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angle-left The City of Joensuu established a Climate Account

The City of Joensuu established a Climate Account

10.02.2021 13:39

In February 2021, the City Board of Joensuu decided on establishing a Climate Account. Funds will be collected and deposited into the account, from which they can later be used for funding climate projects regarding emission reduction, carbon sinks and new local carbon offsets. Instead of buying emission reduction units from the market, the city can compensate its emissions with local climate projects using the Climate Account. These local carbon offset projects should meet the basic compensation criteria.

The local emission reduction and carbon offset projects can be divided in three groups:

  • Biodiversity projects creating indirect climate benefits by increasing carbon sinks in city owned forests. 
  • Projects regarding wetlands and wastelands that aim at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing carbon sinks through land use change. 
  • Projects regarding energy savings and local sustainable and renewable energy production.

In the future, the city can compensate its greenhouse gas emissions by for example depositing the price of its employees’ flight emissions into the climate account. Then the money can be used to reforest waste lands etc. 

Later on also other actors, such as local citizens and companies, could possibly participate in these projects and compensate their emissions. This however requires changes in the current legislation. In fact, the new Money Collection Act is under update in 2021. Local emission reduction and compensation projects have already intrigued local business actors.

A comparable climate account arrangement has not yet been implemented in Finland or anywhere else in Europe. The city of Vaxjö in Sweden has established a similar compensation account to support the city’s own climate action.

The steps for reaching the city's carbon neutrality target by 2025 through developing local compensation measures and increasing carbon sinks in Joensuu area are defined in the Carbon Sink and Compensation Roadmap of Joensuu (in Finnish only).