Central Finland: Regions and municipalities for climate change mitigation

Find out how the Central Finland Regional Council is helping small municipalities to set more ambitious climate change mitigation goals and strengthen their cooperation with regional climate change mitigation work.

Central Finland: Regions and municipalities for climate change mitigation

Not only big cities but also rural municipalities can contribute significantly to climate change mitigation. However, small municipalities do not necessarily have the resources required for this work. They share similar challenges that may differ from big metropolis challenges. Remote locations and low population density create challenges in public transport, centralized heating etc. The solutions small municipalities have created, at their best, are transferable from one to another. In this project, Central Finland will bring together municipalities key stakeholders and will learn from the solutions they have created, finding new mitigation possibilities that can be implemented on the municipality level.

Municipalities make concrete actions for climate change mitigation, but they do not necessarily show the work in this field. Municipalities have done investments on led lightning, conducted energy renovations, and invested on green energy, among others. The actions they conduct for mitigation are important as such, but they can have a role as an example for citizens and thus should have a wider audience. Municipalities need encouragement for the dissemination work.

Climate change mitigation work at the municipality level requires commitment. Commitment must be done on the city strategy level to guarantee a horizontal approach throughout the organization. There are good examples existing in Finland, and networks for municipalities to get help to their work. In this project, these networks and financial instruments available for municipalities will be promoted.

The promotion and activation campaign will bring together all region’s municipalities towards more ambitious climate change mitigation on the municipality level. This one-year project (9/19-8/20, budget 80 000€), funded by the Ministry of Environment (FI) and regional council of Central Finland, will guarantee a continuum of our regional climate change mitigation work.

This project is designed with a high level of flexibility. Central Finland will create a mutual learning process, that will not only increase knowledge but will also encourage municipalities towards more ambitious climate change mitigation goals. Also, it will create practical solutions and a peer learning platform for our municipalities. This work includes seminars, webinars and excursions. The first phase of the project is the organization of workshops with municipalities key-stakeholders in all our 23 municipalities. Based on these workshops, three to five topics that are of common municipality interest will be identified. These topics will then be studied in more details with experts and outcome will serve the municipalities in their more ambitious climate change mitigation work. Simultaneously, the goal is to create joint discussion forums for municipalities key-stakeholders (building maintenance, land use planning, environment sector) to share their experience and best practices.

The outcome of the project should be more ambitious climate change mitigation goals in Central Finland municipalities, and more structured and strategic approach on mitigation on municipality level. Also, the outcome should be a stronger cooperation especially between small municipalities in Central Finland on climate change mitigation.