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Green economy : carbon neutral and resource efficient society. Riina Antikainen Finnish Environment Institute HENVI Seminar Series spring 2013 Towards green economy February 28, 2013. Outline. What is green economy ? Why green economy is needed ?

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green economy carbon neutral and resource efficient society

Green economy: carbonneutral and resourceefficientsociety

Riina Antikainen

Finnish Environment Institute

HENVI SeminarSeriesspring 2013


February 28, 2013

  • What is greeneconomy?
  • Whygreeneconomy is needed?
  • Someexamples and challenges
  • Finnishstrenghts
  • Take home messages


green economy is based on holistic change in whole society
Green economy is based on holistic change in whole society

Green economy

  • Systems transition and societal change reacting opportunities and challenges of future
  • New networks between companies and communities, new business models
  • Sustainable lifestyle and cultural change supporting well-being

Current consumption and production system

Smart and sustainable solutions for global challenges

  • Technologies
  • Systems
  • Services

Source: Antikainen et al. Vihreän kasvun mahdollisuudet. In print.

objective is to decouple
Objective is to decouple
  • Resource decoupling means reducing the rate of use of (primary) resources per unit of economicactivity.
  • Impact decoupling requires increasing economic output while reducing negativeenvironmentalimpacts.

UNEP 2011

relative decoupling but not absolute decoupling
Relativedecoupling, butnotabsolutedecoupling

Gross Domestic Production and Domestic Material Consumption in OECD countries,


Total materialrequirement, GNP and materialintensity in Finland, 1975-2011

Lähde: UNEP 2011

overall tools in promoting carbon neutrality and resource efficiency
Overalltools in promotingcarbonneutrality and resourceefficiency
  • transition to energysystemsusingrenewableenergysources,
  • reduction in use of non-renewableresources and substitutingthem with sustainablyproducedrenewableresources,
  • smartandefficientuse of energy, raw-materials and othernaturalresources,
  • waste prevention, recycling, closedcycles
  • cleantech and green business models(servicizing, valueaddedfromintangibleresources)
  • digitalization, ICT in smartsolutions
  • structuralandfunctionalchanges in differentlevels and betweendifferentactors
good examples exist but why they are not mainstream
Good examples exist, but why they are not mainstream?

ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall, fig:

Kääntöpöytä. Photo: Kirmo Kivelä / Dodo ry

rebound effect complicates things
  • The rebound effect is the quantitativedifferencebetweenthe projectedsavings of resources that should have been derived from a given set of technological changes and the actual savings derived in practice (%) (UNEP 2011).
4 types of rebound micro and macro levels
4 types of rebound – micro and macrolevels
  • Direct effect occurs when a drop in the price of using an energy service causes a rise in demand
  • Money saved through efficiency is spent on another product, such as a new phone. If extra energy is needed to manufacture and use the additional item, indirect effect occurs.
  • The latest fuel-economy standards passed by the United States will reduce demand for oil there. But, because that will drive down the price of oil globally, they could encourage people elsewhere to drive more, leading to a ‘macroeconomic price’ effect.
  • Greater energy efficiency can spur pockets of industrial growth, leading to a ‘macroeconomic growth’ effect. Higher energy efficiency in one sector can create opportunities or technologies in others that consume more energy.

(Gillinghamet al. 2013. Nature 493: 475-476)

example of rebound
Example of rebound

Gillinghamet al. 2013. Nature 493: 475-476


CarbonNeutralMunicipalities – An innovativeapproach to climatechangemitigation at locallevel

Municipalities act as forerunners

by working to curb their greenhouse gas emissions ahead of schedule (-80% by 2030)

  • Emission inventories
  • Studies on energy efficiency and renewable energy potential
  • Commitment of municipal governments
  • Emission reduction targets (80 % 2007-2030)
  • A yearly action plan included in the municipal budgets
  • Over 70 reported measures during the first two years
  • Support to local companies, organizations and residents
  • Pilot projects, side projects, surveys, events
  • Network of key actors
  • New partner municipalities
spreading the best practices
Spreading the bestpractices
  • (in Finnish only)
  • HINKUteko
  • Open Homes
  • Newsletter HINKU
  • Media
  • Seminars, meetings, international cooperation
  • HINKU-forum as a platform for new initiatives

finland has good starting position in transition to green economy
Finland has good starting position in transition to green economy
  • Abundant biomass resources
  • Knowhow in central sectors
    • Forestry, pulp and paper, chemical industry
    • Water sector
    • Transport, infrastructure
    • Energy sector
    • Digital products and solutions
  • Networks and cooperation between actors
  • Grass root level initiatives and start-ups
  • Political support exists (e.g. in Katainen’sProgramme of the Finnish Government

Programme of PrimeMinister Jyrki Katainen’s


”Finland will be developed with the aim of becoming a forerunner in efforts to protect biodiversity and to mitigate climate change. The Government’s goal is to make the future Finland a carbon-neutral society, to propel Finland to a leading position in environmental technology, and to develop the nation into the most environmentally conscious society in the world.”

take home messages
Take home messages
  • Currentsociety is notsustainable
  • Smart and efficientsolutions (technologies, systems and services) exist and theycanbefurtherdeveloped
  • Globalchallengesarenotone-sided – ecological, economic and social impacts in political and scientificcontext
thank you
Thank you!
  • Moreinformation:
  • Sustainable and regenerative economic systems – research programme
  • Antikainen ym. 2013: Vihreätaloussuomalaisessayhteiskunnassa.
  • Antikainen ym. Vihreänkasvunmahdollisuudet. In print, in Finnish.

Kuva: RailiMalinen