Finland has a long tradition in
promoting sustainable development both in domestic policies and in
international development cooperation. Therefore, Finland is in a good position
to implement the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030).
However, the comprehensive and integrative nature of the new Agenda 2030 calls
for better coherence and coordination of various policies in Finland.
For Finland, because of the nature of the universal
and transformative Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals and
targets, a careful review of the country’s development cooperation policies and
practices was needed, and, just as importantly, a review of domestic policies
and measures in various sectors, as well. When it comes to domestic action,
Finland needs to work on goals and targets for biodiversity, citizens’
wellbeing and equality, sustainable consumption and production, efficient
energy use, renewable energy, and climate change mitigation and adaptation
policies, for example. On the other hand, eradicating poverty, ensuring global
food security or promoting peaceful and inclusive societies are goals that Finland
implements best by intensifying its development and foreign policies. The
division between domestic and foreign action is not, however, always so rigid;
for instance, Finland’s consumption and production patterns have an impact also
outside the national borders through materials and supply chains.
Preparation of the National
Implementation Plan for Agenda 2030
The Finnish Government has the
primary responsibility for the national implementation of Agenda 2030, but, in
the spirit of the global agenda, the civil society, the private sector and
other stakeholders have an integral role in this endeavour.
Finland is getting ready to
implement Agenda 2030 in ways that are comprehensive and inclusive. The Prime
Minister’s Office is in charge of coordinating the national implementation. The
Office also acts as the Coordination Secretariat.. The
Coordination Secretariat works closely together with the Coordination
Network, comprising all government ministries.
The government programme from 2015
was strongly linked to the SDGs in areas such as bio-economy, clean technology,
skills and education, and health and well-being. National implementation was
guided by the vision of the Government Programme by 2025 and the vision of the
Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development by 2050.
The first implementation plan was
submitted to the parliament in 2017. It was partially based on an external gap
analysis to assess for which goals and targets Finland has to take the most
action. The government programme of the new government (2019) is strongly
guided by the 2030 Agenda and aims to transform into an ecologically,
economically and socially sustainable society by 2030. Furthermore it aims at
carbon neutrality by 2035 and to be carbon negative soon after that.. The
second implementation plan will be made public and submitted to parliament in
The National Implementation Plans outline,
among other things, how Finland integrates the principles, goals and targets
of Agenda 2030 into various policy sectors and into international cooperation,
and how the progress in the implementation will be monitored and reviewed. It identifies Finland’s strengths, as well as
major gaps and challenges, and offers solutions and tools for improving the
implementation. The key measures for putting Agenda 2030 into practice are the
integrated policies and measures taken in various Government sectors, as part
of the implementation of national and EU legislation, national sectoral or
thematic strategies and action plans, as well as international agreements and
commitments. One important voluntary means of implementation in Finland is Society’s
Commitment to Sustainable Development, the national sustainable development
strategy adopted in 2013. An important policy instrument for implementation is
the Government Report on Development Policy.
The Finland we want by 2050 —
Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development was finalised in 2013 and it will
feature as one of the key multi-stakeholder implementation tools for Agenda
2030 in Finland. It provides the framework for a strategic approach to
sustainable development and it sets out a vision, principles and objectives for
the transition to a sustainable society. Compared to conventional national
sustainability strategies, Society’s Commitment can be seen as a social
innovation enabling the integration of sustainable development into everyday practices
and the engagement of a broad spectrum of societal actors in joint efforts.
Society’s Commitment also contains an implementation mechanism. By 2020, over
1000 different organisations and almost 1500 private citizens had made their operational
commitment to sustainable development. In this way they are contributing to the
achievement of sustainable development in Finland through their own efforts.
Society’s Commitment was updated in April 2016 to be in line with Agenda 2030.
This Country Profile has been last updated on: Monday, 15 June 2020
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