Finnish power firm bids to cut CO2

Fortum pledges up to a 5% emissions reduction by 2005 through increased use of biofuels

Finnish energy firm Fortum has pledged to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by up to 5.5% by 2005, equivalent to a national emission reduction of 0.7%. In a statement released last week, the company said it wanted to be an environmental frontrunner and to "take the initiative on climate issues, which are by far the greatest challenge facing the energy sector".

The firm, which alone is responsible for some 13% of all Finnish CO2 emissions, said it would increase its use of renewable resources and biofuels to achieve the proposed emissions cuts. It is also looking to increase energy efficiency and sign up to voluntary agreements. In addition, the firm is setting up a "climate fund" to finance emissions reductions projects in neighbouring countries such as Russia and Estonia.

"Finland's large companies are worried about CO2 emissions and Fortum wants to be able to offer them the choice to use more environmentally friendly electricity so they can sell their end products as being more environmentally friendly," said the firm's climate change manager Jussi Nykänen. "We take this challenge seriously and want to turn it into an opportunity," added Carola Teir-Lehtinen, vice-president for environment, health and safety.

Under the Kyoto protocol, Finland is committed to achieve a zero increase in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2008-2012. Recent statistics show it will have a difficult job achieving this - 1997 emissions were up 5.5% on 1990 levels (ENDS Daily 26 January 1999).

Follow Up:
Fortum, tel: +358 10 4511, and English-language press release.

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