The cities of the capital region have less than eight years to achieve carbon neutrality, i.e. emissions so low that they can be compensated with regional carbon sinks. It is clear that to reach this goal, cities must be prepared to take ambitious actions to cut the current emissions.
For example, the city of Helsinki announced in June 2022 that it was considerably behind its schedule to cut its traffic related emissions at the target pace. According to a report made by the city, the traffic related emissions would decrease at the current rate by only 39 percent by 2030 instead of the goal of 69 percent form the 2005 level.
Similarly, without further reductions, Vantaa's total emissions are estimated to decrease by 62 percent by 2030 instead of the goal of 80% emission reduction from the 1990 level. In Espoo, on the other hand, it has been calculated that the goal of carbon neutrality will not be achieved even with the actions of an optimistic target scenario. Thus, now, if ever, is the time to work together to reach the agreed goals.
Urban Academy supports the climate work of the cities by bringing researchers from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University to discuss with the cities' decision-makers the most effective and wisest ways to cut emissions in the short and long term.
The city councils of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa will organize a climate-focused Science Sparring on August 29th, 2022 from 16:00 to 18:30. City council members and other trustees can sign up for sparring here (in Finnish).
The event will consist of four separate discussions, each around one theme such as land use, construction, urban nature and sustainable everyday choices. The approach of the event will cover both the most acute and long-term sustainable climate actions. The researchers will initiate the dialogue by talking about the possibilities of cutting emissions by wood construction, properly implemented carbon sinks and opportunities brought by sustainable land use policy measures in curbing climate change and adapting to the crisis.
The Urban Academy has previously organized sparring events for example for the climate programs of the cities of Vantaa and Espoo and also for the development of the strategies of the cities broadly on the themes of children's and youth's well-being, immigration, housing and sustainability.
The event of science sparring is carried out in cooperation with the CLIMATE program research projects of the Strategic Research Council.
Urban Academy is a cooperation platform for research-based urban development between Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, the cities of Espoo, Helsinki and Vantaa. It promotes the interaction between urban research and urban development and supports interdisciplinary cooperation.