Hosted on the 14th of October 2020 by SME POWER and RESINDUSTRY experts, 15 representatives of the Regional Energy Stakeholder (RES) Group in Päijät-Häme Region gathered together to take part in the webinar.
Regional Development Manager Juha Hertsi from Regional Council of Päijät-Häme outlined the latest development of national and EU recovery funding efforts addressing COVID-19 crisis. The specific focus was what is there for industry and SMEs. The Finnish recovery package coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for the years 2020-2021 will, according to current information, count 160 million EUR that will be directed, among others, to employment and aid for enterprises. What it means for businesses and other stakeholders in practice is still evolving.
On the EU level, the major recovery plan and instrument, Next Generation EU, is expected to provide a total contribution of 3.2 billion EUR for Finland. Support for green transition (i.e. eco-efficiency, bio- and circular economy) and promotion of sustainable growth with investments on RDI - as well as strengthening of sustainable infrastructure and digitalisation - will be among main action lines in distributing the funds.
Climate Specialist Maarit Virtanen from the Regional Council introduced the new Climate Road Map of Päijät-Häme, which was approved on 12th of October. The region is committed to ambitious goals on mitigating climate change with the aim to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2030, which requires significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions at all sectors. Thus, the Road Map addresses key issues related to climate change adaptation. The actions are related to the following aims:
- We reduce energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions
- We reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation
- We implement the vision of Päijät-Häme Region Circular Economy Road Map
- We reduce GHG emissions from agriculture and increase carbon sinks
- We reduce GHG emissions from forestry and land use, and increase carbon sinks
- We promote climate issues as a central part of municipal decision making
- We work to improve climate change adaptation and resilience
The work on the regional climate road map is a part of Canemure project funded by the EU Life Programme.
RESINDUSTRY experts Sami Luste and Paavo Lähteenaro presented a recent study of the project that addresses biogas potential in the Päijät-Häme Region. At present, separately collected bio-waste and sewage sludge are utilised for energy quite well, but in terms of regional material and energy cycles there are also challenges and at the same time huge potential for decreasing emissions and increasing cost-effectiveness.
During the final part of the webinar, Sami Luste and Katerina Medkova from RESINDUSTRY and Jaana Myllyluoma from SME POWER gave an overview on good practices from other European partner regions. Their approach related to carbon neutrality, energy efficiency and renewable energy complemented the earlier presented green recovery and climate actions on the EU, national and regional levels.
More detailed work with the stakeholders on analysis and distribution of good practices will continue in upcoming events of both projects.