Monitoring of the Carbon Neutral Helsinki Action Plan



Mitigation of climate change is necessary, but at the same time it is an opportunity to do things smarter. Helsinki’s goal is to be carbon neutral in 2030, to zero emissions by 2040 and to be carbon negative after that. In addition, Helsinki adapts to the changing climate and prepares for changes brought by climate change, for example extreme weather phenomena.

Carbon Neutral Helsinki Action Plan

Carbon neutrality means striving to ensure that Helsinki’s operations do not cause global warming. The city’s goal is to reduce the direct emissions of the reference year 1990 by at least 80 percent by 2030. The remaining emissions can be compensated. The emission reduction achieved by 2021 was 33 percent.

The most significant sources of direct emissions in Helsinki are heating, transport and electricity. Carbon neutrality can be achieved especially with energy efficiency measures in buildings, low-emission transport solutions and increasing the share of renewable energy in heat and electricity production.

To make the change possible, the city has updated the Carbon neutral Helsinki emission reduction program (pdf) in the fall of 2022. In the updated program, special attention has been paid to the effectiveness of the measures. The measures will be updated annually in the future. You can follow the implementation of the program’s measures and emission reductions on this page.

The change is made together

However, the city can only influence part of the emissions generated in Helsinki. In addition, indirect emissions outside the area are excluded from the carbon neutrality target. Most of both direct and indirect emissions are caused by the living, transport and consumption of Helsinki residents. That is why all Helsinki residents are needed to curb climate change.

Monitoring of the Carbon Neutral Helsinki Action Plan

Helsinki’s numerical emission reduction target of 80 percent applies to the city’s direct emissions, i.e. emissions generated within the city’s geographical boundary, but emission reduction actions are also targeted at indirect (so-called Scope 3) emissions, especially emissions from construction. Emissions in 1990 were a total of 3,514 kt CO2e that is, in order to reach the goal of carbon neutrality, at least 2,812 kt CO2e must be reduced from the 1990 level. and a maximum of 20 percent, i.e. 703 kt CO2e can be compensated.

Total emissions

Helsinki’s total direct emissions (kt CO2e) by sector in the years 1990 and 2000–2021 and the forecast for the years 2022–2030 and the total emissions reduction target of 80 percent for the year 2030. The sectors are heating, which also includes oil heating, electricity consumption, transport and the other sector, which includes industrial and work machines, waste and agriculture.

The emissions from heating, specific emissions of heating and heat consumption

The emissions from heating (kt CO2e) in 1990 and 2000–2021 and forecast for 2023–2025 and 2030.

Specific emissions of heating (g CO2e/kWh) in 1990 and 2000–2020 and forecast for 2023–2025 and 2030.

Heat consumption (GWh) in 1990 and 2000–2021.

The emission from electricity consumption

The emissions from electricity consumption (kt CO2e) in 1990 and 2000–2021 and the forecast for 2030.

The emissions from transport

The emissions from transport (kt CO2e) by sector in 1990 and 2000–2021, forecast for 2030 and the transport emission reduction target, which is 69 percent of 2005 emissions by 2030. Sectors include passenger cars, motorcycles, heavy traffic, buses, rail traffic and shipping.

New actions and their progress

The table shows ongoing actions by category, their responsible parties and information on which sector the actions is aimed at. There are three categories:

  1. Actions that reduce emissions: the action has a direct impact on the sectors selected as focal areas; moving forward, most new actions will be in this class.
  2. Required actions that facilitate emissions reduction: the action is a prerequisite for implementing the category 1 actions, even though the action itself does not involve a direct impact on the emissions reductions.
  3. Surveys to determine new emissions reduction actions: the actions require additional preparation or studies with the aim of preparing category 1 and 2 actions.

Previous actions and their progress

The table contains the previously outlined actions, information on which sector the action is aimed at and the progress of the action.

Strategies and measures needed to achieve the climate objectives

More city’s climate actions


Circular economy

Helsinki is adapting to climate change

Climate goals and monitoring – Carbon-neutral Helsinki