Finnish city sets ambitious carbon neutral goals

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Women sitting by Turku’s Aurajoki River, southwest Finland. The city aims to become carbon neutral by 2029. (Jenni Virta/Yle Turku)
Turku City Council Chair Lauri Kattelus said that the council’s decision to approve an ambitious strategic programme was one of the most important choices they have made.

The strategy is far-reaching in ambition. If the goals are met on schedule the south west city will be, among other things, the country’s greenest city – and carbon neutral – by the year 2029. That’s more than a decade ahead of schedule, as the city’s previous ambition was to reach the green goal of carbon neutrality by the year 2040.

Kattelus said that the strategy’s two most important features are its climate goals as well as an aim to prevent social inequities, and said the unanimous council approval of it was a good sign for the future.

“This is a common strategy and gives a good insight to where we are headed,” Kattelus said.

Best city for students and immigrants

The newly approved roadmap for improving the city also includes plans to make Turku the best city for students, a place where immigrants can best integrate as well as a world pioneer in urban climate policy.

Another part of the goals involve urban landscaping and other infrastructure improvements. The city plans to invest in the rejuvenation of city parks and landscaping, as well as to increase the green areas of Finland’s original capital city.

If the goals are indeed met by the year 2029, the occasion will coincide with Turku’s 800th anniversary.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Inuit activist blasts Canada’s foot-dragging on dirty fuels ban in the Arctic, Radio Canada International

Finland: Finland hits 2018 sustainability limit, says conservation group, YLE News

Norway: Norway’s government goes green, keeps Lofoten Islands free of oil drilling, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russia’s Arctic nuclear dump could become promising fishing area, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Preserving biodiversity in Sweden’s shrinking natural forests, Radio Sweden

United States: Trump administration to drop new “critical habitat” for endangered species designation, Alaska Public Media

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