Finland at COP28: Hard-to-abate sector plays a crucial role in green transition

Posted on 12 Dec 2023 by The Manufacturer

Participating in COP28 for the first time with its own dedicated country pavilion, Finland has set its sights on demonstrating how the unique public and private partnerships have paved the way in the country's fight against climate change through the promotion of sustainable industrial practices.

Leveraging a combination of innovative technologies, regulatory measures and collaborative initiatives, Finland has emerged as a global leader in the green transition and is decarbonizing industries traditionally considered polluting.

When it comes to climate and carbon emissions targets, Finland has been breaking records. The country aims to be carbon neutral by 2035, and oil, coal and natural gas power generation has been declining steadily since 2010, as the share of nuclear, wind, solar, hydropower and bioenergy increases. To date, over 90% of Finland’s power generation is already carbon neutral. The country aims to double its clean energy production and has made significant inroads to decarbonizing hard-to-abate industries, including steel production and aviation.

The surge in global population will lead to rising energy demand and urbanization, resulting in increased global demand for steel. The steel production industry is responsible for 7-9% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but the Finnish company Outokumpu has set its sights on decarbonizing the industry and its value chain. In a panel discussion held at the Finland Pavilion focusing on the role of green steel in the acceleration of decarbonization across industries, Outokumpu shared how the organization is expanding its global handprint by helping its customers meet their carbon emission targets.

Heidi Peltonen, Outokumpu’s Vice President Sustainability, said: “We believe in actions over words, solutions over problems. We believe the green transition can actually be an opportunity for companies to generate value for their customers and build long-term competitive advantage. The hard-to-abate sector accounts for 30% of global greenhouse gases and is a significant challenge. At the same time, the much-discussed green transition will actually never be realized without, for example, low-carbon stainless steel.”

As a leader in the production of green steel, Outokumpu’s carbon footprint is 75% lower than the global industry average due to the organization’s own ferrochrome, high recycled content and use of low-carbon energy. Outokumpu has significantly reduced the need to extract virgin materials and minimizes the impact of its production processes through the use of recycled steel as a raw material. In fact, the organization has the highest recycled material content rate in the industry at over 90%, which includes steel scrap and waste streams from production. To enable its customers to understand the climate impact of their products, Outokumpu publishes product specific carbon footprint across the entire value chain of the product.

Another pioneering company, Coolbrook is looking beyond individual industries to the electrification of industrial processes across a range of sectors. The award-winning innovator is commercializing its revolutionary RotoDynamic Technology, which makes it possible to reach process temperatures of up to 1,700 degrees Celsius and replace the burning of fossil fuels at scale.

Joonas Rauramo, Coolbrook’s CEO, said: “We are working with industry leaders across chemical, petrochemical, cement, iron and steel sectors to stop burning of fossil fuels in industrial production processes. This could reduce CO2 emissions by 2.4 billion tons annually, which represents around 7% of all global emissions.”

Finnish companies are focused not only on minimizing the carbon emissions of the manufacturing process but also on the movement and transportation of finished products and people. Aviation accounts for approximately 2-3% of global CO2 emissions, which is set to increase as air travel is projected to double within the next 15 years. Neste wants to make air travel, for people and commodities, more sustainable through Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™, which is commercially available and in use worldwide. SAF is a cleaner, direct replacement for traditional fuel.

In a discussion with Brian Moran, Vice President – Global Sustainability Policy & Partnerships at Boeing, and Ross Hampton, Executive Director, International Sustainable Forestry Coalition (ISFC), Sami Jauhiainen, Vice President, Renewable Aviation at Neste, said: “We have been on a transformation journey since 2005, investing in renewable fuels on the back of our own technology that was developed in Neste’s research and development center during the 1990s. 25% of our 6,000 employees around the world are focused on different roles like research and development, innovation and engineering to bring new kinds of solutions and technological pathways to sustainable aviation fuels to the market.”

In parallel to decarbonizing traditionally dirty industries, Finland believes better emission monitoring is needed so companies can set and measure performance against clear and achievable goals. Aeromon, for example, provides companies with the tools to monitor emissions from various sources within their operations and identify inefficiencies, leaks, or malfunctions in their processes. Modern mobile technologies enable simultaneous and selective monitoring of multiple emissions, often providing new insights into process efficiency. This data-driven approach enables companies to optimize their operations, reduce emissions, and save on operational costs.

Addressing the challenges posed by hard-to-abate industries requires a combination of technological innovation, policy support, financial incentives, and international collaboration. Finland’s proactive approach to decarbonizing traditionally polluting industries showcases a commitment to environmental stewardship and a sustainable future. Finland is setting a compelling example for nations worldwide through regulatory measures, technological innovation, collaborative partnerships, and international leadership. The nation’s dedication to decarbonization reflects a holistic understanding of the interconnected challenges posed by climate change and the imperative to act decisively for the planet’s well-being.

For more information about the Finland Pavilion and Finnish partner companies, visit:

To watch sessions and panel discussions that have taken place at Finland’s COP28 Pavilion, visit:

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