Espoo maintained its place on the A list of the world’s leading cities in climate change action

Published: 18.11.2021 10.17
Aerial view of Leppävaara. At the corner of the picture is the CDP's cities stamp 2021.
Photo: Heidi-Hanna Karhu

This year, the world’s leading environmental reporting organisation, CDP, ranked 95 cities worldwide on its A list. Other Finnish cities that remained on the list were Helsinki, Lahti and Turku.

​​​​​​CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) is a non-profit organisation that maintains an international environmental reporting system. The reporting system helps cities, regions, investors and companies better measure and understand their environmental impact.

Each year, the environmental performance of cities and companies is graded from A to D. The assessment was made stricter than before. Despite this, Espoo retained its A rating for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“Espoo aims to become carbon-neutral by 2030. Together with residents, organisations and companies, we are working towards this goal by investing in clean energy, circular economy, sustainable land use and construction, and sustainable transport. We are developing the urban structure to facilitate a sustainable lifestyle,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä.

Climate change adaptation refers to how cities prepare for the risks posed by climate change. The most significant climate risks in Espoo, for example, are floods, heavy rain and extreme heat. Climate change mitigation, on the other hand, refers to actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These include actions related to renewable energy, low-emission transport and energy efficiency, for example.

Espoo is engaged in long-term work to mitigate climate change

Looking at last year’s emissions, Espoo’s greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 16% compared to 2019.

Set against the city’s growing population, per capita emissions were halved for the first time compared to the reference year of 1990. The reduction in emissions was significantly affected by the commissioning of the wood biomass heating plant built by Fortum in Kivenlahti.

In Espoo, the use of coal will end in 2025 and district heating will be produced from renewable energy sources. In the next few years, several air-to-water heat pump plants and a geothermal heating plant will be built in Espoo, and their introduction will have a significant impact on Espoo’s emissions.

“Espoo’s most significant climate change mitigation measures relate to energy production, transport and land use planning. As emissions from energy production fall, the role of transport will become even more important. Transport in Espoo will be made more low-carbon by the completion of the metro, City Rail Link and Jokeri Light Rail, as well as the electrification of transport,” says Environmental Specialist Liisa Kallio from the City of Espoo.

Espoo is also a pioneer in reconciling a growing city with diverse nature. During this council period, in addition to the roadmap for combating climate change, Espoo will draw up a roadmap for biodiversity recovery and the achievement of no net loss by 2035.

  • Climate