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Friday's papers: Finland's affinity for nuclear power, citizens' climate concerns and lawnmowers cut the ice

Finland produces double the greenhouse gas emissions of Sweden, the electorate worries about climate change and lawnmowers cut the ice.

Ruohonleikkurien Le Mans
Lawnmowers ready to cut the ice. Image: Marko Hietikko / Yle

Finland emitted twice as much greenhouse gas per capita as Sweden in 2016, reports national daily Helsingin Sanomat. Sweden’s reliance on hydropower and nuclear energy have also contributed to keeping the country's emissions down.

Nuclear power accounts for 40 percent of all energy produced in Sweden, compared to 27 percent in Finland. Sweden has, however, said it plans to phase out nuclear energy. In contrast Finland wants to up its nuclear energy capacity.

Nordic leaders are meanwhile gathering in Helsinki on Friday for a Nordic climate meeting. The conference aims to flesh out concrete steps towards a carbon neutral Nordic region. The Finnish government said the most recent IPCC report, which called on states to reduce emissions at a faster pace, was a catalyst for the meeting.

Climate top election issue

Climate change and the environment also topped the list of election concerns important to the public, writes Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet of a recent reader survey.

HBL's audience was mainly interested in how Finland's political parties plan to tackle climate change and environmental threats already posed by a warming planet.

Other top election issues included taxes, education, followed by matters pertaining to migration, integration and racism.

Cuts to education at all levels in Finland - from daycare to university funding - also concerned readers, many of whom were especially interested in finding out whether universities would be compensated for previous budget slashes.

Lawnmowers cut the ice

An all-women’s team is joining the Lavia 12h international lawnmower race, writes regional daily Turun Sanomat.

Billed as the ’Le Mans for lawnmowers’ by organisers, contestants circle a two-kilometre track on a frozen lake for 12 hours.

Team members Emma Ruotsalainen and Henna Haavisto said they believe lawnmower racing has room to grow in Finland, as it’s a relatively cheap motor sport lacking the license fees usually associated with competitive racing.

The women said they are not too worried about their safety when speeding over ice, citing a sore stomach from excessive laughing as the main drawback.

The competition takes place on 9 February in Lavia, some 70 kilometres west of Tampere.

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