Tuula Haatainen, Deputy Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, gave the opening speech of the Helsinki climate change conference on Monday 7 October.
In her speech, Haatainen emphasised that concrete measures for combatting climate change are urgently needed: 'Luckily, we have the Paris Agreement and a belief that we have not yet lost but can still get the situation under control by taking concrete and immediate action. The required agreements and frameworks are already in place and now it is time for action.'
Haatainen also reminded the audience that climate change is a global threat that Europe cannot tackle alone: 'We need to work in close cooperation with all the countries in the world and we must lead by example. It is clear that striving for carbon neutrality is in the best interest of the European economy as this is the only way we can guarantee economic growth and well-being also in the future.'
During this autumn, the EU aims to complete its long-term climate strategy, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050: 'We must first agree on the common target before we can set any milestones. It is clear that the EU's emission reduction targets for 2030 must also be significantly tightened. We need to implement structural changes towards a more sustainable circular economy, we need new service concepts to promote sustainable mobility, and we need nutrition- and climate-smart food production,' Haatainen stated.
The Helsinki climate change conference will have an open political debate on the EU's climate goals and on increasing EU's emission reduction targets from 40 to 55 per cent by 2030.
information about the meeting is available from the event page.