The proposal to halve the electricity tax levied on industry that is included in the Government report on energy and climate policy represents a step in the right direction. Taxation of electricity consumed by the forest industry should, however, be entirely abolished, as has been done in Sweden. Especially electricity that has been efficiently generated at production facilities for their own use should be freed from all tax burdens. The amendment to electricity taxation should come into force as soon as possible before the present Government’s term in office ends because emissions trading is already increasing the energy price.
The promotion targets concerning increased use of bioenergy that are stated in the report are quite ambitious from the viewpoint of the forest industry. Promoting the use of biofuels is a laudable goal, but raw materials supply for wood processing companies must also be secured. Emissions trading must not direct the forest industry’s raw material into combustion.
"Processing wood into recyclable products creates employment and increases the national product many times more than burning it does. The report mentions processing as the primary use of wood, which is positive for the forest industry", says Stefan Sundman, manager, Energy and Environmental Policy.
"However. the outlined strategy contains no solutions to the problems already faced by panel products factories and paper mills that use sawdust for raw material. The price of sawdust, which is also used for energy generation, threatens to double as a result of emissions trading.
The international climate treaties should in future be based on significantly more extensive participation in reducing emissions than the present approach with its focus on emissions trading. Globally promoting energy-efficient technologies would be the correct alternative to country-specific emission allowances that have been the cause of numerous unforeseen problems for the European forest industry.
Stefan Sundman, Manager, Energy and Environmental Policy, Finnish Forest Industries Federation
Tel. +358 9 132 6611, 040 535 0501, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pertti Laine, Senior Vice President, Industrial Policy, Finnish Forest Industries Federation
Tel. +358 9 132 6633, 0400 506 977, email@example.com