HELSINKI: Finland is eager to join the growing number of countries committed to ending the sales of traditional diesel-fuelled cars.
Anne Berner, the Minister of Transport and Communications, on Thursday revealed that the government is mulling over measures to end the sales of diesel cars by 2030. Banning the sales entirely, however, is not among the measures under consideration.
“The government isn’t currently planning on introducing a ban on the sales but rather on using other measures to bring about a change,” she wrote in an e-mail response to an enquiry by Talouselämä on Thursday.
“An absolute ban is an extremely firm measure, and I’d say it’s desirable if other measures were used to encourage the positive development,” she added, listing tax incentives, exemptions from road use charges and parking benefits as examples of the measures being discussed.
Great Britain on Tuesday announced it will introduce the first of a series of restrictions on the sales of new diesel and petrol-fuelled cars in 2020 and ban the sales altogether by 2040. Similar plans have also been announced by France, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands.
Berner reminded that one of the objectives of the national alternative fuels plan is to ensure all new cars are able to use alternative, non-fossil diesel and petrol by 2030. The plan, she added, also stipulates that diesel-fuelled cars type-approved for the use of renewable diesels can remain in use also going forward.
The government has appointed a parliamentary working group to identify measures to slash transport emissions by up to 50 per cent relative to the levels of 2005 by 2030. The working group is expected to publish its interim report in August.
The government has also announced its desire to raise the number of electric vehicles on the country’s roads considerably – from fewer than one thousand to 250,000 – as part of its efforts to reduce transport emissions. The Finnish transport sector currently produces some 11 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for 40 per cent of all emissions covered by the EU emissions trading scheme.