Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Vantaa Decreased by Nearly 10 percent
According to the calculations of the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY), the greenhouse gas emissions of Vantaa decreased in the year 2019 by approximately nine percent, compared to the previous year. The decrease was mainly due to Vantaa Energy Ltd’s greater use of biofuels in district heat production. Thanks to this, the use of coal and natural gas reduced significantly.
Vantaa aims for carbon neutrality by the year 2030. To reach this goal, substantial reductions are needed not only in the emissions of energy production, but also in energy consumption and traffic emissions. The emissions caused by the use of electricity decreased by approximately six percent and the traffic emissions by two percent.
In 2019, the greenhouse gas emissions in Vantaa were approximately 982 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-eq). For the first time since the emission calculation base year 1990, the total emissions of the city were less than 1 million tonnes. For every Vantaa resident, the emissions were 4.2 tonnes CO2-eq. In Espoo, the greenhouse gas emissions decreased approximately 1 percent and in Kauniainen the emissions stayed about the same. However, in Helsinki the emissions increased by two percent. The growth in emissions in Espoo and Helsinki was caused by the increase in coal combustion.
The most significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions are the heating of buildings, the energy consumption of traffic and the use of consumer electricity.
“The City of Vantaa reduces emissions with climate- and resource-wise land use, construction and traffic planning. The energy efficiency class has to be ‘A’ for the city’s own building and for land transfer clauses. Use of renewable energy is increased by investing in solar energy and giving up oil heating,” sums up Katariina Rautalahti, Environmental Director of Vantaa.
“Although the greenhouse gas emissions of Vantaa have for the whole decade decreased, and the reduction last year was significant, even more ambitious actions are needed to reach the aim,” says Rautalahti. The emissions of Carbon Neutral Vantaa should in 2030 be 215 kt CO2.
According to HSY’s calculations, in 2019 the emissions of district heating production in Vantaa were reduced by 22 percent. The most significant factor for this was the Martinlaakso bioenergy heating plant, which started to operate in autumn 2018. In the heating plant, natural gas and oil are replaced by biomass. The portion of renewable fuels in district heating increased from 3% to 19%. In addition, slightly more waste-to-energy was produced. Of all the energy production of the bioenergy plant, half is calculated emission-free.
CEO Jukka Toivonen describes Vantaa Energy’s strategy towards a carbon-neutral future: “The stopping of the climate crisis requires quick and determined actions. The energy companies have a significant part to play. Vantaa Energy wants to be in the frontline and to cease the use of coal in energy production already in 2022. We want to lead the change in the energy sector. We are actively and open-mindedly looking for the best possible methods to produce energy in a smart and sustainable way for a reasonable price.”
The climate actions of the City of Vantaa are guided by the Roadmap to Resource Wisdom, which includes the actions of the city to reach carbon neutrality. The progress of the actions is monitored yearly in Vantaa’s Climate Responsibility Report.
The Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY calculates every year the greenhouse gas emissions in the Metropolitan area. The calculation is based on the consumption in the area; however, it does not include the indirect emissions of consumer goods, such as food or construction products.
Vantaa’s Roadmap to Resouce Wisdom (pdf)