Remarkable update: Carbon neutral Helsinki 2035!
Helsinki takes its own responsibility for the prevention of climate change seriously and ambitiously. The old goal of being carbon neutral by the year 2050 has been now updated to 2035.
“WOW, how is this going happen”, was my first thought when I saw this figure (WOW-factor continues when I look out from the window and see the chimneys of coal powered power plant).
The old roadmap (2016) needs to be updated, the update will take place in early spring 2018 (which in Finland might mean end of April or beginning of May).
The objectives of the new roadmap will be:
- Cut off greenhouse emissions by 80% (1990-2035)
- Offset the remaining 20% with carbon sinks to reach the full 100% (global and local carbon sinks)
Known milestones on the way are:
- Greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by at least 30 percent by 2020.
- Energy efficiency has improved by at least 20 percent by 2020. (The citizen-specific energy consumption will be used as the indicator and results are compared to the year 2005)
- The share of renewable energy of the procurement of electricity, district heating and district cooling by Helsinki Energy is at least 20 percent by 2020
- Public transportation emission-free by 2021
The biggest obstacle lies in Energy Production, states Jari Viinanen (Climate Expert of the City of Helsinki Environmental Services).
I personally couldn’t agree more with him: due to the cold climate, Helsinki requires much more energy in comparison to many southern cities (57% of Helsinki’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heating (2015)). All this must happen at the same time when Helsinki has been unwilling to invest into new nuclear energy (the city is currently trying to find a way to retreat from the Hanhikivi nuclear power plant project) and district heat production using nuclear energy is a total NO NO due to political reasons. (I am personally not sure yet am I pro or against nuclear energy, the issue has so many levels that even an energy specialist has difficulties to decide.