The blog has been updated in 22 Jan 2020.
Finland made international headlines in December, as Sanna Marin became the world’s youngest prime minister. She is now leading her five-party government with four other women.
While their image (below) has gone viral, it’s the content of their government program that truly deserves attention:
Finland is committed to implementing one of the strongest climate goals in the world – becoming carbon neutral by 2035 and the first fossil free welfare state.
No wonder even Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello is excited!
But there’s more…
What’s truly inspiring in the case of Finland is the role of people.
The government adopted strong climate targets because that’s what we Finns wanted. The launch of the IPCC 1.5°C science report a little over a year ago catalysed a massive climate awakening in Finland, leading to several mass demonstrations and school strikes, and to climate becoming the number one election topic in the April 2019 general election.
As a result, the new government listened to the people and adopted a climate goal recommended by Finland’s independent climate science panel.
According to a recent poll by the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), 63 % of Finns support the government’s carbon neutrality 2035 goal while only 13 % oppose it. This is in alignment with two other polls, the Climate Barometer and Science Barometer, which found that a clear majority of Finns support strong climate action.
As you can see from the video below, the supporters of the carbon neutrality 2035 goal include our biggest industry federation and trade union, farmers and even our national sports stars!
”Finland. Let’s keep our promise.”
– Marko (Mörkö) Anttila, Ice Hockey World Champion –
So what does it all mean?
It means that we Finns have made a commitment to do our part in fighting the climate emergency. And now we must turn the words into action.
- Will it be easy? No. Absolutely not.
- Do we know how to get there? Yes and no.
- Are we already on track? Definitely not!
But we’re committed to finding the way, because this is the moment when every one of us must simply stop doing better and start doing enough.
As Greta Thunberg has challenged us Finns (in the video below): we have an amazing opportunity to prove it can be done. And if we’re not going to do it, then why should anyone else?
Next step: A Strong Climate Law
Our neighbors in Denmark reached a historical agreement in December on what will probably become the strongest climate law in the world, containing their new target of -70 % emission cuts by 2030. That’s what we must do now too: secure the implementation of our goals through revising Finland’s Climate Act.
Watch this space!
The original version of this blog was released on 11 Dec 2019 with a headline ”The world’s youngest PM with one of the strongest climate goals”. Since then the title of the youngest leader was passed on to Sebastian Kurz, 33, of Austria.