For the masses of people who have taken to the streets over recent months to call for climate change to be at the top of the EU’s agenda, July 1 will be a good day. At the start of next month, Finland will assume the EU’s rotating presidency, giving it considerable power to steer the bloc’s work over the coming six months. It will do so with a government that has a national climate target of unparalleled ambition: full carbon neutrality (so zero net carbon emissions) by 2035. It is also a country in which some of the grandest offices of state, including the posts of foreign minister and interior minister, are in the hands of green politicians. The government’s sense of environmental urgency reflects that of Finland’s voters. In elections earlier this year, the country’s Green League party increased its number of seats by a third. The question now is how far that environmental momentum can be carried to the European level, where Finland is hoping to broker a unanimous agreement on a 2050 climate neutrality target for the EU.
FT 28th June 2019 read more »