The broad political support for nuclear power and renewable energy is a promising starting point for the Finnish government negotiations

Fortum's first comments on the results of the Finnish parliamentary elections of 2 April 2023

Nature in spring

Yesterday, 200 members of the Finnish parliament were elected for the next four-year term. Based on the election result, government negotiations will start under the leadership of the Coalition Party which was the largest in the elections. In the election debate, energy did not rise to the top of the debate, and no major dividing lines formed. There is broad political support for nuclear power and renewable energy in Finland. We consider this a good and realistic starting point for the new government's energy policy. We also consider it important that the new government sticks to the 2035 carbon neutrality goal, promotes the electrification of society and sector integration, and recognises the hydrogen economy as a key growth sector.

Of course, the parties have partly conflicting policies on, for example, the promotion of investments in the green transition and intervention in electricity prices. When it comes to the election debate between the three biggest parties, the Coalition Party has emphasised a cost-effective, market-based and technology-neutral climate policy, as well as the availability of affordable electricity for the Finnish households and industries. The Finns party has been critical of Finland's target to be carbon neutral by 2035, and the party's "blue and white" transition programme emphasises the importance of domestic energy sources. The Finns have also called for stricter permitting process for wind power as well as for an electricity “price corridor”. For the Social Democrats, the goal of their energy policy is a transition to renewable and emission-free forms of energy, and Finland being energy self-sufficient in 2025. The party has also proposed a maximum price for electricity retail market.

Fortum has actively participated in the election debate focusing especially on topics related to green transition and reaching the carbon neutrality target. We have highlighted e.g. the predictability and incentive of the investment environment, the smoothness of licensing, the development of the energy market, the competitiveness of emission-free energy production and the security of energy supply. The themes in question have also been included in the election programs of several parties and will play a key role in the preparation of the government programme. We actively monitor the progress of government negotiations and are happy to offer our expertise in the preparation of energy policy provisions.

Infobox: How were the election results?

In the Finnish parliamentary elections of 2 April, 200 members were elected for the next four-year term, of which 61 are new. Voter turnout was approximately at the level of the previous elections, 71.9% (2019: 72.1%). As anticipated, the election result between the three biggest parties was tight and the governmental negotiations are expected to be long and challenging. The result marks a clear change of direction: the right-wing conservative parties won, and the centre-left government base of the previous election period ended. The three parties are almost equal: the Coalition Party got 48, the Finns 46 and the Social Democrats 43 seats.

Based on the election result, government negotiations will start under the leadership of the Coalition Party. Petteri Orpo, the leader of the winning Coalition party, has announced that discussions on forming a new government will start after Easter, when questionnaires to the other parties will be submitted to assess the options. The likely alternatives are the government of the right-wing conservatives or the blue-red of the Coalition and Social Democrats. However, a number of smaller parties are needed for both.

From the European parliament, the Finnish MEPs Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (SDP) and Laura Huhtasaari (PS) will return to domestic politics.

More information:

Merja Paavola

Corporate Vice President, Public Affairs
Tel: +358 50 396 1161
merja [dot] paavola [at] fortum [dot] com

Kari Kankaanpää

Head of Public Affairs Finland
Tel: +358 50 453 2330
kari [dot] t [dot] kankaanpaa [at] fortum [dot] com