FFI interviewed Finnish politicians about green recovery and sustainable finance

Finance Finland (FFI) interviewed Matti Vanhanen (Centre Party), Krista Mikkonen (the Greens), Johannes Koskinen (Social Democratic Party), Juhana Vartiainen (National Coalition Party), and Ville Tavio (the Finns Party) on green recovery and sustainable finance.

The interviews are part of FFI’s thematic campaign on sustainable finance. We will cover various green finance themes throughout this summer.

In the green finance campaign, we emphasise that the coronavirus crisis must not make us forget the goals of sustainable finance. This is an important message especially to decision-makers in Finland and in the EU. We also highlight the ways the financial industry takes responsibility, in practical action as well as in principle, and we promote the importance of steering the flow of money towards sustainable investments.

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen says coronavirus recovery measures must include consideration of climate criteria. A single euro or billion can only be used once, which is why all governmental recovery measures must be examined also in light of their impact on the environment and climate.

Minister of Finance Matti Vanhanen calls for climate-friendly investments, noting however that sustainability criteria must not be too restrictive so that sustainable activities will receive an adequate volume of investments.

Johannes Koskinen, Chairperson of the Parliament’s Finance Committee, supports connecting low carbon emission requirements to the recovery subsidies, as they will then accelerate Finland’s development into a carbon-neutral society.

Finland’s opposition parties are in favour of utilising markets for climate work. Juhana Vartiainen, chairman of the Parliament’s Commerce Committee, would harness market forces for climate work, but not tie all instruments to the climate. Ville Tavio, chairman of the Finns Party parliamentary group, says the way the EU and other parties aim to connect climate issues with the coronavirus crisis is a fad not based on diligent analysis.

FFI’s own position, supporting green recovery, is reflected in the latest column by Piia-Noora Kauppi, managing director at FFI, as well as the latest interview of Timo Ritakallio, chairman of the FFI’s Board of Directors.