The Paris climate agreement is a historical achievement that needs to be seen as a step in an ambitious process forward, emphasizes Mikael Ohlström, Chief Policy Adviser at the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK.
– As a next step, it is vital to ensure a swift ratification of the Paris agreement in different countries, as well as to start implementing the actual emission reduction commitments.
According to Ohlström, review of the Paris climate commitments by 2020 will be a significant milestone.
– At that point, especially the G20 countries need to tighten their emission reduction targets so that they are closer to the EU target levels. This helps avoid a situation, where the gap between the EU climate actions and those of the rest of the world would become even wider than it is now.
Finnish industry is satisfied to see that the final wording of the COP21 agreement includes a reference to global emissions market:
–The market mechanism can give a significant boost to climate efforts, helping to reach the emission reductions as cost efficiently as possible. Global carbon pricing would also open export possibilities for European cleantech and other climate friendly solutions.
According to Mikael Ohlström, the Paris climate agreement is an important step towards a more level playing field in terms of the “climate costs” companies are facing in different parts of the world.
–The risk of carbon leakage remains, however. Therefore European energy intensive companies, which compete on global market need compensations for the competitive disadvantage they face in Europe.
–From the EU point of view, the Paris climate agreement is a great opportunity to continue with the process, where we encourage the rest of the world to take a bigger responsibility of the climate. Also in terms of competitiveness, it is vital that at least all the G20 countries would commit on a more equal and balanced level.