Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. To acknowledge this, Helsinki has declared a climate emergency. It is essential that Helsinki takes on an ambitious environmental policy to set an excellent example for other capitals.
Environmental projects and innovations signify environmental benefits for us living in Helsinki and can lead to both new workplaces and financial gains if we act promptly.
The first and foremost action is to phase out fossil fuel and replace it with renewable energy. To succeed in this, we need investments in processes that make renewable energy easier to use and political decisions that facilitate the further development of emission-free energy (e.g., hydrogen gas, methanol, and ammonia produced using wind power). Climate impact should be evaluated before every political decision. In municipal politics, this is vital, especially when it comes to procurements and specifying criteria for procuring.
In addition to climate impact, ethical sustainability has to be guaranteed. The elected representatives carry a great responsibility in this matter since the volume of procurements is substantial. Furthermore, the elected representatives can influence the immediate environment by choosing environmentally friendly traffic solutions, protecting valuable nature and parkland in the city, preventing overbuilding, and requiring high energy efficiency standards for new buildings and restoration projects.
What do you want life on Earth to look like in 20 years?
Climate change is a fact, and we are now very pressed for time to prevent a disaster from happening. Many solutions already exist – now is the time to act. Here, I’m going through the essential measures Helsinki has undertaken to reach carbon neutrality by 2035.