People walking in the forest. Photo Jussi Hellsten.

Helsinki declared climate emergency

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our times. Today, the City of Helsinki has declared a climate emergency, thereby acknowledging its responsibility for reducing its carbon footprint and expressing its awareness of the urgency of climate action.

Helsinki wishes to be a world leader in the fight against climate change. Sustainable development and the combating of climate change are one of the focal points of Helsinki’s international operations. Helsinki has brought up the role of cities in solving the climate crisis in several fora, paying attention to the matter in its advocacy.

“Helsinki does not combat climate change only because it is the economically rational thing to do but, above all, because it is our responsibility to save the planet for future generations. We are one of the cities with a truly credible, ambitious and implementable climate program”, says Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori.

The City of Helsinki has committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. The City reduces its emissions by 80% from the level of 1990 and compensates for the remaining emission share. The emission target concerns all direct emissions of the city’s entire geographical area.

The City has drawn up an emission reduction program. The progression of the Carbon Neutral Helsinki 2035 emission reduction program can be followed on the Ilmastovahti (Climate Watch) website. The program is updated regularly.

On the 23rd of September, the City Council approved the City Board’s proposal of preparing a climate emergency declaration. The proposal was based on a motion by Council member Leo Stranius. The Mayor decided on Helsinki’s climate emergency declaration on the 25th of September.

More than a thousand municipalities around the world have declared a climate emergency. Helsinki is presumably the first Finnish city to declare a climate emergency.

The Helsinki’s climate actions website