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In brief: Finland calls for more collaborative action ahead of COP28

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Published: 24 November 2023

Finland is calling for more cooperation between nations ahead of COP28 | European life insurers want to boost their ESG investments | The reporting of Scope 3 emissions is rising.

Finland is uniquely placed to teach other countries about net zero solutions | Business Finland

Finland, the first country in the world to adopt a CO2 tax in 1990, has called for more collaborative action between governments, policymakers, and public and private entities to combat climate change and speed up the move to net zero ahead of COP28.

With more than three-quarters of the country’s land area covered by forest and as the only European country with access to all the minerals needed for batteries, Finland is uniquely placed to help the rest of the world with green solutions.

In partnership with Finnish companies, which rank among some of the most sustainable in the world, Finland plans to provide insights into its sustainability roadmap and solutions during COP28.

Finland is on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035, after it slashed carbon emissions by 34% between 1990 and 2022. The country is planning more than €200bn of private investments in the green transition –  around 70% of its gross domestic product.

“While the concept of a carbon footprint is well understood, and everyone is in agreement that we should be reducing it, Finland is aiming higher than that and encouraging other countries to do the same,” Severi Keinälä, director of COP28 Finland Pavilion at Business Finland, said in a press release.

Finland is now focusing on increasing its “climate handprint – going beyond achieving carbon neutrality to have a positive effect on the environment,” Keinälä said.

The Finnish government, together with business and industry, “will promote the creation of a model for calculating positive climate handprints and setting targets for increasing the handprints of Finnish exports,” Keinälä said.

Life insurers to boost ESG

92% of European life insurers, which collectively manage €2.73trn in assets, plan to boost their investments with a positive environmental and social impact. That’s according to a survey commissioned by AlphaReal, a specialist manager of secure income real assets.

“The insurance industry is essential in helping to drive investment in long term projects such as green energy and social infrastructure, including affordable housing, schools and hospitals,” Edward Palmer, chief investment officer, joint-deputy chief executive officer and head of sustainability at AlphaReal, said in a press release.

“This research shows the importance placed by the sector in providing the necessary capital to support progress towards environmental and social goals.” 

Scope 3 emissions

Over half of companies are now disclosing at least some of their so-called Scope 3 value chain emissions, up from around a third two years ago. That’s according to a report by ESG Today, citing a new survey released by Boston Consulting Group.

For many businesses, Scope 3 emissions account for more than 70% of their carbon footprint, according to consultancy firm Deloitte.

It defined Scope 3 emissions as “all the emissions associated, not with the company itself, but that the organisation is indirectly responsible for, up and down its value chain.” For example, a manufacturing company will often have major carbon emissions from the extraction, manufacture and processing of raw materials.

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