HELSINKI, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- A Finnish ministerial working group has suggested that the use of fossil fuels in traffic would be prohibited in 2045.
In its report submitted to Minister for Transport and Communication Anne Berner on Wednesday, the working group applied the rule, "the polluter pays the cost".
Taxation on both fossil-based fuels and automobiles using them would be increased gradually. Cars with zero, or low emissions would be made attractive to purchase through subsidies.
There would be two million electric cars and 250,000 cars using biogas in Finland by 2045. The report predicted the price of electric cars would decline to the level of combustion engine cars within the next few years, but subsidies would be needed initially for the transition.
The working group underlined the need to carry out the change in a socially acceptable way. It suggested the impact of the increased taxation on fossil fuels should be compensated to the less affluent people, for example, through a reduction in the income tax.
The Finnish fuel tax has been a universal flat tax that hits more the less wealthy. The working group suggested the fuel tax would be increased gradually from 2020 until 2044.
The group recommended a general push towards using more public transit and towards walking and bicycling.
Criticizing the plan, the Finnish automobile association said it would simply increase the "costs incurred by ordinary drivers" without reducing emissions.
Decisions to implement the program or modify it would be within the agenda of the next Finnish government, to be formed after the May 2019 election.