The Region of Kymenlaakso aims to be carbon neutral by 2040. This aim is one of the main targets in the regional program 2018-2021 of Kymenlaakso region. The region of Kymenlaakso is also committed in Hinku-regions criteria, which means an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2007 levels by 2030. The Carbon Neutral Municipalities network (Hinku) brings municipalities, businesses, citizens and experts together to create and carry out solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The municipalities involved are committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more extensively and rapidly than EU targets would require. The network aims to create solutions that have economic and social benefits as well as environmental advantages.The Hinku network is coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). The Regional Council of Kymenlaakso is also an active member of the Environmental Conference of the Regions of Europe -ENCORE network.
The Carbon Neutral Kymenlaakso Region 2040 roadmap includes the most important measures that needs to be implemented in order to achieve carbon neutral status by 2040 and also greenhouse gas and carbon sink (LULUCF) calculations. The roadmap is compiled in wide cooperation with stakeholders, politicians, experts and citizens and is currently (November 2019) in the decision-making process of the Regional Board and Regional Assembly.
The green house gas emissions of Kymenlaakso region have dercreased approximately 40 % during years 1990-2017. This is mostly due to exceptionally high rate of renewable energy (65 %), structural change and technical improvements in industry and vehicles. Biggest sources of greenhouse gases in Kymenlaakso region are energy production, industry and traffic.
In order to achieve a carbon neutral status by the end of year 2040, the region of Kymenlaakso has compiled a roadmap which includes detailed info about the regions’s greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sinks (LULUCF sector) and the main measures that need to be implemented in different sectors such as industry, forestry and traffic. The roadmap has been compiled in cooperation with stakeholders, politicians, experts, citizens and corporations. The region of Kymenlaakso has to decrease greenhouse gas emissions emerging especially from traffic, energy production and agriculture sectors. Also LULUCF sector’s carbon sinks need to be increased in forests and soils. Measures in the roadmap include for example eco-innovations, cleantech, circular economy approach in all sectors, climate wise forestry, increasing the share of renewable energy, compact urban structure and environmental education and comprehensive cooperation in all sectors.
Circular economy workshop (Regional Council of Kymenlaakso and the ENCORE network, January 2020)