Goal 13: Climate action
Helsinki emphasises ecological values in its operations. Helsinki aims at being an internationally networked pioneer for local implementation of global responsibilities. The city strives to achieve the goal through the integration of climate-related measures with national policy, strategy and planning, by bolstering its capacity to adapt to climate change and by increasing education and raising awareness in the context of climate change. In March 2019, Helsinki was admitted to the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA) city network. Helsinki has also confirmed its intention to join the C40 climate network’s Sustainable Consumption programme.
Helsinki has already for years worked with determination for the climate and managed to reduce its emissions by 27 percent from the 1990 level. The previous carbon neutrality goal defined 2050 as target year, but in the current strategy, the target was doubled down and set at 2035. As a consequence, the Carbon Neutral Helsinki 2035 plan of action was drawn up as a comprehensive and ambitious plan for the city. It sets down 147 measures to act broadly against climate change and its effects. The plan of action is being carried out regarding the fields of traffic, construction and the use of buildings, consumption, smart & clean business, energy production, communications, participation and the coordination, follow-up and evaluation of climate action.
The City of Helsinki aims at taking fast action to contain climate change and to adapt to it. The measures of the Carbon Neutral Helsinki 2035 plan of action realise especially the following targets within the UN climate goals (SDG 13): target 13.2 (“Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning”) and 13.3 (“Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning”). With regard to the issue of adaption to risks caused by climate change, the city has adopted a policy for adapting to climate change in 2019–2025. Thus, adaption has been taken into account at the level of measures, although the question was not raised in the city strategy. However, Helsinki has not undertaken actions that can be recognised as being targeted at developed countries and small island developing states as mentioned in the UN targets.