Finland joins Nordic countries in ending finances into fossil fuels leaving Norway behind

Finnish state-owned Finnvera terminates all direct finances into fossil fuels as a commitment to the COP26 Glasgow Statement. Photo: Finnvera centre in North-Savo. Helsinki Times

As a result of Finland signing the Glasgow Statement on International Public Support for the Clean Energy Transition at the COP26 summit in November 2021, Finnvera, a Finnish state-owned financing company, has announced ending all its supports for fossil fuels.

This means, that Finnvera terminates supports for new gas and oil drilling or extension of existing fields. Should Finnvera consider supporting gas- and oil fired power plants in the future, these must not exceed a 1.5 C global warming limit. In fact, the requirement of an 1.5 C global warming limit is already jeopardized by emissions from existing infrastructure in Finland making no room for further expansions in fossil fuel power infrastructure.

According to Helsinki Times, Finnvera supported fossil fuel industries with $142 million and clean energy industries with only $46 million from 2018-20.

To comply with the Glasgow Statement, the Finnish government can look forward to update, or end, direct finances for fossil fuels in Finnfund, their development financier and impact investor. Further, Finland is a member of the Export Finance for Future (E3F) initiative which means that it must also use its diplomatic capital to ensure that all other E3F members implement the Glasgow Statement and present their updated policies at the upcoming E3F Summit on 3rd November.

Norway is the only Nordic country not yet taking action to end international public finance for fossil fuels although it is a dedicated advocate of climate action.

Campaign Specialist at Friends of the Earth Finland, Vera Kauppinen, said it was a good step forward for Finland to terminate support of gas-and oil projects and that she would now like to see Norway joining the Glasgow Statement.  According to Helsinkin Times, her Norwegian colleague Truls Gulowsen of Friends of the Earth Norway was on the same page as he said

– It’s embarrassing that Norway is once again the odd-one-out when it comes to Nordic countries and meaningful action to halt the climate crisis (…) The least Norway can do is to stop funding fossil fuel projects through international public finance, and instead use that money to support renewables and other green industries that can contribute to a transition in the oil and gas supply industry as well as the rest of the economy.

Sweden, Denmark, UK, Belgium and France have already implemented policies restricting fossil fuel finance in order to comply with the COP26 commitment while USA, Canada, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have yet to deliver on that part.


About Jeannette Hinrup

Jeannette Sophie Hinrup is a Danish environmental geographer traveling South East Asia while writing for ScandAsia.

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