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Finns roll up their sleeves to mitigate climate change

Five Finnish municipalities - together with enterprises, researchers, and public administration - are about to start a project with objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions more than what is required by EU goals and more quickly than has been agreed.

The long-term goals reach as far as 20 years into the future, and the ultimate goal is a carbon-neutral municipality.

In the project, the municipalities will define their short-term goals and plan the required measures together with experts. The project will search for tools that municipalities can use in their efforts to check climate change.

For example, the municipalities can in their purchase policies favour energy-efficient and low-emission products, or improve the energy efficiency of their premises, or promote recycling.

Technology developers and providers will get a platform to test their products and know-how in the real environment. It will be possible to achieve concrete results already within a few years.

The integrated approach applied in this project is expected to produce new innovative and employment-improving solutions based on energy efficiency and sustainable use of local natural resources.

The procedures developed within the project will be applicable in other municipalities in Finland and elsewhere in the world.

In addition of the municipalities’ efforts, Energy & Enviro Finland, 17 June 2008, describes how Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, has launched a five-year energy program that focuses on energy saving and energy efficiency of communities.

The aim is to reverse the trend in energy consumption and simultaneously to increase welfare and create new business - in terms of sustainable development.

An example for measures how Finns aim to turn climate change concern into practical action also is a web poll project that was carried out in a suburban area of the City of Helsinki.

The project assessed people's knowledge and opinions concerning climate change and developed new patterns for interaction between citizens and experts.

Lauri Kinnunen | alfa
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