Saturday, 20 April, 2019

Majority Finns want gov't action to curb climate change

18 Mar 2019, 21:06 ( 1 Month ago) | updated: 18 Mar 2019, 21:11 ( 1 Month ago)

DF Report
Photo Lapland Material Bank by Terhi Tuovinen.

Majority of Finns believe that mitigation of climate change and development of a low-emission society should be one of the top priority of the next government.

Furthermore, a growing numbers of Finns have also changed their own behaviour to mitigate climate change, said the government in a press release. 

In a survey conducted by Finns were asked about climate issues in a 2019 national barometer Kantar TNS in February 2019.A similar survey was conducted in 2015, and in terms of opinions, major changes have been reflected in three issues, added national broadcaster Yle.

At the same time, Finns believe that the biggest obstacle to undertaking climate action is the fear of political decision-makers to make decisions which endanger their re-election.

According to Marja Järvelä, a professor at the University of Jyväskylä, more than ever now is the time politicians should do more on this issue. More is expected on the next government to see stronger measures and greater ambition in climate policy, she added.

In the 2019 survey, 70% percent of the respondents said the government should make top priority the mitigation of climate change and development of a low carbon emission society. The corresponding figure in the 2015 survey was 52%.

On another issue where opinion has changed greatly is that 61% of the respondents in 2019 survey are in favour of rich countries such as Finland in supporting developing countries and poorest people who suffer most from climate change in adapting to climate change. In the 2015, 46% of the respondents were of the same view.

According to the 2019 survey, 63% of the respondents were of the opinion that the country should direct more of its development aid to curb climate change and its adaptation compared to 49% in the 2015 survey.

Growing numbers of Finns have changed their own behaviour to mitigate climate changeThe concern about the impacts of climate change is already reflected in everyday choices. In 2015 only 29 % of the respondents told that they had changed their own behaviour because of climate change, but now the percentage was 41 %.

More than half of the Finns have reduced electricity consumption and almost half of the population are buying less because of climate reasons. About a third had calculated their own carbon footprint and a fourth intend to compensate for the emissions they are causing in the next few years. Well over half of the respondents wish to have more information on climate change and advice to make climate-smart choices.

For three out of four Finns it is important that the municipalities provide opportunities for climate-friendly everyday living for their residents. Of the car users 43% told that they were now driving less than before and had increased the use of sustainable mobility. About the same share of the respondents intend to drive less in the next five years and to increase the use sustainable forms of mobility: walking, cycling or public transportation. Less than a fifth intend to give up using their own cars altogether within the next five years. For about a third of the car users the next car they intend to purchase will be powered by electricity or gas. A clear majority of the Finns, 73%, are using a privately-owned car.

About 40% of the Finns have reduced flying because of climate reasons. About the same share of the respondents intend to fly less within the next five years. A little less than half (45%) have travelled by air over the past year.