John Kerry and Johan Rockström conveyed a strong international message in a Climate Crisis Masterclass held at Puistokatu 4. The event was organized for Finnish decision-makers by The Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation and Climate Leadership Coalition.
The one-off master class brought politicians, business leaders and environmental scientists to a common table in Puistokatu 4. One of the gathering’s key goals was to find climate solutions that cross party lines and can support Finland’s success far into the future.
The event was opened by the President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Niinistö. He reminded the participaters of the responsibility to create the conditions for a good life for future generations. According to Niinistö, the key to combating the climate crisis is crossing the border lines between different areas of society.
“In Finland we have strong traditions that we hope will continue: when the going gets tough, we know how to stick together”, Niinistö said.
The voice of the scientific community at the event was represented in particular by prof. Johan Rockström, who is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Rockström is best known for pioneering the planetary boundaries framework.
“We have now crossed six of the nine planetary boundaries. The critical tipping points for natural systems such as the ice sheet and rainforests are much closer than we have realized so far”, warned Rockström.
The message resonated with the event’s participants, who saw the industry’s shift towards low-carbon solutions as promising.
“For Finnish business life, this means a huge opportunity. The global market created by the green transition will grow faster than the traditional market”, said Pekka Ala-Pietilä, chairman of the board of Huhtamaki and Sanoma Corporation, who led the group discussion at the event.
The statements were confirmed at the international level by the U.S. Special Presidental Envoy for Climate John Kerry, who participated in the event from Washington.
“It is up to the decision-makers to change the fate of the planet. All analyzes show that investing in the fight against the climate crisis is also the most economically sensible option”, Kerry summarized.
In the group discussions, the participants were able to discuss constructively and in a confidential atmosphere. The main theme of the discussions was to match the message of climate science with nationally acceptable climate and economic policy solutions that can support Finland’s pioneering in the matter.
Antti Herlin, Chairman of the Board of The Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation, who convened the event, confirmed the message of the prestigious guests.
“Right now, the green transition is perhaps the most promising future vision in the economy. It can bring a large amount of work, tax revenues and well-being to Finland. Those who are prepared for change are the winners of the future”, Herlin summed up.
PHOTOS: JOEL HAAPAMÄKI