Confronting Climate Change in Small European states: Experiences from Finland and Ireland

The Finnish Institute of International Affairs · 26.08.2016 09:00 - 10:30

The landmark Paris Agreement sets a global goal of achieving a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and sinks by the second half of this century. This will require deep decarbonisation across economic sectors over the coming decades. Small European states face particular challenges and opportunities. They may see themselves as being irrelevant to global greenhouse gas emissions and more susceptible to a ‘race to the bottom’ on environmental policy due to being more open to international competition. On the other hand, their small populations may be better equipped to sustain collective action on climate change, and they may be well placed for competitive advantages in new technologies and industries. Both Finland and Ireland have recently introduced climate change laws and are moving ahead with developing national strategies for mitigation and adaptation. What are the common and distinct climate policy challenges the two countries are facing? What do these experiences look like in the broader context of the EU response to climate change?


Dr Diarmuid Torney, Lecturer, Dublin City University

Prof Mikael Hildén, Director, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)


DrAntto Vihma, Senior Research Fellow, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

Further information: Sannamari Bagge,, tel. 09 432 7711