Amendment to the Money Collection Act would allow for voluntary carbon offsetting services
The aim is to amend the Money Collection Act so that voluntary carbon offsetting services would be excluded from the scope of the Act. In future no money collection licence would be required for voluntary carbon offsetting. The Government submitted to Parliament a proposal to amend the Money Collection Act on 16 September 2021.
Voluntary carbon offsetting provides a mechanism for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, for example from travel or products to be purchased by means of a payment.
“Carbon offsetting is an integral part of climate action and it complements effective emissions reduction measures. It is important that the Money Collection Act does not prevent the provision of these carbon offsetting services,” says Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo.
The amendment to the Money Collection Act contributes to the Government Programme’s objective of making Finland carbon neutral by 2035.
Aim is to clarify legislation and enable development of carbon offsetting services
The legislative amendment aims to clarify the relationship between the Money Collection Act and voluntary carbon offsetting. Companies and organisations that provide carbon offsetting services seem to find the current legislation unclear.
The sector has grown in recent years. Consumers, companies and other entities are offered a range of carbon offsetting services. Depending on the carbon offsetting service offered, these services have been considered to meet the definition of money collection, and therefore a money collection licence has been required.
With the proposed legislative amendment, voluntary carbon offsetting services would be excluded from the scope of the Money Collection Act, and the services could be provided without a money collection licence in future. Activities that are excluded from the scope of the Money Collection Act could be carried out by different service providers, regardless of the legal form of the service provider, that is, whether it is a company, foundation or organisation.
The aim of the amendment is to enable a functioning market for national voluntary carbon offsetting services, thereby encouraging companies and other operators in the sector to develop new voluntary carbon offsetting services and innovations.
The proposed amendment would not affect the possibilities of non-governmental organisations to carry out other non-profit work that benefits the climate within the scope of the Money Collection Act.
Money Collection Act mainly regulates money collection for non-profit purposes
The Money Collection Act lays down provisions on organising the collection of money and supervising the appropriateness of the collection. Money collection means activities in which funds are collected without compensation by appealing to the public. Money collection requires either a money collection licence that is granted by the National Police Board or, in the case of a small-scale money collection, submission of a notification to the local police department. Companies may not be granted a money collection licence.
The intention is that the amendment would enter into force as soon as possible in autumn 2021.
Akseli Koskela, State Secretary, tel. +358 50 418 2274, [email protected]
Sanna Leinonen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 458, [email protected]