We have the following four demands.
The government must declare climate and ecological emergency in Finland and start regular emergency announcements.
Key institutions such as the government, public authorities, major corporations and the media must tell the truth about current situation. The living conditions of tens of millions of people are already being destroyed, and the tipping points of several natural systems are likely to be exceeded in few years time. We all need to be made aware of the extreme, cascading and unfairly distributed risks that humanity now faces. The historical causes of the catastrophic situation and the need for rapid political, social and economic change must also be communicated.
2. Act Now
Net zero greenhouse gas emissions should be achieved by 20251, but the Finnish government is failing to do so and is therefore exceeding its 1.5 degree emissions budget.
The government must immediately launch vast ecological reconstruction to bring Finnish society within planetary boundaries. This means accelerating emission reductions, increasing carbon sinks, halting the loss of nature and ending overconsumption. Finland must achieve carbon negativity using means that increase equality and enable a meaningful life for all. Until the Citizens’ Assembly is established we call on the government to start implementing the following measures.
At present, party politics has failed to respond to the ecocrisis. Therefore, the response to the ecocrisis must be to empower ordinary people and reduce the influence of lobbyists and big business. The Assembly will be informed by experts and stakeholders, will deliberate on research and then makes proposals to Parliament on socially just measures to speed up emission reductions, halt the loss of nature and stop overconsumption. Parliament must act on the Assembly’s legislative initiatives within one year.
4. Just Transition
In its foreign and domestic policies, the government must prioritise the most vulnerable and those communities most impacted by the ecocrisis.
Finland must pay its share of climate debt to the Global South. This debt consists of the huge historical climate emissions of the Global North and their devastating consequences. In the name of climate debt, Finland must push for the cancellation of the Global South’s sovereign debt3 in the IMF and the World Bank and increase debt-free climate financing4 for these societies. In Finland, the livelihoods of the poor, low-income earners, care workers and agrarian population must be improved in the name of fairness and crisis resilience. The self-determination and land rights of the Saami and other indigenous peoples must be recognised and respected.
In order to remain within the 1.5 degree emission quota of the Paris Agreement, Finland must be carbon neutral in 2025. The calculation takes into account the carbon emissions produced by Finns both directly (domestically) and indirectly (through consumption of goods produced abroad). At current emission rates, we will exceed our carbon budget in two years. Taking into account the principle of historic climate justice, carbon neutrality should already have been achieved. The longer it takes to achieve carbon neutrality, the more carbon negative Finland has to be later. ↩
The Citizens’ Assembly is a deliberative democratic body, it’s idea being to bring Finland together in a miniature form and create a space for genuine debate that would enable cross-party and long-term decision-making. Random selection from the entire population means that the composition of the Assembly must be representative in terms of gender, education, income and area of residence. ↩
Debt cancellation is linked to climate and environmental action. The idea behind the global Dept for Climate is to enable leaving fossil fuels to the ground - through debt cancellation of these areas. Cancellation would free many nations from their current debt burden, which now benefits only international corporations and creates a mechanism for the exploitation and trading of natural resources on the world market. ↩
Climate finance is directed at climate mitigation and adaptation. It also includes compensation for loss and damage caused by global warming. Access to this finance should be available to the low-emission Global South, but not to China and the richest oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, which are not on an equal footing in terms of climate justice. ↩