Minister of the Environment Paula Lehtomäki (Centre) feels that it is premature to say how much nuclear energy Finland will need by 2050.
During a visit to Moscow on Thursday, she was also non-committal on how many nuclear power stations Finland will need in the near future. She also indicated a reluctance to endorse very many of them.
“Although nuclear power is a form of energy that does not emit greenhouse gases, it cannot be called green, or environmentally friendly”, she said.
Lehtomäki was in the Russian capital at the request of Sweden, the holder of the EU Presidency, laying the foundations of the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Conference. During her trip Lehtomäki met with Igor Maidanov, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology.
Lehtomäki welcomed Russia’s recognition of a need for international cooperation. Russia and the EU disagree on whether or not the countries meeting in Copenhagen should establish a binding international system. The EU supports such a commitment, while Russia disagrees.
Lehtomäki and Maidanov also briefly discussed the planned undersea natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Lehtomäki said that Russia may have had problems in understanding the Finnish licencing system.
“What I mean is that the issue involves a decision by an independent environmental licencing official. The principle is perhaps not something that will open up easily here”, Lehtomäki says.