Relationship between carbon offsetting and Money Collection Act to be assessed
The Ministry of the Interior has set up a legislative project aiming to assess the relationship between carbon offsetting activities and the Money Collection Act. Based on this assessment, the Money Collection Act will be amended to allow for voluntary carbon offsetting.
"Climate change keeps progressing even during the coronavirus crisis. From the perspective of the climate objectives set by the Government, it is important that the Ministry of the Interior assesses the relationship between carbon offsetting and the Money Collection Act. Carbon offsetting is an important part of climate work, and we must make it as easy as possible for both private individuals and businesses to offset their carbon emissions," says Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo.
The objective of the project is to draw up a background study, which will include a description and assessment of the current state, proposals for amendments to the Money Collection Act, and an impact assessment concerning the proposed amendments. The impact assessment should, in particular, take into consideration the potential impacts of the legislative amendments on the fundraising activities of civil society and on the prevention of possible abuses related to fundraising, which is one of the objectives of the Money Collection Act. In addition, a draft government proposal will be drawn up in the course of the project, utilising the background study.
Fundraising related to climate protection work has raised a lot of questions
The National Police Board is responsible for supervising compliance with the Money Collection Act and for guidance related to the organisation of money collection. The National Police Board has received questions from a number of individuals and organisations, including on the application of the Money Collection Act to fundraising campaigns that are carried out to finance the fight against climate change.
Some of the questions have concerned fundraising models where the public is offered an opportunity to offset their carbon emissions through voluntary cash payments, for example in connection with purchase of consumer goods. The questions show that a wide range of different fundraising models can be used to finance climate protection work.
Objective of the new Money Collection Act is to streamline money collection
The new Money Collection Act entered into force on 1 March 2020. The objective of the comprehensive reform of the Act was to streamline the money collection process, promote the activities and support the operating conditions of the third sector and civil society, and prevent any criminal activity related to money collection.
The Money Collection Act lays down provisions on the organisation of money collection and the supervision of its appropriateness. Money collection requires either a money collection licence granted by the National Police Board or submitting a notification of small-scale money collection to a police department.
For a money collection licence to be granted, the general requirement is that the organiser of money collection is a non-profit organisation and that money is collected for charitable purposes. A business cannot be granted a money collection licence. The organiser of small-scale money collection does not need to be a non-profit organisation nor does the money collection have to be for charitable purposes. However, the new Act does not allow the organisation of small-scale money collection to support business activities or to accumulate wealth for legal persons.
Wide range of key actors will be consulted during the project
Senior Specialist Anna Kivimäki from the Ministry of the Interior is the public official responsible for preparation within the project. Sini Lahdenperä, Master of Laws, has been appointed as external expert for the project, and she is responsible for drawing up the background study. The background study will be drawn up under the lead and guidance of the Ministry of the Interior. A steering group consisting of representatives of the Ministry of the Interior will steer the preparation of the background study. Furthermore, a network of experts representing the ministries, authorities, civil society organisations and businesses relevant to the objective and tasks of the project will also be set up. In addition to the network, different stakeholders can be consulted in the course of the project, and discussion and consultation events can be organised.
The project will run until 31 December 2020.
Tero Kurenmaa, Director General, tel. +358 295 488 340, [email protected]
Jarno Lappalainen, Special Adviser to Minister Ohisalo, tel. +358 40 053 6973 (requests for interviews with the Minister), [email protected]