There’s no doubting that climate change is a crisis we can no longer ignore – and Finland is one of the countries paving the way for a greener world.
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The Nordic countries lead the world’s progress in terms of environmental sustainability. Norway uses the most renewable energy in the world, and it is followed by Sweden, Denmark and Finland in the rankings.
How has Finland been able to improve its environmental impact in such a short time and with such effectiveness? Through government leadership, technological innovations, and a culture rooted in outdoor activities: the Finnish know that if they’re unable to clean up their act, their pristine wilds will become a toxic burden to them and the rest of the world.
Finland makes use of energy for lighting, heating, industrial activities, and other public and domestic services. Implementing a vast network of wind farms, harnessing their many water areas for hydropower, and solar energy, they have been able to reduce the impact and draw on the national electric grid that was primarily fuelled by coal plants. Those coal plants are now mostly replaced by hydropower installations, wind energy, and solar energy plantations.
In fact, Finland’s energy usage is 35-percent renewable sources today. This will be 50% by the year 2050. Finland is ahead of its environmental schedule, but it won’t take a moment’s break in its aim for sustainability. Their government has established strong protection laws and made deep changes to its industries.
For example, their forestry industry – which is one of the largest in the world – has undergone massive changes. All-natural forests are protected and conserved through sustainability projects and policies such as crop rotation and small-scale felling. In this way, the recycling industry through its peat heating can capture that to re-use for heating of Finnish homes – instead of that all going to waste.
Bioenergy is a booming industry now in Finland and around Europe. Bioenergy is generated from the biodegradable waste matter that agriculture, forestry, industrial complexes and municipal waste streams produced. This is then burnt to provide heat and other forms of energy for use.
What makes Finland one of the leading nations in adaptation and innovation in the green sector is its geography. A quarter of this country is located in the Arctic Circle. The rest of the country is also cold, snowy, rain-soaked, and dark for much of the year. Heating is one of their largest expenditures on energy – and by transforming that energy use from fossil fuels to renewable sources, the country will make large strides forward in environmental sustainability.
Greening the future with Finland: watch this this nation of 5.5 million people adapt their country to a greener tomorrow.