Talk “Venäjä – energiasuurvalta” in St. Petersburg

Today Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen gave a talk at the morning coffee business meeting, organised by the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce. The FRCC’s ‘Lokalisaatioklubi’ is visiting Saint-Petersburg these days for participation in the business seminar ”Liiketoimintaympäristö Luoteis-Venäjällä” (Business Environment in Northwest Russia).

Professor Tynkkynen gave a speech today on the topic “Venäjä – energiasuurvalta” (Russia – energy great power) at the Consulate General of Finland in St. Petersburg.

More information on the meeting.

Professor Tynkkynen giving expert opinion at the Foreign Affairs Committee today

Today professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen is giving an expert opinion at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Finland. Professor Tynkkynen was invited to speak about the Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13  July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC. The Government sent its proposal of the amendments to the Directive to the Parliament, and the Foreign Affairs Committee will be discussing it today.

The result of the discussion can be read in Finnish here.

UArctic Congress in Helsinki and Oulu

On 03-07.09.2018 the UArctic Congress took place in Helsinki and Oulu.

The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is one of the largest university networks in the world with over 200 member institutions. It facilitates collaboration, resource sharing and capacity building among higher education institutions and most university institutions interested in the Arctic. UArctic members are committed to the production and sharing of new knowledge. The circumpolar network is the only one of its kind, fostering sustainable development and knowledge exchange in the Arctic region for the benefit of the North, as well as the whole world.

The UArctic Congress 2018 in Finland has gathered over 600 participants from more than 30 countries. The alignment of this Congress into the program of the Finnish chairmanship of the Arctic Council demonstrates our commitment to work with the countries and peoples of the Arctic towards common goals. This partnership is reflected in the themes of the Congress and its science section, which are modeled on the priorities of the Finnish chairmanship – environmental protection, connectivity, meteorological cooperation, and education, as well as the goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, supporting gender equality, and the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Our team was present at the several events:
– 05.09, University of Oulu, session “Sustainable development of the Arctic – boreal regions“. Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen was one of the conveners of the session and Dmitry Yagodin presented a poster “Anthrax, vaccinations and climate change in the media reports of the 2016 Yamal emergency”.
– 07.09, University of Helsinki, session “Arctic resource geopolitics, oil and gas – actors, policies, platforms“. Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen was of the conveners of the session again. Hanna Lempinen gave a presentation “The Arctic energyscape from within: (R)evolution of the Arctic energy concern in the 2007-2017 Arctic Energy Summit Reports”. Hilma Salonen presented a work titled “Fossil fuel deliveries in the Russian Arctic – embedded choices and new players of the field”. Jussi Huotari gave a talk on “Changing climate? The future of the Barents Sea’s petroleum development in the age of energy transition”.
-07.09, University of Helsinki, session “Connect or separate? Social studies of the Northern Sea Route“. Alla Bolotova gave a presentation “Ice as infrastructure: Social life of the glacial environment on the Northern Sea Route”.

More information on the Congress is available online here.

Public conference “The Arctic and Education”

Yesterday a public conference “The Arctic and Education” was organized in the framework of the EU Climate Diplomacy Week and in the context of the Finnish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, the Embassy of Germany, the British Embassy in Helsinki, the Embassy of France and the Institut Français in cooperation with the UArctic congress. The conference consisted of opening session, two panel discussion and a screening of the short movie “Changing environment – Stories above the
Arctic Circle” by the Sami Educational Center.

Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen was moderating the panel “Challenges and perspectives of education in Arctic in the climate change context”, where Professor Jan Borm, Vice-President International Affairs, University of Versailles Saint-Quentin, France, Professor Florian Stammler, Research Professor Anthropology, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland and Dr. Gareth Rees, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, UK were presenters. The speakers shared their opinions on the education programmes in Arctic and about it, that are running in their universities, and answered the moderator’s and the audience’s questions.

The Artic and Education conference 2018 programme.

Tulevaisuus on tuhottu

Ylioppilaslehti published a long-read, written by the newspaper’s sub-editor Pekka Torvinen, with a grim title “Tulevaisuus on tuhottu” (Future is destroyed).

People were so much besotted by the gift of energy they found under the ground, that we thought we could do anything. In that illusion we did not notice that we, at the same time, created our own destruction.

For this thought-provoking article about the fight with climate change, Torvinen interviewed Docent Dr. Tere Vadén and Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen. Professor Tynkkynen spoke about the energy flows coming from Russia to Finland, oil spill that occurs in Russia during oil transportation through the pipelines, burning of the gas that is a byproduct of oil extraction, methane and carbon dioxide emissions, and other disadvantages of energy sector – that Finland and other countries benefiting from hydrocarbons extraction prefer to forget about. Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen does not believe that energy superpowers will reduce the use of fossil fuels and start investing in the renewables unless some climate disaster happens that would push them, but unfortunately it might be too late to react after it. Even though Professor Tynkkynen describes himself as a realist pessimist, he believes that there is always hope.

Read the full article online in Finnish here.

MARS – start of the new Master’s Programme at the Aleksanteri Institute

This is the first week of the new Master’s Programme in Russian Studies, organised by the Aleksanteri Institute.

 The Master’s Programme in Russian Studies at the University of Helsinki promotes an understanding of Russia as a vital member of global and local communities and an important and powerful player today. There will be a continuing need in the future for expertise in Russian culture, politics, and society in a variety of fields in national and international arenas.

2018 is the first year this multidisciplinary Master’s Programme is being run and the start already looks very promising. From our team, Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen and Academy of Finland Research Fellow Meri Kulmala will be teaching at the programme. For example, Professor Tynkkynen will give a lecture on “Russian Environmental Policy” at the course “Introduction to the Multidisciplinary Research of Russia” and will also teach at the course “Processes and Flows: Global Processes and Flows in Russia”.

More information on the MARS programme is available online here.