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Yle poll: Green movers and shakers ready to collapse government over climate change

The Green Party wants action to end peat-burning in Finland.

Vihreiden kansanedustaja Saara Hyrkkö, sisäministeri Maria Ohisalo ja kansanedustaja Emma Kari vihreiden puoluekokouksessa Porissa 15. kesäkuuta 2019.
Green MPs Saara Hyrkko (left) and Emma Kari (right) along with party leader and Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo. Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva
Yle News

An Yle survey of decision-makers in the Green Party has found that the majority of them are ready to vote for their party to leave the government if it does not take decisions on radical climate action in the autumn budget.

Some 56 percent of respondents said they would be happy to see the party outside government if concrete action wasn’t forthcoming, while 16 percent said they wanted to stay in government regardless and 28 percent answered ‘don’t know’.

The survey was sent to 74 individuals who are either MPs, members of the party board or members of the party council who decide the party’s line on remaining in, or leaving the government. 43 replied, giving a response rate of nearly 60 percent.

Some 88 percent of those who replied said the government had to make decisions this autumn on banning the burning of peat.

The mud-like fuel produces 4-6 percent of the energy Finland needs, but is responsible for some 12-15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. A meeting in February failed to resolve the issue, leaving government parties some way apart on when they will stop using peat.

Finland currently pays big subsidies to support peat-burning, and the Centre Party is keen to hang on to them. But the government remains committed on paper to its ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035.

The government currently has five parties: the Social Democrats, the Centre Party, the Green Party, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People’s Party.

Those parties have 117 of the 200 seats in parliament, with the Greens currently holding 20 of them.

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