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HomeEUEK Joins Other Nordic Business Groups in Demanding Clear EU Climate Policy

EK Joins Other Nordic Business Groups in Demanding Clear EU Climate Policy


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Finland’s main business lobby, the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), joined four other Nordic organisations on Monday in demanding that the EU stick to a clear, strict climate policy.

In a statement published in Brussels, the Finnish and Scandinavian industrial federations told EU political decision-makers that emission targets must remain ambitious regardless of next summer’s European Parliament elections.

“We have to move along the path towards 2050 climate neutrality, which is the ultimate goal,” said Kati Ruohomäki, the EK’s Chief Policy Adviser on Energy and Climate.

It is in the companies’ interest that the EU continues to reduce emissions without loosening its goals, she told reporters in Brussels on Monday.

The signatories to the letter demand that carbon dioxide emission reduction goals remain firmly as they are.

According to the current EU goal, climate emissions must be reduced by 55 percent by 2030, comparison to 1990 levels.

Work on the goals and practical actions for the period up until 2040 is to begin in February before the European Commission publish its new plan.

Companies worried about slippage

The five Nordic business federation expressed concern that political decision-makers may allow climate goals to slip.

“In a weak economic situation, it might seem that abandoning these goals and not taking climate action might be a solution,” Ruohomäki warned.

According to the EK and the other Nordic lobbies, that would be a mistake.

“It is in the interest of Finland and the other Nordic countries that we get green growth from curbing climate change,” Ruohomäki asserted.

Climate goals must not be seen as a burden, she argued.

According to the EK, companies in Finland are planning additional investments of some 200 billion euros in the next few years. It said that strict climate regulations would make those intentions more likely to become reality.

In addition to the ambitious emissions target, EK calls for streamlined regulations. It argues that would be easier for companies if the EU’s goal was simply to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. It claimed that current regulations block some means of reducing emissions that companies want to pursue, and notes that each country requires measure to increase carbon sinks, for example.

Together, the five Nordic industry groups – the EK, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, Danish Industry and the Federation of Icelandic Industries – represent more than 126,000 companies.

They note that with some 28 million residents, the Nordic region makes up the world’s 10th largest economy.

WWF: Demands do not go far enough

The environmental group WWF said that while it agrees with the EK that ambitious emission reductions will create economic growth and are good for companies, the business groups’ demands are insufficient.

The secretary general of WWF Finland, Liisa Rohweder, criticised the EK’s position on the pace of reducing emissions.

“In order for the EU to be carbon-neutral by 2040, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels must be reduced as a matter of priority, so that they decrease by around 90 percent by 2040,” she said on Monday.

The WWF also criticised the EK’s calls to simplify regulations, stressing that cutting emissions alone is not enough.

“In addition to that, we must also strengthen carbon sinks of the forest sector and the land use sector,” said Rohweder. The WWF insists that the EU must continue to have separate emission targets and a target for increasing carbon sinks.

Source: Yle

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