Finland’s economy minister has said that the Nordic country may become Europe’s fist economy to completely phase out coal use.
Jyri Haekaemies’ comments came last week during a Parliamentary debate in Helsinki, in which he said, “I think we could set a target for Finland phasing out coal use as the first country in Europe, for instance, by 2025.”
All coal products are currently imported into Finland, primarily from neighbouring Russia, as well as from Poland, according to a report by Australian news agency The Age. The Scandinavian country brings in an average of five million metric tons per year, with a total value of EUR 300 million.
Mr Haekaemies told ministers that effort would be streamlined by an updated version of the country’s 2008 energy and climate scheme, which aims to shift state subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources before the end of the decade.
He said, “Investments into renewable energy will play a key role. All the imported energy which we can replace with domestic energy sources not only creates jobs, but also cuts emissions and improves our current account,” TheAge.com reports.