Combinations of policy instruments to decrease the climate impacts of housing, passenger transport and food in Finland
Nissinen, Ari; Heiskanen, Eva; Perrels, Adriaan; Berghäll, Elina; Liesimaa, Virpi; Mattinen, Maija K. (2015)
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Mattinen, Maija K.
Policy instruments and measures already target the global warming impacts of housing and transport in many countries, although many of those instruments were not originally developed for the purpose. However, the challenge of curbing climate change calls not only for innovative and improved instruments, but for integrated policy packages that address consumption across the entire product life cycle, recognize links between different consumption sectors, and identify and harness synergies between instruments. To this end, we first evaluate the effectiveness of existing policy instruments targeted at housing, passenger transport and food in Finland. The results show large impacts on greenhouse gas emissions. Second, we integrate instruments into packages, which minimize potential negative interferences, while strengthening synergies and complementarities between instruments. We estimate the potential of the consequent emission reductions to be considerable. By 2020, housing and passenger transport emissions are estimated to decline by 4.2 million tons (Mt). Integrated food related policy packages are estimated to reduce emissions 0.3 Mt in Finland and life-cycle based emissions by 0.5 Mt. Altogether the emission reduction would be 4.5 Mt in Finland, which is over 6% of Finland's average emissions 68 Mt for years 2008–2012. In conclusion, though greenhouse gas emissions of household consumption have already been affected by policy instruments, it is better to develop policy packages by which the synergies between measures can be reinforced and hence overall effectiveness can be improved. We found acceptability of policy instruments to be a key issue, necessitating careful implementation, long-term consistency and research showing evidence of their effectiveness. The full realization of the policy package potential requires improved co-operation across relevant ministries and public authorities, which can be facilitated by common policy programs and objectives for all related public authorities. The project results were used in the preparation of a revision of Finland's program for sustainable consumption and production. We propose that similar policy package development processes in other countries would increase further our understanding about effective policy packages, reinforce each other, and speed up the changes for more sustainable consumption.
Consumption, Energy consumption, Greenhouse gas emissions, Policy instruments, Policy packages, Policy interactions