Knowledge promotes sustainability of choices

Amanda opiskelee Helsingin yliopistossa ympäristönmuutosta ja globaalia kestävyyttä

Amanda Pasanen, a student of environmental change and global sustainability, believes that combating climate change requires a more thorough social change. People should adopt a more low-emission lifestyle.

In recent years, combating climate change and the principles of sustainable development have started garnering wider interest within society and ecological thinking is no longer an idea occupying only a small group of individuals.

“Climate change is currently being debated on state and EU levels,” says Amanda. “The corporate world also wants to impact the social development and move away from fossil fuels. Another positive sign is that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of these issues and want to make sustainable choices.”

Change requires many different perspectives

Amanda came to study environmental change and global sustainability through her desire to promote green values. The University of Helsinki interested her because of its high-quality teaching as well as the opportunities it provides for personal development and internationalisation.

“I applied for bachelor's studies in environmental sciences because I did not feel that I was a full-blown natural scientist but not quite a political scientist either. Environmental sciences combines these two disciplines.  I was interested in environmental problems and how societies could solve them in practice.”

Having been raised in a bilingual family, Amanda has completed some of her studies in Swedish. Environmental sciences, for example, offers a wholly bilingual bachelor's programme, where students can freely choose courses in Swedish at the Swedish School of Social Science.

“Finnish speakers have also embraced the chance to take courses taught in Swedish, which I think is great.”

The programme jointly organised by several different faculties has taught Amanda multidisciplinary thinking, which helps to study various phenomena from diverse perspectives. Solving global challenges, such as climate change, requires varied knowledge and competences.

A common goal 

Amanda feels, that in addition to small deeds, combating climate change requires a more far-reaching change and cooperation across national borders.

“The Paris climate agreement laying down climate policies was historical in the sense that never before has the human kind organised itself behind any climate objective this comprehensively.”

“Societies must provide companies with a framework within which they can operate but which will make it more difficult for them to pollute. In my opinion, this kind of framework will have to include, for example, strict emission controls and carbon taxes”, says Amanda.

Amanda's sees cities as having a great deal of power. Many of the cities in the world have ambitious emission objectives that are sometimes even stricter than those set by the states.

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The University of Helsinki is one of the best multidisciplinary universities in the world. Our teaching is based on research conducted in an international environment. Together we seek solutions to global problems.

The University of Helsinki offers a master's programme in environmental change and global sustainability.

Read more about our interesting and varied programmes in the degree finder.