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Coalition of finance ministers find similar roadblocks to fighting climate change with help of Sitra

Challenges to countries’ actions to fight climate change laid bare by new report.


Samuli Laita

Leading Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs, Sitra


The challenges in climate change mitigation and adaptation are relatively similar in the reviewed countries, especially within the groups of developed countries and developing countries. This is one of the key findings of a new report compiled by The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra together with the World Bank for the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action.

For developed countries, the main challenges are related to distributional impacts, the required behavioural changes by households and availability of new technologies. For less developed countries, adaptation and mitigation of emissions while maintaining economic growth and poverty reduction seem among the main issues.

The choice of the best policy instruments is complicated due to fast changing technologies, the large number of potential policy options and a need for strong political buy-in. Good impact assessments, cooperation with the various stakeholders and clear monitoring and governance structures seem essential in the process. For developing countries, the inclusion of adaptation and resilience issues is also crucial.

“One of the key findings for me is that long-term climate strategies seem to be as much politics as economics,” comments Dr. Saara Tamminen of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, one of the authors of the new report.

The report includes a review of seven national long-term transition strategies (including Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Uganda, and the United Kingdom) and two shorter views on specific issues (Germany’s energy transition and the greening of Costa Rica’s transport sector). It supports the 52 Coalition countries in their climate work and provides peer support for them in aligning their policies and practices with the Paris Agreement commitments in line with the Helsinki Principle 1. The review is based on a new seven-step framework for transition planning developed by Sitra.

“The report is a valuable input to the policy considerations of Finance Ministries. It underlines the importance of horizontal approaches in designing climate policies, as well as the value of sharing experiences. The Coalition of Finance Ministers appreciates the role of Sitra as leading institutional partner in this work,” says Pekka Morén, Special Representative of the Finance Minister on Climate Action, Finnish Ministry of Finance, representing the Co-Chairs of the Coalition of Finance Ministers.

The Coalition released at the same time also two other reports, one on “Resetting climate action in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic” and another on “Ministries of Finance and Nationally Determined Contributions – Stepping Up for Climate Change”.

Finance ministers will discuss these reports in October 14 based on further preparatory work. Ministers will provide policy guidance on mainstreaming climate issues in economic and financial policies, as well as on the implications of COVID-19 in the recovery packages and climate policies. In that context, the Coalition will also define further work priorities for period 2020-2021 and strengthen its governance arrangements.

Read more on the Coalitions press release and look at the report Long-Term Strategies for Climate Change – Review of Country-cases for Ministers of Finance.

More information:

Saara Tamminen, Leading Specialist, Climate Solutions, Sitra,, tel. +358 50 516 8135
Pekka Morén, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Finance,, tel. +358 40 761 9387
Samuli Laita, Leading Specialist, Communications, Sitra,, tel. +358 40 536 8650

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