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The European Union’s 90 percent net emission reduction target has been accepted by Finland, with certain reservations. The environment ministers of EU member states met in Brussels to discuss the Union’s 2040 climate goal, proposed by the EU Commission in February. The goal is to achieve a 90 percent net emission reduction from the levels recorded in 1990, with a focus on both emission reductions and carbon removal.

The Commission’s actual legislative proposal will be made after the summer European elections. Finland supports the 90 percent net emission reduction target but with conditions. Minister of Environment and Climate Kai Mykkänen emphasized the importance of proceeding technology-neutrally and accepting nuclear power as a clean energy source. Additionally, incentives for technical carbon sequestration at the EU level should be put in place.

The discussion at the Environmental Council meeting was the first official debate on the 2040 climate goal, with many countries yet to form their positions. Mykkänen acknowledged that achieving the emission reductions in Finland would require a significant transition in industry, with a focus on green technologies in sectors like steel and refinery. Carbon dioxide recovery in forest industry units was also highlighted as an important aspect of meeting emission reduction goals.

Finland believes that technical sinks can help achieve a net reduction increase of more than five million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, despite uncertainties in the land use sector and challenges in defining clean energy sources. The discussion at the Environmental Council marked the beginning of a long process towards reaching the 2040 climate goal, with a focus on cost-effective emission reductions and transitioning towards cleaner technologies.

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