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Minister Vanhanen held discussions with European Commissioner McGuinness and highlighted Finland’s views on EU sustainable finance issues

Ministry of Finance
5.3.2021 15.11
Press release

Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen highlighted Finland's views on the use of the EU’s sustainable finance classification system in the forestry and energy production sectors. Minister Vanhanen discussed these matters with European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness on Friday 5 March.

The European Union has established a classification system (EU taxonomy) for determining what kind of investment is environmentally sustainable. The classification criteria are intended to facilitate sustainable investment and comparison of investments, and there will be a standard definition of sustainable investment at the EU level in the future. The sustainable finance classification system is based on the EU’s Taxonomy Regulation.

The European Commission is currently preparing lower level legislation (delegated acts) that will define technical criteria related to climate change for specific sectors and different economic activities. The Commission plans to publish the criteria in a delegated act in April, and implementation is to begin at the start of 2022.

“The criteria for sectors that are important to Finland, such as forestry, bioenergy and hydropower, need to be amended. The Commission must ensure that in forestry sustainability the ecological, social and economic dimensions are taken into account in a balanced way. I shall do my utmost to make sure the Commission understands our concerns. It is essential that the EU appreciates the significance of our forestry sector, for example, and the sustainable way in which forests are used here,” said Vanhanen. 

Next week Minister Vanhanen will discuss sustainable finance with the Commission’s Executive Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, and Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen.

Inquiries:

Riikka Pakarinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, tel. +358 40 580 0833, riikka.pakarinen(at)vm.fi