North Karelia holds a membership in the Carbon Neutral Municipalities Network; HINKU municipalities aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 2007 level by 2030 inside the municipality’s borders. Fossil oil used for heating will be replaced with renewable energy by 2020 and in transport by 2030.

North Karelia’s Climate and Energy Programme was adopted in 2012. It laid out the targets for reducing GHG emissions and raising awareness about climate change, sustainable growth of the bioeconomy sector and increasing the share of renewable energy. The purpose of the roadmap was to collect and suggest tangible steps that are to be taken to reach the set targets. The roadmap is part of the implementation of Fossil Oil Free North Karelia project and contributes to a Regional Action plan that is being drafted in BIO4ECO and CLEAN projects. The workshops were organised between March 2016 and May 2017.

Altogether, representatives of 54 different organisations – among them SMEs; public and local authorities; research centres; cooperatives; NGOs; municipalities and industries – attended the six workshops that were organised. Six thematic workshops were organised in order to collect ideas about actions that should be taken. The workshops dealt with identifying the regional strengths, energy, bio- and circular economy and transportation (replacement of fossil fuels and a network of filling stations). In addition, the regional goals and guidelines were reviewed and opened for discussion. A separate workshop was organised for school children, who were asked about their views of sustainable future. The goal was to involve a wide range of stakeholders who will play an important role in putting the plans into action.

The roadmap works as an implementation plan for the Climate and Energy Programme of North Karelia 2020. It is a new kind of regional policy with more concrete actions. 2-3 nationally and internationally interesting references will be designed and later on implemented through a new kind of financing and implementation model between public and private sectors.

The roadmap gathered regional targets concerning climate and energy actions and expanded perspective for developing economic activities in the area, for example, within bioeconomy and circular economy. An inclusive process with several workshops engages stakeholders for new actions needed for achieving targets.

The roadmap was carried out with co-operation of seven projects (North Karelia Towards Oil Free and Low Carbon Area, Secure NPA, BIO4ECO, Ten-Tacle, CLEAN, CIRCWASTE, Power from biomass) from three different organisations (Regional Council of North Karelia, Finnish Environment Institute, Karelia University of Applied Sciences). This roadmap was chosen to be one of the good practices for the European Commissions S3 Platform for Energy. A summary of the roadmap will be published in English in the beginning of 2018.

Link to the roadmap in Finnish: