Funding for sustainable development can be monitored in future
Finland is one of the first countries in the world to incorporate sustainable development in its proposed budget.
Descriptions of how sustainable development is to be put into effect in the different branches of government were included for the first time in the 2018 government budget submission. Descriptions for each branch are also included in the 2019 budget submission, and these identify more effectively the connections with the budget appropriations.
“The political will to implement sustainable development goals is strong. Incorporation of sustainable development in the budget proposal enables us to see how taxpayers’ money is used for advancing the sustainable development goals selected by Finland,” says Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo.
How are sustainable development goals evident in the 2019 budget proposal?
In the justifications for the main expenditure titles, the connections between the appropriations and sustainable development are brought out more clearly. The main title justifications cover both of Finland’s priority areas (a carbon-neutral and resource-wise Finland, and a non-discriminating, equal and highly skilled Finland), as well as the 2030 Agenda connections.
A new element in the 2019 budget proposal is a separate analysis focusing especially on the appropriation connections relevant to the priority area of a carbon-neutral and resource-wise Finland. The analysis examines which appropriations represent specific advances towards the aims of this priority area. The analysis is included in the rationale section of the budget proposal.
The budget proposal and the budget review also examine, on the revenue estimates side, the main taxation questions that are significant in terms of the goal of a carbon-neutral and resource-wise Finland.
The rationale also incorporates a qualitative assessment of elements of public funding that are detrimental to the environment, on the basis of earlier studies.
The budget review publication will also emphasise sustainable development issues.
The model has generated wide international interest. Ideas about how sustainable development could be better taken into account in the budget have been sought jointly by officials, stakeholders and civil society organisations.
The Ministry of Finance wishes to further develop sustainable development budgeting. Creating a model suitable for Finland is something that requires gradual progress, advancing one step at a time. The aim is to make an effective tool out of sustainable development budget planning, which Finland can then promote internationally.