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Thursday's papers: Lifestyle adjustments to curb climate change, brisk MEP voting, and summer arrives

Helsingin Sanomat delves into Sitra's new report on what Finnish residents need to do to address climate change.

Forgoing meat for a vegan diet offers a way to combat climate change, according to a new report by Sitra released on Thursday. Image: AOP

Finns need to eat far less meat and choose other forms of transportation over cars in order to impact climate change, according to leading Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat (HS). A report (siirryt toiseen palveluun)released on Thursday by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, urges Finns to make radical changes to their lifestyles.

Citing Sitra’s report, HS writes that a person living in Finland negatively impacts the climate five times as much as an individual in India.

According to Sitra, the gap between Finnish lifestyles and international climate goals is vast. In the next ten years, saying that if the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement are to be achieved, emissions in Finland caused by consumption should be cut by nearly 75 percent.

Most of the carbon footprint caused by the average person in Finland comes from transportation, housing, as well as food production and consumption.

But finding solutions to address climate change cannot be the sole responsibility of individuals, as the required changes to address the issue are so great, says Anu Mänty, senior adviser with Sitra.

”Major structural changes are needed. We need to develop new ways of thinking about our economy, infrastructure and consumption-based lifestyles. This requires radical rethinking in politics and administration, as well as in business models and in people’s lives,” she tells HS.

Better election voter turnout?

Leading Tampere daily Aamulehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun)suggests that more people in Finland will vote in this year's European Parliamentary elections than five years ago, when less than 40 percent turned out to cast their votes.

In Pirkanmaa, or the Greater Tampere region surrounding Finland’s second largest city, ”more people are voting than five years ago,” according to Tampere University political researcher Sami Borg, who was interviewed by Aamulehti.

Borg forecasts that climate change and immigration will activate people to vote in the MEP elections, especially Greens and Finns Party supporters.

In Lielahti, Tampere there was a queue of eager voters on Wednesday morning. At the end of that day, 3.6 percent of all eligible Finns had cast their vote; in the Pirkanmaa region that figure stood at 3.9 percent.

”On the first day of voting more people voted than [on the first day] five years ago,” Borg told the paper. ”It’s still too early to say whether overall voter turnout will be higher than five years ago.”

Summer arrives

Finland’s warmest temperatures of the year were recorded in Turku on Wednesday, writes tabloid Iltalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun), citing the Finnish Meteorological Institute, which recorded temperatures of 17.5 degrees Celsius in Finland’s third largest city. Espoo was close behind, with 17 degrees Celsius recorded on Wednesday.

Institute meteorologist Tomi Kaurinen told Iltalehti that ”temperatures will continue to heat up and could climb above 20 degrees Celsius in the next couple of days.”

According to Iltalehti, Thursday will be sunny and clear throughout the country, with highs of 17 degrees Celsius expected in the capital region and slightly cooler temperatures for coastal areas.

”Even northern regions will hit 15 degrees Celsius, and Lapland will see temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius,” Kaurinen told Iltalehti.