Finnish PM calls for ‘heroic act’ to solve climate crisis

(EurActiv, 2 Jul 2019) “Solving the climate crisis could be Europe’s next heroic act,“ Finland’s Antti Rinne wrote in a blog post marking the start of his country’s EU presidency, suggesting a deal on the bloc’s 2050 climate objective could be reached in the coming six months.

Rinne promises “to strive for” solutions on climate change during Finland’s EU presidency, which ends on 31 December. “The time for solutions is now,” he wrote in a blog post published on the Finnish Presidency’s website.

A European Commission proposal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 narrowly failed to reach consensus last June, receiving backing from all but four EU member states.

But the 2050 objective isn’t off the negotiating table, Rinne wrote, referring to the school strike movement which started in Finland’s neighbouring country Sweden. Young people across Europe have one message for decision-makers, he said: “Make decisions to save the future of humanity and our planet”.

“During Finland’s presidency, not only are we going to listen to young people’s concerns, we’re going to answer them,” Rinne said.

“Some people have asked me why the Finnish Government Programme starts with the words ‘Climate change’. My answer is very simple. The Government Programme starts with climate change because we don’t want climate change to mark the end,” he wrote.

Back home in Finland, Rinne’s government recently set itself the goal to reach carbon neutrality – reducing emission to below the amount that can be absorbed by nature and new technology – by 2035.

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EurActiv, 2 Jul 2019: Finnish PM calls for ‘heroic act’ to solve climate crisis