Together with their citizens, three Finnish cities are exploring how the carbon footprint of their lifestyles can be reduced to a sustainable level. The work aims to meet the challenge posed by the intergovernmental panel on climate change IPCC, published at the beginning of August, which stated that the carbon footprint of Finns must be reduced radically.
“Involving residents in reducing carbon emissions is paramount. In Lahti, the lifestyle challenge was embraced by citizens including Simo Santapukki, who plays in the music band Apulanta, and Rami Lehto, an MP from the True Finns party. It will be interesting to see what results we get,” says Päivi Sieppi, Lahti’s environmental advisory manager.
A total of twelve participants from Lahti, Tampere and Oulu are involved in the work. They create for themselves lifestyle change paths to illustrate what life on the 1.5-degree climate path could look like.
“We’ve brought in four participants from Oulu because we need new perspectives and tools for our climate work. We are known internationally as a cycling city, but that alone is not enough,” says Leena Tuuri, Environmental Director from the City of Oulu. “We have Ville-Valtteri Visuri, who studies technological developments, and author Jenni Räinä, who strives to live as naturally as possible, participating from Oulu. It will be interesting to now see how easy or difficult it is to live sustainably in Oulu from these different starting points.”
In order to achieve the 1.5 degree climate target, the average Finn must reduce their carbon footprint to a quarter of its current level. The potential changes made by cities in the production of district heating and a shift to low-carbon means of public transport would reduce their footprints almost subsstantially.
“Tampere’s new tram has just been put into operation, which enables the townspeople to choose new climate actions. The range of possible lifestyle changes is now being studied from the day-to-day perspective of, among others, Paulina Ahokas, CEO of Tampere Hall. We hope that as a city we will learn something new and increase actions towards Tampere’s 2030 carbon neutrality goal” says Development Manager Laura Inha from the City of Tampere.
The carbon footprint calculation and the development of sustainable lifestyle plans of the trial participants are currently underway and the first results will be announced on 9 September 2021, when the culmination of the Lahti Environmental Capital Year, Lahti Symposion, will be held.
Lahti: Environmental Advisory Manager Päivi Sieppi tel. +358 50 559 4090, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oulu: Leena Tuuri, Environmental Director, tel. +358 44 703 6730, email@example.com
Tampere: Development Manager Laura Inha, tel. +358 40 801 6035, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sustainable Lahti Foundation: Program Director Saara Vauramo, tel. +358 44 7161585, email@example.com
Demos Helsinki: Otso Sillanaukee, tel. +358 50 544 5922, firstname.lastname@example.org
D-mat: Michael Lettenmeier, tel. +358 40 541 2876, email@example.com
The 1.5 degree climate target is a target set by the international community as the maximum global warming in order to avoid the most dangerous consequences of climate change. In Finland, a climate policy in line with the 1.5 degree target requires carbon neutrality by 2035. In order to achieve carbon neutrality, the average Finn must reduce their carbon footprint to a quarter of the current ten tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (10 tCO2e), i.e. 2.5 tonnes per year by 2030. Studies show that the means and technologies for this already exist and are increasingly available to people as well. This challenge is being addressed through the 1.5 Degree Urban Lifestyles project, which is being implemented in collaboration with the cities of Lahti, Tampere and Oulu, the Sustainable Lahti Foundation, Sitra, Demos Helsinki and D-mat.