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Greenhouse gas emissions in 2021 remained on level with the previous year, the land use sector a net source of emissions for the first time

Statistics:
Reference period:
2021
Published:
Next release:
Publication type:
release

Revision release

A new period starts in the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals – the data are published calculated using the GWP factors of the IPCC's Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports. Read more about the revision and its impact in our release.

According to Statistics Finland's instant preliminary data, total greenhouse gas emissions without land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector in 2021 amounted to 47.7 million tonnes of CO₂ eq., which was 0.07 million tonnes less than in 2020. The land use sector (LULUCF) was for the first time a net source of emissions, 2.1 million tonnes of CO₂ eq.

The line chart shows Finland's greenhouse gas emissions excluding the LULUCF sector and including the LULUCF sector. The lowest line describes the sum of removals and emissions (net sink or net source) in the LULUCF sector. Emissions and removals vary yearly throughout the time series. The data for 2021 are instant preliminary data and the size of emission estimates are described in the release text.

Key points

  • Total greenhouse gas emissions without the land use sector amounted to 47.7 million tonnes of CO₂ eq. in 2021 – a drop of 0.2 per cent from the previous year.
  • The land use sector (LULUCF) was for the first time a net source of emissions, its emissions exceeded removals, that is, the amount of carbon sequestrated to different stocks during the year, by 2.1 million tonnes of CO₂ eq. The net sink of forest land totalled -6.7 million tonnes of CO₂ eq.
  • Emissions outside the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) went down by three per cent from the previous year and amounted to 27.2 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent in 2021. Emissions included in the EU ETS grew by four per cent, being 20.3 million tonnes of CO₂ eq.
  • The reporting of instant preliminary data is the first reporting for 2021 connected to the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy Package for the period 2021 to 2030. Climate targets in the emissions trading, effort sharing and land use sectors defined in EU regulations are part of the EU's Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement.

Emissions remained mainly on level with 2020, but the sink of forest land decreased clearly

According to the instant preliminary data, total emissions without the land use sector fell by 0.2 per cent (0.1 million tonnes of CO₂ eq.) in 2021 from the previous year and by 33 per cent from the comparison year 1990.

The energy sector is Finland's largest source of emissions, significantly affecting the annual variation of total emissions. According to the instant preliminary calculation, the energy sector's emissions in 2021 were 34.0 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent, which is close on one per cent less than in the year before. Among the reasons for the reduction in emissions were decreased use of peat and growth in the bioshare of transport fuels. The sector's emissions decreased despite the six per cent rise in total energy consumption, because the growth is mainly explained by increased use of renewable energy sources (link to the review of energy statistics on 14 April 2022).

Emissions not included in the EU ETS amounted to around 27.2 million tonnes of CO2 eq. in 2021, and they fell by four per cent from the previous year. Emissions included in the EU ETS grew by four per cent from the previous year, being 20.3 million tonnes of CO₂ eq. Emissions not included in the EU ETS are calculated as the difference between the total emissions and verified emissions of the sectors in the EU ETS published by the Energy Authority, from which CO₂ emissions from domestic civil aviation as calculated in the inventory are deducted.

Emissions from industrial processes and product use (incl. F-gases) amounted to 5.4 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent in 2021 and they grew by six per cent from the year before mainly because of growth in steel production. Emissions from agriculture totalled 6.4 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent. Emissions went down by one per cent from the previous year. Emissions from the waste sector fell by four per cent from 2020 to 2021, being 1.8 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent.

LULUCF, or the land use, land-use change and forestry sector, was for the first time a net source of emissions, 2.1 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent, that is, the sector's emissions exceeded the amount of carbon sequestrated to various stocks during the year. The sector's emissions exceeded the net sink of −6.7 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent in the forest land and the net sink of −3.1 tonnes of CO2 in the harvested wood products. The change in the sector from a net sink into a net source of emissions were due to fellings implemented at a high level and the falling trend of annual increment of growing stock observed in the National Forest Inventory. In the next releases, the effect of annual increment of growing stock and land area data will be updated retrospectively to the results of previous years, which is why removals and emissions from earlier years will also change.

Sector-specific emission data and Finland's emission reduction commitments are described in more detail in the review (in Finnish).

Instant preliminary data will be revised in future

In the instant preliminary data, the data on emissions and removals are calculated at a less detailed level and with less detailed methods than for the preceding years. The emissions and removals for 2021 will become revised as all data used in the calculation are completed. Preliminary data of the statistics on greenhouse gases will be released in December 2022 and official data in March 2023. More detailed information about the calculation methods of the instant preliminary data can be found in the methodological description (in Finnish).

The GWP (global warming potential) factors used for commensurating different greenhouse gases have changed in this release. See the revision release for further information.

Database tables

Database tables related to this release

New database tables
Classifications used:
  • Emission category
  • Greenhouse gas
Statistics:
Updated:
25.05.2022

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Päivi Lindh
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