Finnish Environment Institute | Suomen ympäristökeskus | Finlands miljöcentral

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We need strict targets for reducing emissions

Finland has committed itself to the Paris Agreement aimed at limiting the warming of the climate to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. The aim is an ambitious one and it requires a rapid curbing of emission growth.

According to a recent paper, the Paris Agreement require the passage of global “carbon law”. The basic principle of the law would be to start bringing global emissions down after 2020 in such a way that they would be cut in half with each successive decade. Emissions could this be brought to zero in 2050.

In addition to emission reductions, bringing the rise in temperature under control requires the strengthening of carbon sinks and increasing the size of carbon storages as well as changes in land use. Researchers point out in an article published this year that keeping climate change within the two-degree limit requires action such as a clear reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, maintaining and strengthening carbon sinks, and removing excess carbon from the atmosphere. In addition, societies need to adapt to the inevitable consequences that even the current temperature increase will cause.

Energy use must be reduced

A fast, fundamental, and broad-based transition is needed so that the socio-economic system can be made to adapt to stay within the planetary boundaries. This will require changes in many areas of life: behaviour, values, economics, technology, and innovations.

The state and local authorities should actively monitor the implementation of their targets in reducing emissions. Taxation solutions must be targeted at reducing the use of energy and supporting investments aimed at conserving energy.

Public investments need to be directed toward carbon neutral solutions in housing and transport. Wood construction, increased use of vegetarian food, and encouraging the use of bicycles are concrete measures enabling cities and municipalities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Published 2018-09-13 at 11:53, updated 2018-09-14 at 10:54

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