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Finland Plans to Ban Coal by 2029, One Year Ahead of Schedule

Finland is known for having the world’s best education system. It’s also been called the “happiest country in the world” and the best country to be a mother

Now, it wants to become one of the first countries in the world to completely phase out coal. 

The Scandinavian powerhouse aims to completely eliminate coal dependency by 2029, one year ahead of its previous goal of 2030, environment minister Kimmo Tiilikainen said Tuesday

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“Greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced much sooner than initially planned to mitigate climate change,” Tiilikainen said in a statement. 

Furthermore, energy companies that eliminate coal use by 2025 will be eligible for government subsidies, he added. 

Finland is one of 19 countries to pledge to eliminate coal by 2030 after the 2015 COP 24 in Paris. Other countries to do so include France, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Mexico.

Finland will, nonetheless, have its work cut out for it. The country still gets 10% of its energy from coal — two-thirds of which is produced in neighboring Russia, according to Euractiv. This is a higher percentage of coal than other neighboring countries, according to the report. 

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While Finland’s commitment to stop burning coal constitutes a small victory in this fight, it will take a concerted global effort to ensure that this goal is met so that global temperatures will not rise by more than 2 degrees celsius, widely considered a point of no return for climate change. 

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Globally, more than 40% of energy consumption worldwide is still produced by burning coal, which contributes to global warming. 

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