project investigates three topics. The first one is how carbon neutrality is interpreted and what principles different parties follow in order to achieve it. The second topic is carbon neutrality as a climate policy goal. The third part focuses on the calculation principles and acceptable compensations for emission reduction measures. A stakeholder seminar will be held regarding these results. The fourth part investigates the effects of biobased operations on achieving carbon neutrality. A synthetic report on the project will also be produced.

    Further information:
    Jyri Seppälä
    Finnish Environment Institute
    tel. +358 40 7401708

  • Climate change and water management: preparedness and health impacts

    Finnish water management has yet to consider the health impacts of climate change. For example, the rising temperature of surface water and increased rainfall may cause many problems, such as reduced quality of drinking water.

    Objectives: The project aims to provide an overview of climate change preparedness in Finland when it comes to water management. The results can be used for the Water Safety Plan (WSP) and future investments plans. The implementation of the project and communication about it increase knowledge on adaptation to climate change in Finland.

    In practice: A survey is used to investigate how water supply facilities are prepared to the threats and changes brought on by climate change. The project also aims to model the health impacts of reduced drinking water quality and assesses the costs of health risks and adaptation measures related to water management.

    Further information:
    Timo Lanki
    National Institute for Health and Welfare
    tel. +358 29 524 6326

  • Overview of national climate change advisory councils

    National climate change advisory councils across the world are formed and function differently. However, what they share are independence, expertise and recommendations that are based on the best available scientific knowledge.

    Objectives: This project aims to paint a clear picture of the procedures, backgrounds and mandates of other national climate councils, so that they may be taken into account when planning the Finnish Climate Change Panel’s next term.

    In practice: The study consists of two parts. The first part identifies councils around the world and their compositions, mandates and scope. The second part takes a closer look at a handful of councils relevant to the report, including the councils of Denmark, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

    Further information:
    Markku Ollikainen
    University of Helsinki
    tel. +358 50 415 1201

  • LULUCF and forest reference levels

    The LULUCF regulation regulates how the land use sector is included in the targets of the EU 2030 climate and energy framework. The forest reference levels are an estimate of how large the forests’ average, annual actual carbon sink (or emission source) would grow in the periods 2021–2025 and 2026–2030, assuming the member nations follow sustainable forestry practices as was done in the reference period 2000–2009. It is the task and right of member nations to define the forest reference levels by following the LULUCF criteria. The European Commission has published technical guideline for interpreting said criteria.

    Objectives: The project clarifies the background of the LULUCF regulation, options for definitions and reasons for differences in measures between countries.

    In practice: As a part of the project, the Climate Panel will publish the report “LULUCF and Forest Reference Levels”, which describes the European LULUCF regulation, its processes and related reference calculations in addition to nation-specific examples.

    Further information:
    Antti Asikainen
    Natural Resources Institute Finland
    tel. +358 29 532 3250

Completed projects

  • Public participation in climate policy (2019)

    Public participation is an important part of the purpose and general objectives of the Climate Change Act. However, the Act does not provide specific instructions on how to promote public participation.

    Objectives: The project mission was to clarify the meaning of participation in climate policy. The investigation follows the participation initiatives and climate measures, particularly from the perspective of publicly set goals. It also assesses how climate measures affect the health and well-being of the public.

    In practice: The project consisted of three workshops. They dealt with, for example, the impact that climate measures have on the well-being and social equality of the public. The project report includes a summary of the workshop discussions and suggestions for prioritising measures. Two Master’s theses were produced as background reports for the project. One of them discusses the climate action taken by large cities outside the capital region from a participation standpoint. The other one investigates the willingness of companies to participate in climate education.

    Further information:
    Marja Järvelä
    University of Jyväskylä
    tel. +358 40 805 4141

  • Climate change and forest damage (2019)

    The changing climate influences the sustainability of the forests’ carbon stores and related risks, such as insect damage. The impact of biotic and abiotic damage on the forests’ carbon sequestration capacity is significant and has been predicted to grow in substantionally as the growth environment changes.

    Objectives: The project investigates the likelihood and magnitude of forest damage caused by climate change.

    In practice: The project summarises what we know about the factors causing forest disturbances and the climate factors that affect the risks of large scale forest disturbances in Finland, the rest of Europe and North America. The project includes a multidisciplinary expert workshop, which investigates the interplay between climate change and forest disturbances. The report “The Impact of Forest Disturbances Risks on Finnish Forest Development” will also be published as a part of the project.

    Further information:
    Antti Asikainen
    Natural Resources Institute Finland
    tel. +358 29 532 3250

  • Analysis of similarities and differences between models describing forest development trends (2019)

    The use of Finnish forests has been described and simulated using several different models. The results provided by the models vary due to their different implementation and parameters. It is therefore important to compare the different models by using the same primary data in order to understand what causes the differences in results.

    Objectives: The objective is to understand how the models describing the carbon balance of Finnish forest utilisation differ from each other. What factors in the models explain the differences?

    In practice: The investigation examines the projections made by six different carbon balance development models (EFDM, EFISCEN, FORMIT, MELA, MONSU and PREBAS) using three different logging scenarios (Low approx. 40 mil m3 per year-1, Policy approx. 80 mil m3 per year-1 and Highest sustainable approx. 85 mil m3 per year-1). The period of examination varied between different models, ending either in the year 2065 or 2100. Changes in carbon stores were used to measure carbon balance, with growing carbon stores indicating the forest serves as a carbon sink.

     

    Further information:
    Markku Kanninen
    University of Helsinki
    tel. +358 50 4486 133

     

  • Drivers for vehicle electrification (2018)

    The transport sector is globally one of the sectors causing the most emissions. Curbing the emissions requires new transport solutions, such as switching from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. Over the recent years, the electric vehicles’ share of the total fleet has been rapidly growing across the world. However, the regional and national differences in the electrification of vehicles are notable.

    Objectives: The goal of the project is to generate information and promote penetration of vehicle electrification and the related taxing solutions, financial aid, informative guidance, technical prerequisites and charging infrastructure, as well as the flexibility and storage potential of electric vehicles in the electric market.

    In practice: The project has three parts. The first one assesses methods of supporting the acquisition of electric vehicles and promoting their use in Finland cost-efficiently. The second one produces an estimate of the development of charging infrastructure in a way that promotes the popularisation of electric vehicles. The third part generates information on the flexibility potential of electric vehicles in the electric market and assesses the decentralised energy storage potential of electric vehicle batteries.

    Further information:
    Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen
    University of Oulu
    tel. +358 40 187 4284

  • Utilising forest biomass to restrain climate change (2017)

    The two-phase project provides an overview of the threats and opportunities of Finnish forest use in curbing climate change.

    Objectives: The objective is to clarify unanswered key questions regarding the effects that forest use has on the climate and its cost efficiency in curbing climate change. Points of consensus and dissent are identified, along with the reasonings behind them. A specific goal is to concretise the effects that the upcoming EU regulations for the land use sector will have on the forest use options in Finland. Emphasis will be placed on clear communication and making cause-effect links easier to understand.

    In practice: The first phase involves compiling all currently open-ended questions over which there is not yet consensus in the scientific field and for which decision-makers want clear answers. A team of researchers composes reasonings for the differing viewpoints in the field and assesses the need for further in-depth investigation in 2017. During the second phase, Finnish forest use plans, along with their threats and opportunities, are evaluated based on the collected data, data generated during the in-depth investigation and EU’s decisions.

    Further information:
    Jyri Seppälä
    Finnish Environment Institute
    tel. +358 40 7401708

  • Achieving transport emission goals 2030 - investigating policy measures (2017)

    The purpose of the investigation is to assess the expected emission reduction effects of the transport emission reduction goals outlined in the energy and climate strategy, as well as produce data on the emission reduction potential and cost efficiency of the required emission reduction policy measures. The central idea behind the Panel’s recommendation is directing funds towards developing a more efficient transport system and promoting vehicle electrification instead of supporting renewable fuels.

    Further information:
    Heikki Liimatainen
    Tampere University
    tel. +358 40 8490 320

  • Researchers’ central messages about the climate effects of forest use (2017)

    The Paris Agreement provides for ambitious climate targets across all sectors, leading to the need to understand the potential use of forests more comprehensively. The Climate Change Panel decided to examine and gather the best available scientific knowledge from leading research scientists on forest use and climate change. The goal was to provide a clear message from the scientific community on what is often considered a discordant public discussion on forest use. Statements were gathered on key issues on forest use and climate change and a scientific expert panel formed. Each statement was then concisely analysed based on the researchers’ views to form a clear policy-relevant response.

    Report: Main messages from researchers concerning the climate impacts of forest utilization

  • Clean technology solutions: climate and economy (2016)

    Cleantech, or clean technology, refers to all products, services, processes and systems that cause less environmental harm than their traditional counterparts. This project of the Climate Change Panel defines the term and examines the role of cleantech in reducing GHG emissions, as well as its potential in benefitting national economy and employment.

    Further information:
    Markku Ollikainen
    University of Helsinki
    tel. +358 50 415 1201

  • Climate change risks, costs and responsibilities (2016)

    In addition to causing long-term changes, climate change influences the frequency, magnitude and timing of exceptional weather phenomena. These phenomena increase the risks related to the well-being of our society. This project investigates how these risks and related costs and responsibilities are distributed between the public and private sectors. Special attention is paid to assessing the sharing of responsibilities for flood and crop damage.

    Further information:
    Markku Ollikainen
    University of Helsinki
    tel. +358 50 415 1201

  • National energy and climate strategy (2013) monitoring (2016)

    The special task of the Climate Panel is to monitor the implementation of the national energy and climate strategy, as well as evaluate the consistency of climate policy and the adequacy of its goals and the measures taken. This research project on the strategy investigates its efficiency, strengths and problems. The results of the project provide recommendations for more efficient monitoring of energy and climate policy.

    Further information:
    Marja Järvelä
    University of Jyväskylä
    tel. +358 40 805 4141