WWF has responded to this good news.
WWF-Finland CEO Liisa Rohweder said:
'The Finnish Government's decision to ban coal deserves a strong support. However, it is essential that the government ensures that energy from coal burning is replaced by the development of new technologies that allow for genuinely sustainable energy production and improved energy efficiency. The planned increased role of the Finnish forests as a source of material for energy production would result in the reduced capacity to serve as a carbon sink. In the worst case, this would correspond to the annual emissions of the entire transport sector compared to the situation where forest felling remained on the same level as currently. So a sustainable alternative to coal is vital to consider as well.'
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy programme, said:
'The Powering Past Coal Alliance, of which Finland is a member, says that coal phase-out is needed by no later than 2030 in the OECD and EU28, and no later than by 2050 in the rest of the world if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. So this progressive action by Finland must be welcomed. And it must be a signal to other governments that they need to take bold climate actions as well. 2018 must be the year we step up our efforts to reduce emissions, not only with an eye to actions beyond 2020, but also on what we can do right now. Getting out of coal is a big and transformative shift and just the kind of action we need now.'