Lahti is located in a boreal climate zone. Building heating is the largest emission source. Over 80% of the buildings have district heating, of which most is produced in CHP plants [Fig.A1]. The energy source of these plants has the greatest impact on Lahti’s GHG-emissions. The second biggest challenge is the transport emissions, which the city is tackling by developing a personal carbon trading scheme. The first baseline emission inventory was made by the Helsinki University of Technology, in 2000, using the national calculation model, Kasvener. This production-based calculation covers all scope 1 and 2 emissions produced in the Lahti geographical area.
Lahti is committed to cutting CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030 of the 1990 level. We are currently designing a new SECAP for 2030, which will likely tighten the climate change mitigation targets significantly, with a new short-term goal for year 2021 (suggestion: -70% from 1990 level) and carbon-neutrality by 2030, at the latest.
In 2017, 690 300 tonnes of CO2e were produced altogether. By now, the CO2e reduction is 41.33% from the 1990 level (Fig.A1) and if calculated per capita, 46.9%. (Fig. A2). Emissions have decreased even though the population has increased from 100 080 (1990) to 119 573 (2017). In order to make the last few years progress visible, Lahti will organize a city-wide pilot on living in a carbon-neutral society for the EGCA year 2021.
City of Lahti has its own energy, climate and sustainability targets. Other own targets are sustainable food in all activities, by 2030 and the use of biogas or e-cars in municipal operations by 2030. The WWF Green office EMS is in use in 11 city departments. EMS increases environmental knowledge of employees, energy efficiency of premises and the reporting quality. Results show that the long-term perseverance is bearing fruit. The municipality’s own emissions have decreased from 26,080.7 tons of CO2-e in 2009, to 21,277.2 tons in 2017 (Figure A3).
In 2008, the City of Lahti signed the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s National Energy Efficiency Agreement 2008-2016 (KETS), which was drafted to implement the Energy Efficiency Directive. The aim was to achieve 9% of energy savings, over the 2008-2016 period (15.99 GWh) by increasing the energy efficiency of water and wastewater treatment of the city’s premises and street lightning. This goal was met and even exceeded and Lahti managed to save 18.87 GWh of energy. The City of Lahti signed a new Energy Efficiency Agreement 2017-2025, targeting a further 7,5% energy saving (10.57 GWh). Lahti has been a member of the EU Covenant of Mayors since 2012.
Progress in climate change mitigation is reported annually in the Environmental Reviews, Environmental Balance Sheet, and every 2nd yea,r in the CoM SEAP report and City Strategy Follow-up.
For the the EGCA2021 we will build a model and demonstrate carbon-neutral living, on a city-wide scale, in Lahti. Our strategic target is to cut 70% of GHG emissions (from year 1990 level) by 2030. Environmental Programme was accepted in 2018 with a shorter term target to reach 70% sustainable fuels in energy used in Lahti area by 2021 (excluding transport). Long-term target is to be a carbon-negative city by 2050. However, we are currently designing the SECAP for 2030, which will likely result in increasingly ambitious mitigation targets.
Climate work has a long history in Lahti. Local commitment to climate work was established right after the Rio Summit 1992, when a Citizen Forum on Environment was established. An Aalborg Commitment baseline review was performed in 2009 and the city’s sustainability programme was established in 2011. Lahti joined the EU Covenant of Mayors in 2012. The CoM Sustainable Energy Action Plan was launched 2013, with more ambitious strategic goals required by the EU. Lahti SEAP is an ongoing process with 44 actions (Fig. B1), monitored every other year. In the SEAP 2013-2020 the estimated energy savings are 141736.2 MWh. Renewable energy production (without the bio thermal plant Kyvo3) will be 360871 MWh and CO2 reduction 94456.53 tons of CO2. Lahti will give up on coal after opening the Kyvo3 in 2020. Currently, the most effective actions are the Energy Efficiency Agreements, the biogas plant and the collecting of landfill gas. It is challenging to calculate the CO2 reduction of many of the SEAP actions, such as land-use planning and the energy advisory. The shares of different actions are shown Fig.B1 and their status in Fig.B2.
City-owned Lahti Energy Ltd. set an ambitious strategic goal, to reduce CO2 emissions with 80% by 2020 from the 1990 levels, in all its activities. Lahti Energy has invested in sustainable district heating, which is the heating source for over 90% of the population. Over 95% is produced energy efficiently at the Kymijärvi I-II CHP plants. Kymijärvi power plant II started operating in 2012. It is a unique gasification power plant that uses solid recovered fuel (SRF). Share of renewables in the district heating production accounted 40.53% in 2017. Specific emission coefficient for district heating in Lahti is 180 gCO2/kWh. In terms of electricity sales based on energy source distribution, renewables accounted for 40.22% (2017) and the specific emission coefficient for electricity sales was 150.58 gCO2/kWh. Lahti Energy is also purchasing shares of wind power plants in Western Finland.
Climate protection measures have been mainstreamed across municipal services. CO2 reduction is a strategic goal for Lahti Energy company, Lahden Talot housing company and Lahti City Strategy, including the Lahti Premises Centre. Reduction is reported in the Environmental Review reports and company balances. In other Lahti Group companies, such as the Lahti Aqua Ltd. and Päijät-Häme Waste Management Ltd., the climate protection is integrated into the processes and monitored annually. For example, the Regional kitchen of Southern Lahti was designed energy-efficient with district heating, heat pumps and energy recovery and solar panels. The kitchen prepares 10 000 meals a day for schools and kindergartens.
Lahti is also part of the Finnish CO2 reporting initiative, calculated by Benviroc Ltd. for many Finnish municipalities. This allows comparison with other cities (Fig.B3).
Participation in the Energy Efficiency Agreement of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland (KETS) has shown it’s effectiveness. Agreements are an important part of Finland’s energy and climate strategy and the main method to promote the efficient use of energy and to implement EC Energy Efficiency Directive. The consumption of electricity and heating energy are illustrated in Figures C4 and C5. The amount of municipality owned premises has changed during the years, but the relative figures of energy use per m3 can be monitored (Fig. B3). Swimming halls of Lahti have significantly improved the energy efficiency (Fig. B4). Lahti Aqua and Premises Centre also participate in the Energy Efficiency Agreement (KETS) and are monitored annually.
Climate change mitigation and adaptation are mainstreamed in land-use planning. Green Ratio -calculator and KEKO tool are in use since 2016. Stormwater Management Programme was accepted in 2011 and is used in land-use planning and construction. Climate change risks and vulnerabilities assessment is currently in progress and it will be part of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan of Lahti in 2019. Comprehensive project Hybrid solutions in Stormwater Management will tackle stormwater in the city centre using nature based solutions.
The City of Lahti has developed a practice of continuous master planning. Under this model, the planning work proceeds in four-year cycles. In 2017 Lahti started a process that integrates Master Plan and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP), the latter being drafted for the first time. Sustainable urban transport is a strategic goal and the largest city transformation process. Sustainable urban mobility supports citizens’ health and wellbeing. The process is participatory and utilizes different participation tools. New Master Plan draft will be ready in the beginning of 2019. Ecosystem impact assessment and climate impact assessment will be performed before the City Council decides on it in 2020.
Lahti Group companies are important climate strategy partners for the city. Main reductions in city area GHG emissions are currently achieved by Lahti Energy in their shift to renewables in the district heating production. Lahti Energy waste gasification CHP plant Kymijärvi II (2012) and biomass thermal power plant Kymijärvi III (2020) will enable the transition. The City Council supports these investments.
Citizen and company participation has been regognized essential if Lahti will achieve it’s climate goals. Citizens have been engaged in several projects, such as Consumers’ Energy Advising in Päijät-Häme region and Eco-Efficient Energy Solutions (EU funded project 2015-2016) for building-owners. In the CitiCAP-project citizens become the actors in climate change mitigation. With Climate Partnerships the city challenges companies to lower their emissions. This is done in cooperation with Lahti Lahti University of Applied Sciences. The students assess the company and suggest how they could reduce emissions. Monitoring takes place after two years and successful companies receive a diploma from the Mayor.
Lahti employs professional environmental educators that work with schools and kindergarten and has established a network of environmental educators in Tavastia region. The environmental educators support the climate work providing material and training for the children.
Lahti was involved in the planning of national climate change medium-term policy plan (KAISU) in 2015-16. Policy plan will be implemented to reduce GHG and F-gas emissions in different sectors and to develop the monitoring.
Lahti is committed to cut at least 70% of CO2 emissions by 2030 from 1990. However, we are also currently preparing a new SECAP with even stricter CO2 reduction targets (suggestion: −70% by 2021, climate-neutral by 2030). We are already willing to introduce a concept for carbon-neutral living in the city already for EGCA2021 and to involve all the stakeholders in the planning and execution of the demonstration.
Lahti signed a strategical EU commitment, the Covenant of Mayors 2030 on Dec 2017, as continuation for SEAP 2020. Before that Lahti joined the Finnish Sustainable Cities Network (FISU) with the following long-term goals of: no emissions, no waste, sustainable consumption. Lahti’s Environmental Programme that also constitutes Lahti’s roadmap for the FISU Network, was accepted by city council in 2018.
Communication plan has been made and implementation has started in i.e. land-use planning. Long term implementation and monitoring plans are under development.
The 2015 future scenario work, mentioned in part B, showed that Lahti will be able to lower its GHG emissions even under different economic and social conditions. The tools may differ between the scenarios (Figs. C1, C2 and C3). The first scenario is based on the assumption that the current development will continue on European and Finnish average path. The second scenario is based on the assumption that Lahti region will regress, with an ageing and decreasing population, the car fleet doesn’t renew and coal cannot be replaced with renewables in district heating. The third scenario is based on the assumption that Lahti will be a technological forerunner running fully on renewables in district and separate heating and in transport, while the development is faster than in average. By now we already know that the district heating will be produced coal free by 2020. What is more, the population of Lahti is currently promisingly growing.
Lahti is committed to the new period, 2017–2025, of the Energy Efficiency Agreement of the Ministry of Employment and Economy of Finland. The agreement is the Finland’s main contribution on the EU climate and energy package, which aims for a 27% improvement in energy efficiency. Lahti’s activities energy use, covered by the agreement, was 140 900 MWh / year in 2017. The reduction target for 2025 corresponds to 7.5% of the city's energy use. Public buildings are included in the calculation and the buildings of Lahti Premises Centre, Osaamiskiinteistöt Ltd. (university premises) and Spatium Toimitilat Ltd. (offices). In addition, street lighting, heating for pedestrian streets and football fields, and the energy use of Lahti Aqua water and wastewater treatment are included.
Lahti Energy is investing 165 million euros in a new biomass power plant, which will be completed in 2019. This means Lahti will give up on coal by 2020. The biomass will be local (~100 km radius) certified sustainable wood and biomass. The plant, itself, will be energy efficient with a BAT in energy recovery and drinking quality waste water.
The actions of the city can however only reduce emissions up to a certain level and therefore further actions from municipal companies, citizens, organisations and businesses are needed. Lahti is implementing various actions and projects to tackle this dilemma: for instance, the EU-funded UIA project CitiCAP, a project involving citizens in the climate change mitigation with the aim to reduce 25% of each partipant’s transport emissions.
One strategical action in the SECAP 2030 will be carbon storages and carbon sinks. Lahti will have its carbon storages and sinks mapped in GIS in 2018-2019. The work was already started in the ILKKA adaptation project in 2014.