June 5, 2014
By Jason Anderson, Head of EU Climate and Energy Policy, WWF European Policy Office
For years it would have been hard to call Finland the most enthusiastic of European countries when it comes to climate action. Not that they made a habit of causing trouble, but they were by and large content to be carried along by the general trends. But today they’ll announce a new climate change act that is expected to put into law a long-term mitigation target of 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050 (they appear to have forgotten the EU range ’80 to 95%’ for the moment, but this is a good starting point).
Among other features, the external expert panel established in 2011 is expected to have a legally established position under the new Act. This kind of external assessment is essential to policy formation. An independent committee features in the implementation UK Climate Change Act, and European Commission President Barroso’s own science adviser spoke longingly of a similar arrangement for the EU when reflecting on how the EC basically produces made-to-order analyses to fit political stances.
The timing is also fortuitous, arriving on the first of two days of ministerial meetings at the UNFCCC negotiations in Bonn, and hot on the heels of a string of announcements from Mexico, the US, and (not yet officially) China. So, we look forward to seeing what Finland releases today and hope it will live up to its potential.