Climate change is by far the greatest challenge facing humanity and the planet at this moment. Without swift climate actions, we leave behind a massive debt burden for future generations. Therefore, combating climate change must be an integral part of the future governments’ policy agenda.
While climate change mitigation is crucial for everyone, current and future decision-makers bear a significant responsibility for the future. We must ensure that the younger generation has a future. This means halting the rise in the Earth’s average temperature. To achieve this, the future government must make bold decisions aimed at combating climate change. Citizens also have a tremendous responsibility, and everyone can contribute to mitigating climate change.
Combatting Climate Change Requires Comprehensive Measures
Halting climate change requires unprecedented and swift actions. The longer we wait, the more expensive the changes will be, and the more drastic the changes will affect people’s daily lives. Emissions have already been reduced by a third from the 1990s level, and so far, it has not made our lives difficult. Therefore, it is good to continue on the right path rather than waiting until 2050, for example.
Society’s structures need to be transformed to achieve carbon neutrality in our lives as soon as possible, but no later than by 2030. To enable this change, climate actions must be taken in cities, but businesses and individuals also have a significant responsibility. However, the pace seems to be too slow in many places, and parties stuck in the past, such as the National Coalition Party and the Finns Party, have, in many instances, promoted environmentally harmful activities. It is time to put a stop to that, and society must move to a new level.
Read also: Climate actions must be taken in cities
New Mindsets and New Solutions
Finland is part of a global movement tasked with transforming our lifestyle to be sustainable for the climate. We must dare to think bigger, as the Finnish carbon footprint is still intolerably high compared to a sustainable level.
Instead of thinking about how to promote climate actions within the current economic framework, we should consider how the economy can serve the climate. Climate policy must set the framework for the economy. A billion-dollar ecological tax reform is needed to ensure that the climate-friendly option is always easier and cheaper and that emissions must be paid for.
The Greens have proposed measures such as aviation tax and abandoning environmentally harmful subsidies. These measures will reduce emissions. In addition to this, the business sector can develop new climate innovations for export as climate-friendly solutions are developed. At the same time, it ensures that the pockets of low-income individuals do not have to suffer (more on this: The National Coalition Party has made privatization a magic wall where profits are made with taxpayer money)
A new and greener lifestyle does not lead to a decline in living standards, contrary to common misconceptions. In the near future, energy and transportation must become emission-free. This way, dictators like Putin cannot make us crawl, and we don’t have to stand in traffic jams. Jaakko Mustakallio, a candidate in Pirkanmaa, has talked a lot about increasing rail transport and local trains, which is a sensible solution for future mobility. And it’s even faster than driving! The audit committee of City of Tampere has also taken a stand to move more on public transport.
In addition, eating and housing must become less carbon-intensive. Consumption must be reduced. We must ensure that forests and soil absorb and store more carbon from the atmosphere than they currently do. For all future projects and decisions, both at the municipal and state levels, a climate impact assessment must be carried out. It is much easier to do things right the first time than to fix them several times afterward. In this regard, R&D investments must also be significantly increased.
The Green Transition Must Be Fair
Combating climate change is neither easy nor cheap. However, implementing climate actions too slowly will be even more expensive, both in terms of humanity and economics.
The war in Russia is a good example of how things can hit the fan at their worst. Global crises will increase in the future, and fossil fuels will disappear rapidly. If we are prepared for it, we don’t have to spend future winters in cold cottages.
Changes are coming at the EU level, but there must also be the courage at the national level to implement the green transition. The sooner it is done, the cheaper it will be for everyone. However, Finland must ensure that the transition is possible for all citizens, regardless of income. Supporting electric cars is a good way to eliminate internal combustion engines, but other measures must also be implemented. The state must support low- and middle-income individuals in renovations that reduce housing emissions. Additionally, we must shift Finland to railways. Even farmers should be supported in transitioning to plant-based cultivation. Finns coped with less meat in the 40s and 50s – we can handle it now too.
In the parliamentary elections, one can vote for the well-being of the whole of Finland. A fair transition is not possible under the leadership of the Finns Party and the National Coalition Party, and delaying the green transition will cause enormous debt burdens for future generations. Therefore, it is advisable to choose the Greens, now and in the future.