Last year, municipal greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 7.4 percent from the previous year, according to the preliminary data from the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke). Emissions from electricity use fell the most, by more than 20 percent.
The reasons included the shift from fossil fuels to wind power as well as the weather: 2020 was warmer, so electricity consumption for heating was lower.
Emissions from road traffic also decreased in almost all Finnish municipalities. In addition to the increasing use of electric and hybrid vehicles, the pandemic reduced driving.
Emissions only rose in five of Finland's 309 municipalities, including the northern city of Tornio.
The decline in greenhouse gas emissions has continued since 2005, except for a couple of years. During this period, the reduction has been around 24 percent.
Emissions from electricity production are still falling, district heating is shifting away from fossil fuels, energy efficiency is improving in road transport and the proportion of electric and hybrid vehicles is on the rise.
"If we can continue on this path, we'll be fine. But there's no room for complacency – we must continue to work hard to achieve our national climate goals," Santtu Karhinen, a senior research scientist at Syktold Yle. Finland has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2035.
In 2020, road transport accounted for 26 percent of municipal climate emissions, agriculture for 20 percent, district heating for 15 percent and electricity consumption for 11 percent.