Light at the end of the tunnel

As the year draws to a close, it's good to pause for a moment to reflect on the past and the future. What has been achieved and whether our goals are on track and heading in the right direction. So let me turn to the biggest challenge facing our planet today: climate change. It is a theme that has featured strongly in our work with clients this year.

The review of the past is clear in this respect. Our way of life over the last 100 years has resulted in massive emissions of carbon dioxide, which is rapidly warming our climate and worsening living conditions on the planet. There is a broad international consensus on the causes and consequences of the challenge, as well as on the targets and timetable for reversing the trend. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the EU have set a global target of carbon neutrality by 2050. Similarly, Finland is aiming for carbon neutrality already by 2035.

We have been aware of the situation for a few decades now, and we have managed to do some changes. Finland has reduced its emissions by around 40%, the third largest reduction in the world. If we succeed in continuing our emission reductions and maintaining the carbon sink of our forests, we will reach our target on schedule. In Europe and the United States, emissions have already started to fall. In China and India, they are still rising, but climate action is underway there too.

Finland’s example shows that the challenge can be solved if we act on a broad front. Finnish companies have been rated among the most responsible in the world and have also taken the emissions challenge with the seriousness it deserves. This year we have been working with many of our client companies on carbon accounting, and several of them have chosen to offset their emissions by participating in carbon sink projects.

Awareness and attitudes are now in place. The measures are also straightforward, as 85% of emissions come from fossil fuels. So, there is no need to fear the end of the world or be anxious about the climate because change requires more innovation, investment, and a change of approach. We are now moving in the right direction, and we need common sense – not panic. The better and faster we succeed in tackling climate change, the less damaging it will be. In the words of Mielensäpahoittaja; towards brighter times!