On 24 May 2019, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY) published calculations on emissions produced by the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in 2018. Per capita greenhouse gas emissions in Espoo remain the lowest of all the cities in the metropolitan area. Furthermore, Espoo has the clearly highest share of renewable sources of energy in district heating production.
Greenhouse gas emissions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area decreased by 4 percent in 2018. Of the most significant emission sources, district heating emissions decreased by 6 percent while traffic emissions remained at the level of the previous year.
In 2018, Espoo’s greenhouse gas emissions totalled 1.1 million tonnes CO2-eq, which was 4 percent less than in the previous year. The majority of the emissions is generated by district heating consumption, while transport comes in second.
“It is Espoo’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. We are actively working with our partners to reach this goal, and the latest calculations indicate that we are on the right track. We can reach this goal by working together with our partners and residents of the municipality,” says Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Espoo.
Rapidly growing Espoo keeps emissions in check
Overall emissions in Espoo decreased for the sixth consecutive year. They are still a little higher than in the reference year 1990. This can be partly attributed to the city’s rapid growth.
With regard to district heating, the City of Espoo and Fortum have jointly committed to reaching carbon-neutral district heating in the 2020s. In 2018, emissions from Espoo’s district heating decreased by 6 percent.
“Carbon-neutral district heating is the single most important factor in reducing climate emissions in Espoo. With regard to achieving this goal, it is important that the share of coal has decreased over the past years and that the share of renewable sources of energy in district heating production is clearly the highest in Espoo among the cities in the metropolitan area,” says Pasi Laitala, Director for Sustainable Development at the City of Espoo.
“We will continue to work towards achieving carbon neutrality. The first well in the geothermal plant at Otaniemi has been drilled, and next year Fortum will commission the new biothermal plant in Kivenlahti, which will enable the closing of the smaller coal unit at Suomenoja,” Laitala continues.
“Fortum is starting intelligent steering, or flexible consumption, of emission-reducing district heating at the shopping centres of Sello and Iso Omena. Espoon Asunnot has the largest implemented flexible consumption project related to district heating in the Nordic countries,” Laitala adds.
In 2018, transport emissions in Espoo remained at the same level as in 2017.
“The state and cities must quickly find diverse new solutions for drastically reducing transport emissions,” he says.
Emissions per capita have decreased by 37 percent in Espoo since 1990. Espoo’s emissions per capita are now the lowest among all the cities in the metropolitan area (3.88 tCO2-eq/inhabitant), even if they are very close to Helsinki’s rates (3.95 tCO2-eq/inhabitant).
Use of coal decreases in all cities
The metropolitan area’s greenhouse gas emissions decreased by approximately 4 percent from the previous year.
Taking into consideration the entire metropolitan area, emissions per capita have decreased by 41 percent since 1990.
“Emissions generated in the metropolitan area are calculated based on consumption in the region, but factors such as indirect emissions of commodities are not taken into account. Therefore, monitoring does not cover emissions generated by the production of food or things such as construction products if these occur outside the metropolitan area,” says Juha Viholainen, a climate specialist at HSY.
Espoo’s objective is to be permanently the most sustainable city in Europe and carbon-neutral in the 2020s. The majority of our climate emissions result from heating houses, transport and consumption of electricity. To support sustainable growth, we are developing and deploying clean technology solutions together with our partners. Together with the residents of Espoo, we will act as a pioneer of intelligent urban development, climate work and the circular economy.