“A record-breaking summer in terms of the peat harvest is sad news for Finnish nature and climate. It is insane that an exceptional heatwave allows us to extract a record amount of peat, the burning of which will only intensify climate change,” she states in a press release .
“Finland must combat climate change and abandon the use of peat immediately.”
Kari reminds that peat is comparable to coal in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. The Finnish government, she adds, has agreed to discontinue the use of coal for energy by 2029 but curiously encouraged – rather than reduced – the energy use of peat by lowering taxes on peat.
“It is insane for the climate if you replace one fossil fuel with another,” she states. “That is why I asked Minister of the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre) in June to reveal what the government intends to do to stop the use of peat for energy. His only response was to defend the use of peat. There are no plans to do anything.”
She also points out that populations of birds endemic towetlands have declined by a third over a short period of time in the Nordics. According to her, the decline has been caused by the destruction of natural wetlands and the situation is particularly alarming in Finland.
“The two greatest challenges for humankind are managing climate change and stopping the sixth wave of extinction. If we continue to use peat to the current extent, we are part of the problem, not part of the solution,” says Kari.