Emissions Reduction Target
Renewable Energy Target
Emissions by Source
The objective of the Helsinki City is to make Helsinki carbon-neutral by 2035. This goal will be achieved by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions in Helsinki by 80 percent. The remaining 20 per cent will be compensated for by Helsinki taking care of implementing emissions reductions outside the city.
The City of Helsinki has prepared a scheduled Carbon-Neutral Helsinki 2035 Action Plan that has been approved by the City Board. The Action Plan and its 147 actions outlines how the emissions reductions can be achieved in practice. The most significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Helsinki are the heating of buildings, electricity consumption and traffic.
In 2018, total greenhouse gas emissions from Helsinki were about 27 percent lower than in 1990. Per capita emissions were 45 percent lower than 1990. Total energy consumption in the urban area remained unchanged despite the increase in population, which is related to improving energy efficiency. Renewable energy accounted for 12% of the production in the city area.
Helsinki first set its objectives for greenhouse gas emissions in a sustainable development programme in 2002. Then, the objective was to keep the emissions in 2010 at the same level as in 1990. This objective was reached.
In 2008, emission objectives were set for the city-owned energy company Helen Ltd. To achieve the objectives, the City Council decided in 2015 that the Hanasaari B power plant would be closed down by the end of 2024. Helen Ltd has produced a development programme to be observed until 2024, and the programme presents the substitution of the district heating produced by the Hanasaari coal plant with other energy sources. Helen Ltd is likely to meet the objectives set for its heating production by 2030, and it is aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2025.
To meet the carbon-neutrality objective for 2035, the use of fossil fuels needs to be reduced in Helen’s heating production. Helen Ltd’s objective is to stop using coal entirely in the 2030s, at the latest. The City organisation itself only produces under 10 percent of the emissions within the City borders, which means that a carbon-neutral Helsinki can only be reached with close cooperation between the City organisation and residents.
The emissions of the City organisation are produced by the energy consumption of City-owned buildings, the fuel consumption of vehicles and the electricity consumption of outdoor lighting. In addition to reducing its own emissions, the City organisation also has many opportunities to influence the emissions produced by residents as the City is largely involved in residents’ everyday lives.
The City can promote a carbon-neutral Helsinki with various steering measures. The City can also enable, encourage and regulate emissions reductions, for example in the following manners:
- through collaboration with companies
- by offering test platforms for new low-emission trials
- by steering operations through land use planning and plot assignments
- through traffic planning, such as the promotion of bicycling and walking
- by directing construction
- through communication and interaction
- through education
- by promoting public transport
- by supporting low-emission vehicles
- through procurements and investments
The Action Plan has been prepared as openly and transparently as possible and in accordance with Helsinki’s engagement and interaction model. Everyone interested in the process has been able to follow the preparation in real time. The implementation of the Action Plan should also follow the same principles of open participation and further promote the engagement of Helsinki residents to encourage them to commit to the Action Plan and support its implementation.