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Published: 16 December 2021

Greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2020, international commitments attainable for 2013 to 2020

According to Statistics Finland’s preliminary data, the total emissions of greenhouse gases in 2020 corresponded with 48.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2 eq.). Emissions fell by nine per cent from the previous year. The fall in emissions was affected by the warm winter, recent changes in the production structure of electricity and the decrease in transport performance. Especially the decrease of fellings from the previous year increased the net sink of the LULUCF sector, i.e. land use, land-use change and forestry, which was -17.2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Emissions and removals in the LULUCF sector are not included in the total emissions described above. On the basis of the data so far, Finland is meeting its emission reduction commitments under the EU and the Kyoto Protocol concerning the entire period 2013 to 2020. The data to be published are based on the preliminary report to be submitted by Statistics Finland to the European Commission by 15 January 2022 concerning emissions in 2020.

Finland's greenhouse gas emissions and removals by sector and the sum of all sectors, where the net sink of the LULUCF sector is deducted from the combined emissions of other sectors

Finland's greenhouse gas emissions and removals by sector and the sum of all sectors, where the net sink of the LULUCF sector is deducted from the combined emissions of other sectors

According to preliminary data, total emissions in 2020 amounted to 48.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent and they fell by nearly nine per cent (4.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent) from the year before and by 32 per cent (23.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent) from 1990. The sum of emissions and removals in the LULUCF sector, or the net sink is not included in these total emissions. Taking the net sink of the LULUCF sector into account in total emissions would translate into 30.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2020.

The energy sector is Finland's largest source of emissions, significantly affecting the annual variation of total emissions as well. According to the preliminary calculation, the energy sector’s emissions totalled 34.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, which is 11 per cent lower than in the previous year and 50 per cent less than in the peak year of 2003. The fall in emissions from the previous year was affected by the warm winter, recent changes in the production structure of electricity and the decrease in transport performance (link to the energy release ).

Emissions from industrial processes and product use (incl. F-gases) amounted to 5.1 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2020 and they decreased by five per cent from the year before. Emissions from the waste sector went down by three per cent from 2019 to 2020, being 1.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Emissions from agriculture amounted to 6.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent and remained on level with the previous year: Preliminary data for 2020 were 0.03 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, which is under half a per cent less than in the previous year.

The net sink of the land use, land-use change and forestry sector (LULUCF), that is, the sum of emissions and removals was -17.2 million tonnes of CO2 eq. in 2020, which is 27 per cent higher than in the year before. The change was particularly due to the five per cent drop in fellings from the year before. Calculation of the net sink becomes revised yearly for the penultimate years. This is due to utilisation of updated data, e.g. national forest inventory data, in the calculation. These data affect, e.g. the areas and growing stock which, in turn, affect the litter input to the soil and thus the soil carbon stock. The now released preliminary data on the net sink of the LULUCF sector for 2020 are 5.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent lower than in the instant preliminary data based on more incomplete data published in May (see the review of this release).

Greenhouse gas emissions in Finland by sector

Emissions, million tonnes CO2 eq.
1990 2000 2005 2010 2015 2018 2019 2020 4)
Emissions without LULUCF sector 1) 71.2 70.2 69.9 75.7 55.0 56.2 52.8 48.1
Energy sector 53.4 53.7 53.7 60.2 40.6 42.1 39.0 34.6
Energy industries 19.0 22.1 22.2 31.0 17.8 18.7 16.2 13.1
Manufacturing industries and construction 13.4 11.9 11.4 10.0 6.8 6.8 6.6 6.2
Transport 12.1 12.1 12.9 12.7 10.9 11.7 11.2 10.4
Other energy 2) 9.0 7.5 7.3 6.6 5.2 4.9 4.9 4.8
Industrial processes and products use 5.4 6.0 6.8 6.2 5.7 5.7 5.4 5.1
Industrial processes (excl. F-gases) 3) 5.3 5.2 5.6 4.8 4.4 4.6 4.4 4.1
Consumption of F-gases 3) 0.1 0.7 1.2 1.4 1.3 1.1 1.0 1.0
Agriculture 7.5 6.6 6.5 6.7 6.6 6.5 6.6 6.5
Waste management 4.7 3.8 2.8 2.6 2.1 1.8 1.8 1.7
Indirect CO2 emissions 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
LULUCF sector 1) -13.4 -15.0 -20.5 -21.7 -18.8 -7.4 -13.5 -17.2
1) LULUCF refers to the land use, land-use change and forestry sector. Negative figures indicate that the growth of carbon pools exceeded the greenhouse gas emissions meaning that the sector was a carbon sink. The sector does not come under the scope of the EU Emissions Trading System or the reduction targets of the EU’s Effort Sharing Decision. The figures for the latest years will become revised as the source data are updated (e.g. growing stock and surface areas).
2) Other energy includes sub-categories of heating of buildings, fuel use in agriculture, forestry and fisheries (incl. machinery), other fuel use and fugitive emissions from fuels.
3) F-gases refer to fluorinated greenhouse gases (HFC, PFC compounds, SF6 and NF3).
4) Preliminary data

Emissions not included in the EU Emissions Trading System amounted to around 28.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2020, and they fell by three per cent from the previous year. 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, from which CO2 emissions from domestic civil aviation as calculated in the inventory, are deducted . The data on the verified emissions of the emissions trading sector are published by the Energy Authority (In Finnish).

Finland has obligations under both the EU's Effort Sharing Decision and the Kyoto Protocol for the period 2013 to 2020. The EU Effort Sharing Decision defines annual national emission allocations for emissions not included in the EU Emissions Trading System. Based on the data so far, Finland is meeting its targets set for the entire commitment period. This will be confirmed once international reviews are completed in autumn 2022.

During the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period, Finland's emissions not included in the EU Emissions Trading System must be limited to 240.5 million tonnes of CO2 eq. Certain LULUCF activities also affect the commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (afforestation and reforestation, deforestation, forest management). Different LULUCF activities are taken into account in the commitment using different accounting rules. Based on the data now released, Finland will also meet its commitment under the Kyoto Protocol, but will have to use for this emission units transferred from the previous Kyoto Protocol commitment period or acquired from the Clean Development Mechanism or Joint Implementation due to the additional burden arising from LULUCF activities.

More information on the implementation of the commitments under the EU and the Kyoto Protocol is available in the review of the release (in Finnish).


Source: Greenhouse gas inventory unit. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Pia Forsell +358 29 551 2937, Päivi Lindh +358 29 551 3778, Sini Niinistö (LULUCF) +358 29 551 2954, kasvihuonekaasut@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Katri Kaaja

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Tables

Tables in databases

Revisions in these statistics

Updated 16.12.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Greenhouse gases [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-6065. 2020. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 5.7.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/khki/2020/khki_2020_2021-12-16_tie_001_en.html