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Finland’s opposition parties are in favour of utilising markets for climate work

Juhana Vartiainen (National Coalition Party) and Ville Tavio (The Finns Party), representing two of the opposition parties in Finland, prefer to trust the markets in climate work. In FFI’s interview on sustainable finance for Finnish politicians, they both share the view that the proposal to attach climate criteria to coronavirus relief funding is a fad.

Juhana Vartiainen, chairperson of the Parliament’s Commerce Committee, says sustainable finance is best promoted by setting operational rules that the financial sector itself approves. Where applicable, they could also be adopted in international financial agreements and the code of central banks.
 
”In my understanding, the insurance principles are already proactive in connecting climate perspectives to investment criteria, because we can predict that investments with heavy environmental load will become unprofitable, and for example the value of land and properties in coastal areas is affected by climate change. If we use the markets themselves for climate work, we may succeed”, Vartiainen summarises.
 
Ville Tavio, chairperson of the Finns Party parliamentary group, thinks the way the EU and other parties aim to connect climate issues with the coronavirus crisis is a fad not based on diligent analysis. “Taking care of the competitiveness of Finnish industries is climate action, because it prevents production from being moved into countries that pollute more”, Tavio comments. According to him, the best way for public authorities and the financial sector to combat climate change is to have clear and impartial rules and transparent operations.
 
Johannes Koskinen, chairperson of the Parliament’s Finance Committee and a member of the governing Social Democratic Party, says more sustainable investments will be made when investors have practical ways to estimate the investments’ climate impact.
”The EU’s classification will create minimum requirements for green investments and therefore a standard for environmentally sustainable investments in the financial market. It is a growing trend that investors want to estimate the environmental effects of their investments”, Koskinen notes.