Thousands gather in Helsinki to demand swift action on climate change

Police estimate that four times more people participated in the event than were expected, with over 8,000 demonstrators filling the streets.

Thousands of people showed up to march for stricter climate policies in Finland on Saturday, after a report from the UN's IPCC said that drastic measures are necessary to avoid catastrophic environmental damage. Participants in "The Time to Act is Now!" demonstration called on political decision-makers in Finland to quickly introduce stringent measures to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The march left from Helsinki's Senate Square at 3 pm, moving along several streets in the city centre before arriving at the Parliament Building.

Demonstrator Irma Nuuttila holds a banner reading "Renewable Helsinki Now" on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral. Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Because the event attracted many more people than were initially expected, the police made the decision to halt traffic along some routes in the area for the duration of the march.

"It was larger than we had expected, but nothing out of the ordinary," said Helsinki's deputy police chief Heikki Kopperoinen. "Things went well; there were no problems as far as the police were concerned. The marchers stayed on the route they had reported ahead of time."

Researcher: Spring "election on the environment"

Helsinki University researcher Tero Toivonen said the large number of people who turned out for the event shows that the public is starting to understand that ambitious changes are necessary if we hope to mitigate global warming. He even ventures to say that the upcoming parliamentary elections in April 2019 will be an election on the environment.

"Everyone has joined in the demand that something needs to be done now. We are definitely seeing more talk like this from the politicians," he said.

The event's website demanded that the next parliament commit to making Finland fossil fuel-free by the year 2035 and ending the expansion of peat bogs and logging in Finnish forests, among other things.

Over a dozen groups helped to organize the march, including the EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention, FEE Suomi, Greenpeace, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki, the umbrella development group Kepa, The Finnish Nature League, Friends of the Earth, Plan Suomi, Protect Our Winters Finland, Save Pond Hockey, The Finnish Association for Mental Health, The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, UN Youth, WWF Finland, and the Finnish Sámi Youth Organization, among others.

yle.fi
Thousands gather in Helsinki demonstrators
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
3 views in february
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
The coach of a sports club in Hyvinkää, southern Finland has been remanded into police custody on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors he was coaching, the Itä-Uusimaa police department said on Thursday. Officials said that they are investigating the case as suspected child abuse but did not disclose the ages of the alleged victims. The suspect in the case, a 50-year-old man, was remanded into custody on Wednesday. The suspected sexual abuse is believed to...
Society
Finns increasingly forego do-it-yourself construction of prefab elements in favour of completely completed homes. Turnkey homes (where homes are fully finished and owners can immediately occupy them) have become more popular than traditional house packages, says the Finnish Association for Manufacturers of Prefabricated Houses. “About 7,500 detached homes are built in Finland every year, and about 70 percent of them are prefabricated houses of some kind,”...
Society
THE FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE in the Helsinki neighbourhood of Arabianranta was visibly subdued on Tuesday, as residents mourned the death of a local child who is believed to have been murdered. While little information has been released to the public, it is known that the victim was murdered near their home on the night of Christmas Eve (December 24). The police apprehended a suspect at the scene of the crime, who has been confirmed as a 36-year old male. Whethe...
Society
One of Finland’s most famous seafaring vessels, the titanic icebreaker Otso, was deployed on its first mission of the winter season last night, keeping sea routes open for the 22nd year in a row. Late in the evening of Christmas Day, Otso, the crowning glory of Arctia Oy’s extensive fleet, departed from Helsinki’s Katajanokka Harbour, heading north to the Bay of Bothnia. The 7000-ton Polar icebreaker has been tasked with keeping waterways open between Oulu...
Society
Eight Finnish political parties have published their a statement on future climate policy goals in Finland. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in November invited all nine parliamentary parties to join a task force established to find an agreement on new, more ambitious climate goals for Finland. The one-month project was led by Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre), the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing. The Finns Party abandoned the task force last w...
Society
A 25-year-old man suspected of the sexual abuse of a girl under the age of 15 in Oulu, northwestern Finland, who was arrested in Germany last Tuesday is now reported to be at large. According to law enforcement officials in Oulu, the suspect was released by German police before he could be transferred to Finnish custody due to "a breakdown in communication between authorities". Oulu District Court ordered the suspect to be reprimanded into custody in absen...
Society
Finland’s high earners saw their real income grow more in 2017 than their peers in middle and low income groups, according to new data released by Statistics Finland on Tuesday. Incomes among the country’s highest income decile rose by 4.4 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, while the year-on-year increase was 1.3 percent for middle income earners. Incomes for the four lowest income deciles meanwhile grew by 1.2 percent over the one-year period. However amon...
Society
A man wanted in connection with a suspected arson attempt on a home in Helsinki’s Käpylä district was remanded into police custody on Sunday. The Helsinki district court has remanded a man suspected of attempted arson and attempted murder into police custody, ending a short-lived manhunt, police said on Sunday. The 25 year-old is suspected of using a Molotov cocktail to cause a fire at a flat in Käpylä, Helsinki last Monday. The apartment was completely de...
Society
Helsinki Central Library Oodi will opened its doors to the public on 5 December at 8am, a day before Finland’s 101st birthday. Designed by ALA Architects, this library of a new era is an ode to Finnish culture, equality and freedom of expression. Oodi offers everyone an open, public urban space at Kansalaistori Square, right opposite Parliament House. Central Library Oodi is an active and functional meeting point with 2.5 million expected annual visitors....