Summary report of sectoral low-carbon roadmaps published

News - Published 22.10.2020

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has published a report summarising the main results of the sectoral roadmaps produced during the past year. The report includes summaries of the published roadmaps, key conclusions of the project, a description of the work process and estimates of further work. It also explores how the roadmaps will be utilised in climate and energy work towards a low-carbon Finland.

The roadmaps show that the Government’s goal of a carbon neutral Finland in 2035 is achievable for industry and other sectors with existing or upcoming technologies. However, the realisation of roadmaps requires that the investment environment is favourable and that a number of conditions are met.

“Although the roadmaps have now been published, practical work in companies and across central government is only just beginning. Ultimately, success will be determined by how well the measures highlighted in the roadmaps can be transformed into concrete investments and new practices. What matters here is the commitment of sectors and companies,” says Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

“At the same time, the Government must create the conditions for large-scale investments and other measures. The forthcoming strategic work on renewable industries will contribute to meeting this particular challenge,” Lintilä adds.

Roadmaps to benefit sectors, businesses and climate and energy policy

The preparation of sectoral low-carbon roadmaps was included in the Government Programme of Prime Minister Rinne in summer 2019, and subsequently in the Government Programme of Prime Minister Marin. The roadmaps’ purpose was to provide a more accurate picture of the scale, costs and conditions of the measures needed to move to a carbon neutral Finland by 2035.

A total of 13 sectors prepared their roadmaps by summer 2020. In support of the sectors, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment coordinated the project as a whole, provided guidance and organised discussions and popular thematic seminars.

The roadmaps offered a new perspective on responding to the climate challenge, produced a great deal of new information and increased the commitment of sectors and companies to climate work.

The report summarises the roadmaps for the following sectors: energy industry, chemical industry, forest industry, technology industry, food industry, trade, transport and logistics, agriculture, tourism and restaurants, construction industry, property owners and developers, sawmill industry, textiles and bioenergy.

Roadmaps show electrification, clean energy and RDI investments play key roles

According to the report, the roadmaps reveal the potential for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in different sectors. With regard to industry and other sectors, the Government’s target for 2035 can be achieved with existing or upcoming technologies, provided that investment environment is favourable and that a number of conditions are met.

Because of the ambitious target, emission reductions are needed in all sectors. The impact of individual investments on emissions development is significant and therefore emissions reductions are often not linear but happen step by step. Although the amount of emissions varies greatly between the sectors, each sector’s contribution is necessary and valuable.

The electrification of industry and the rest of society would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in several sectors considerably. According to the roadmaps, electrification could increase industrial electricity consumption by 100% and Finland’s electricity consumption by more than 50% by 2050. Significant investments are needed to increase the capacity for low-emission electricity generation and to expand the transmission network.

The implementation of the roadmaps requires that many conditions are met. Key conditions include an open and predictable operating environment, RDI investments, availability of experts and smooth regulation. In addition, the sectors must have a strong commitment to further work.

The energy transition required by the carbon neutrality target calls for more reasonably priced electricity that can be reliably supplied. In addition, sectoral integration, development of energy networks and removal of administrative barriers are essential for accelerating change. Sectoral integration will enable significant reductions in emissions due to the electrification of society.

Targeting RDI investments will determine the future developments and it is therefore one of the focal issues for creating a low-carbon society. In industry, investment cycles are long and the reliance on coal must end. The technological solutions highlighted in the roadmaps relate to low-emission energy production, material and energy efficiency, alternative propulsion technologies (biofuels, hydrogen, electrification), waste heat recovery and carbon dioxide capture, use and storage.

The carbon handprint – the positive climate impact – of the current and upcoming products is considerable. Clean solutions offer great opportunities for exports and new business ventures. Carbon neutral solutions can be a significant competitive factor for the Finnish industry.

Roadmap work continues – results to be used in strategy work and further steps

The roadmaps will contribute directly to the Government’s climate and energy strategy, which is currently under preparation by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, as well as to many other plans related to the State’s energy and climate policy. In addition, the roadmaps support, for example, the targeting of RDI investments and the preparation of a sustainable recovery.

Several sectors are planning or preparing further steps on their roadmaps, including more thorough reviews and means to put the results into practice. There are also plans to develop tools for the members (including a calculator for carbon handprint and Scope 3 emissions) and to begin a systematic dialogue with stakeholders. Many sectors find the practical implementation of the results and, in particular, the reaching of SMEs challenging, which highlights the importance of further work.

“We want to support further work and the implementation of results. Preparing the roadmaps showed how strong results we can achieve through cooperation – be it between the public and private sectors or between sectors. This kind of cooperation, which is exceptionally close even in international terms and can serve as a model for others, will be needed in the future too,” Minister Lintilä says.

Juhani Tirkkonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 365 3412 (sectoral roadmaps)
Antti Siika-aho, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 50 575 4118
Riku Huttunen, Director-General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 431 6518
Petteri Kuuva, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4819 (climate and energy strategy)

Summary of sectoral low-carbon roadmaps (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment Publications 52/2020)
Sectoral roadmaps in the Ministry’s online service

Press release from Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment  22.10.2020