News in Brief - May 2009
Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions in real time on the web
A new web-based service enables anyone to follow Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions on the internet almost in real time. The new scheme involves all of the country’s mainland provinces, as well as five municipalities who are striving to become carbon neutral through a special project.
The new service publicises the latest data on emissions generated in relation to electricity use, heating and road traffic. This serves to spotlight the importance of everyday choices in the context of mitigating climate change, since these three areas account for the lion’s share of consumers’ greenhouse gas emissions.
The idea of monitoring emissions in real time is a novel initiative even on the global scale – since such methods have so far only been devised in a few regions. The model used in emission calculations has been developed by Finnish environmental and energy consulting specialists Benviroc Oy, with the help of public funding channelled through Tekes’s ClimBus Programme. Benviroc is running the service in collaboration with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and the Finnish News Agency (STT).
"Our aim is to provide easily understandable information about emission levels, so as to encourage people to reduce their emissions and their energy consumption in their everyday lives," says Benviroc Oy’s managing director Juha Kukko.
Nationwide coverage envisaged at municipality level
Benviroc has also developed means to monitor emissions on a local scale in more detail for SYKE’s Carbon Neutral Municipalities project, which involves five environmentally ambitious Finnish municipalities: Kuhmoinen, Mynämäki, Padasjoki, Parikkala and Uusikaupunki.
"Action on a local scale can play a key role in mitigating climate change,” explains Professor Jyri Seppälä of SYKE. “By increasing awareness of emissions among citizens and politicians, we can support projects that strive to reduce emissions locally, and at the same time promote climate-friendly trends in the commercial sector."
It is hoped that all of Finland’s municipalities will be covered by such emission monitoring within a few years.
The emission monitoring data will also be published in English from the end of 2009.
For more information
Professor Jyri Seppälä, Finnish Environment Institue (SYKE):
tel. +358 40 740 1708
Juha Kukko, managing director, Benviroc Oy:
tel. +358 400 992 224