Through this online consultation, the Ministry of the Environment wishes to hear people’s views on how public participation and access to information should be taken into account in the new Climate Change Act. These were the topics that received a great deal of emphasis in the first online consultation summarised here (in Finnish). The purpose of this second consultation is to have an even better understanding of how people think that their participation in climate change policy and access to information should be ensured.
The online consultation was carried out in cooperation with the research project Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation BIBU. One of the research topics is citizens’ opportunities to participate in democratic societies. The online consultation on the Climate Change Act is part of the Democracy Accelerator under the BIBU project where one of the topics is the role of new technologies in citizens’ participation in social policy-making.
A summary of the replies to the consultation will be compiled and delivered to the working group tasked with preparing the new Act. The summary will also be published on the Ministry of the Environment website and in the Democracy Accelerator. The BIBU research project will study the online consultation as a participatory process and assist in compiling the summary.
Participation in the online consultation is voluntary. By participating in the consultation, the respondents also give their consent to participate in the study. The data will be used for the above-mentioned social science research project, where the results will be broken down by themes. The replies will not be evaluated in terms of whether they are right or wrong, good or bad. The results will be reported in such a way that individual respondents cannot be identified. The material will be archived in an anonymised form. The legal ground for processing the data is given in Article 6(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and section 4, subsection 3 of the Data Protection Act: a task carried out in the public interest, scientific research.
Reform of the Climate Change Act:
Karin Cederlöf, Trainee, Ministry of the Environment,email@example.com
Elina Vaara, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Environment, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaisa Ryynänen, Communications Specialist, Ministry of the Environment, email@example.com
BIBU research project:
Isak Vento, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki, firstname.lastname@example.org
Background on the Climate Change Act
The current Climate Change Act entered into force in 2015. The Climate Change Act imposes obligations only on the authorities, not on private individuals or companies. The Act sets out a number of plans aimed to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change in Finland. It also obliges the central government authorities to monitor the trends in emissions and report on them. In other words, the Climate Change Act lays down provisions on different climate policy plans and their monitoring.
The main objectives for the reform have been set in the Government Programme. The Climate Change Act is to be reformed in such a way that the target concerning carbon neutrality, i.e. a balance between emissions and sinks, will be reached by 2035. Interim targets to 2030 and 2040 will be included in the Act and the emission reduction target to 2050 will be updated. A target concerning strengthening the carbon sinks that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (forests in particular) will be included in the Act.
Under the Constitution of Finland, public authorities must guarantee fundamental and human rights. Both in Finland and in international contexts, it is an established fact that climate change poses a risk to the realisation of fundamental and human rights. This is why perspectives relating to the status of fundamental and human rights are a key priority in the reform of the Climate Change Act. The rights linked to the Climate Change Act include the right to a healthy environment, right to participate and right to security.
Read more about the Climate Change Act and the reform process on the Ministry of the Environment website.
In this sections we ask questions related to participation in plans under the Climate Change Act. Participation means e.g. commenting on climate policy plans during the planning phase and the opportunity to follow how the plans are implemented.