Finland can be bigger than its size at the Paris Climate Conference
At the negotiating table of the Paris Climate Conference, Finland has something to offer that many other negotiators do not have: concrete solutions. When decision-makers of the world convene to agree on commitments of each of the countries to the international climate agreement, Finland can inform them that the world already has the required solutions for achieving the climate targets. New research data collected by Sitra reveals a vast market potential. Finland can thus make a bigger contribution to the climate negotiations than its size would merit.
Besides collaboration, new kinds of success also require the ability to think differently; as natural resources diminish, carbon neutrality cannot be achieved without a circular economy. Smart and clean solutions for the sustainable future of an increasingly urbanised world could be developed, for example, by means of collaboration between Finnish cities and companies. Such solutions could be first tested and developed at the domestic market. New innovations are needed for solutions related to such matters as mobility, housing and construction, as well as water and waste management. These are areas in which Finland already has world-class competences.
Markets amounting to at least 1,500 billion euros about to emerge
The global market potential of cleantech solutions is likely within just the next few years to be substantial: the development of smart cities alone will offer a market amounting to 1,500 billion euros by 2020, according to Sitra’s new report about global markets and megatrends.
“In addition, our Green to Scale report reveals that the solutions for curbing climate change already exist. Globally, the carbon emissions could be reduced significantly and we could near the two-degree target by 2030 by scaling up existing solutions proven successful in certain countries,” says Mari Pantsar, Director of Sitra.
In other words, there is demand for both proven technologies and suppliers of new innovations – vast business and employment potential is in sight for smart technologies and the development of the circular use of resources.
“Finland should now focus on developing its strengths in the sectors with the highest market potential by 2050 in the areas of, for example, mobility and energy systems. Rapid breakthroughs are expected, for example in energy storage in which the annual markets for solutions directed at new prosumers could then be over 110 billion euros,” says Tiina Kähö, Senior Lead at Sitra.
Certain sectors of the global cleantech markets will grow exponentially, due to the way in which digitisation and carbon neutrality are transforming the world and business practices. Globally, the market expectations are the highest in mobility, energy solutions and sustainable buildings. An essential key lies in combining digitisation with traditional sectors, since the new opportunities provided by smart solutions for developing industrial processes offer growth opportunities for Finnish companies.
We already have proven solutions in our hands
We already possess solutions for mitigating climate change. Sitra, supported by a group of 11 world-leading institutions, commissioned a report on how climate change could be solved using established and proven solutions. The Green to Scale report describes how scaling up the 17 best low-carbon solutions used by different countries in similar circumstances could cut annual greenhouse gas emissions by about 12 gigatonnes – 25 per cent of all global emissions. It would be equivalent to the combined annual greenhouse gas emissions of the USA and European Union, and would significantly narrow what is described as the “emissions gap”. In other words the gap by which global greenhouse gas emissions would still need to be reduced following the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to limit global average warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
Reductions could be achieved by such measures as implementing the Chinese programme that promoted more energy-efficient and cleaner cook stoves in Ethiopia, or adopting Finnish bioenergy solutions in Canada, or Danish methods for minimising food waste in the US.
The solutions highlighted here do not require major investments. Even at their greatest, scaling up the 17 solutions into other countries would require only 17 per cent of the amount of money spent on fossil fuel subsidies in the world.
Sitra will present its concrete solutions and evaluation of the market potential enabled by climate change at two events at the Paris Climate Conference. The first event will be held at the European Union Pavilion on Monday 30 November, 4.30–6 p.m., and in addition to Sitra’s experts Mikko Kosonen, President of Sitra, will also be present.
The second Sitra event will be held at the Nordic Pavilion on Wednesday 9 December, 9.45–11 a.m.
Events at the Paris Climate Conference:
Monday 30 November, 4:30–6 pm, Green to Scale – High-level event on green growth and low-carbon solutions, European Union Pavilion, Hall 2B, Room Luxembourg.
Saturday 5 December, exact time tba: The next step – Leadership in cities and global actions, Nordic Pavilion.
Wednesday 9 December, 9:45–11 am, Green to Scale: What Nordic countries can learn from the world – and what the world can learn from the Nordic countries? Nordic Pavilion, New Nordic Climate Solutions, ”Blue Zone”, Hall 2B, department 65. Live streaming: www.norden.org/cop21/streaming