President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö participated in the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland on 3 December 2018.
President Niinistö delivered Finland’s National Statement at the Leaders’ Summit of the Katowice Climate Change Conference. The President emphasised that more ambitious action is required as global warming appears to be progressing far beyond what our planet can withstand: “There is still hope, but there is no time to waste. We have to act immediately. And ”we” means each and every one of us. All of us have to do more, and more quickly.” The goals set out in the Paris Agreement include keeping the global temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius, but the nationally determined contributions made so far will lead to a rise of more than three degrees.
The President said that Finland is working towards carbon neutrality by 2045 and that to achieve this objective, Finland must do more: “I have been glad to see that there is a growing willingness in the Finnish society to do so. Finland wants to show that it is possible to be a carbon-neutral, resource-efficient society without sacrificing our well-being or economic growth.”
Finland wants to show that it is possible to be a carbon-neutral, resource-efficient society without sacrificing our well-being or economic growth.
The Arctic must be saved
In his statement, President Niinistö drew particular attention to the Arctic Region, which is warming at twice the pace than the planet on average. During its Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Finland has worked actively to reduce black carbon emissions. “The Arctic cannot be saved without CO2 mitigation, but reducing black carbon would bring additional and more immediate results in slowing down the temperature rise. And saving the Arctic is needed to save the globe,” Niinistö stated. Finland’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council will continue until April 2019. Finland’s objective for the chairmanship term is to organise the first ever high-level summit for the Arctic Region.
The work must start here and now
The goal of the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice is to agree on the common rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Lasting nearly two weeks, the Katowice Climate Change Conference included a one-day meeting for Heads of State and Government, in which Niinistö participated, as a way to express commitment to the Paris Agreement and to boost the upcoming negotiations. It is also a significant step in anticipation of the UN Climate Summit hosted by UN’s Secretary-General Guterres in September 2019. “We all know that the ambition level must be raised. We have to step up our efforts, together, starting right here and now. We owe it to the future generations,” President Niinistö concluded. President Niinistö also participated in the 2015 Paris Climate Summit.