Oil-free and low-carbon roadmap Oil-free and low-carbon roadmap

FINLAND, North Karelia

by: Regional Council of North Karelia (Public authority)

S3 domain: Forest based bioeconomy (and renewable energies)

Energy topics:    Sustainable Buildings    /    other Energy Efficiency (in Industry, Transport, Services...)

Innovation type:    Managerial

Level of Good Practice implementation:     Regional


Roadmap Towards Oil-Free and Low-Carbon Area 2040 is based on Energy and Climate Programme of North Karelia 2020. Main sectors for the roadmap are: Energy, Transport, Land-Use, Natural resources and bioeconomy, Circular economy, Innovations and know-how. Work was conducted in several workshops involving several stakeholders.

North Karelia is applying a membership in Carbon Neutral Municipalities Network: HINKU municipalities[1] aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 % from 2007 level until 2030 inside the municipality’s borders. Fossil oil used for heating will be replaced with renewable energy by 2020 and in transport by 2030.

[1] http://www.hinku-foorumi.fi/en-US

North Karelia’s Climate and Energy Programme was adopted in 2012. It laid out the targets for reducing GHG emissions and raising awareness about climate change, sustainable growth of bioeconomy sector and increasing the share of renewable energy. The purpose of the roadmap is to collect and suggest tangible steps that are to be taken to reach the set targets. The roadmap is part of implementation of Fossil Oil Free North Karelia –project and contributes to a Regional Action plan that is being drafted in the Interreg Europe BIO4ECO project. The workshops were organised between March 2016 and May 2017.

Six projects (North Karelia Towards Oil Free and Low Carbon Area, Secure NPA, BIO4ECO, Ten-Tacle, CIRCWASTE, Power from biomass) are run by three different organisations (Regional Council of North Karelia, Finnish Environment Institute, Karelia University of Applied Sciences). The Fossil Oil Free North Karelia project coordinated the work of more sectoral-oriented projects. Altogether, representatives of 54 different organisations – among them SMEs; public and local authorities; research centres; cooperatives; NGOs; municipalities and industries – attended the six workshops that were organised. The goal was to involve a wide range of stakeholders who will play an important role in putting the plans into action.

Stakeholders involved in implementation

  •  Public authority
  • Economic and/or innovation agency
  • Research actors
  • Industry
  • SMEs
  • NGO
  • Civil society 


  • Public authority
  • IndustryEconomic and/or innovation agency
  • Research actors
  • Industry
  • SMEs
  • Civil society

Six thematic workshops were organised in order to collect ideas about actions that should be taken. The workshops dealt with identifying the regional strengths, energy, bio- and circular economy and transportation (replacement of fossil fuels and network of filling stations).

In addition, the regional goals and guidelines were reviewed and opened for discussion for anyone interested in the roadmap. Comments came mostly from organizations that were involved during the whole process of elaboration of the roadmap. A separate workshop was organised for schoolchildren, who were asked about their views of sustainable future. A draft of the roadmap is currently publicly available for comments by any interested party.

European regional development fund, Interreg Europe, Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA), Future Fund (regional), national funding (Ministry for economy and employment)

  • ESIF T04 (low carbon economy)
  • National Funds
  • Regional Funds
  • Other: NPA

Results achieved

Roadmap works as an implementation plan for the Climate and Energy Programme of North Karelia 2020. It is a new kind of regional policy with more concrete actions. Most important stakeholders in the area were involved in the process and they will be the main actors with implementation of these actions.

Future perspectives

2-3 nationally and internationally interesting references will be designed and later on implemented through a new kind of financing and implementation model between public and private sector.


The workshops reached a large number of people from different organisations, and the process itself was a successful case of cooperation across sectoral borders.

Most important difficulties

In the course of the workshops it turned out to be challenging to focus the discussion from general to more concrete level, and name actors who could and should take initiative for advancing the proposed actions. In some cases it seemed that the instruments for influencing incentives (e.g. energy policies) were out of the reach of regional and local actors.

Lessons learned

A fully inclusive process was needed for organizing roadmap work. This took place through five different projects, a project group for roadmap consisting of experts from three different organizations, and several workshops with stakeholders from more than 50 organizations.

The roadmap included regional targets concerning climate and energy actions and expanded perspective for developing economic activities in the area for example within bioeconomy and circular economy. Inclusive process with several workshops engages stakeholders for new actions needed for achieving targets.


  • Strategic programme
  • Key actors Platform (for regional cooperation)
  • Interregional or International cooperation


  • Relevance to national and/or regional energy strategy
  • Cross-domain interactions (R&D&I and energy)
  • Synergetic use of several funds
  • High impact potential
  • Civil society participation
  • Continuous Entrepreneurial Discovery Process
  • Inter-regional cooperation 


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