Towards Carbon-Neutral Mobility in Finland: Mobility and Life Satisfaction in Day-to-Day Life

Sakari Höysniemi got his article “Towards Carbon-Neutral Mobility in Finland: Mobility and Life Satisfaction in Day-to-Day Life” published in the Sustainability journal. The article is co-authored with Arto O. Salonen and will be part of Sakari’s PhD dissertation.

Finland, a prosperous Nordic country with a population of 5.5 million and significant distances between towns, though quite short distances traveled by car, is aiming to be a carbon-neutral society by 2035. Due to the level of urgency, a technological pathway with decarbonization of fuels and innovation only, is unlikely to be sufficient. Instead, a more systemic change based on a transformative pathway with demand-side management, i.e., measures based on behavioral change, is vital. In this research we were interested in learning how life satisfaction relates to the behavioral intentions of Finnish citizens, regarding a sustainable modal shift. We focused on walking, cycling, public transport and reduction in car use, e.g., a transition from fossil fuels to active mobility, from ownership to usership. Data were collected via a questionnaire in April 2017. The respondents (n = 2052) provided 2335 comments as to why they considered a specific sustainable modality as being important to them. We applied both qualitative and quantitative methods in order to establish how the mobility behavior of citizens manifests nationwide and the types of arguments that citizens put forward concerning their mobility intentions. The results indicate that there is a strong relationship between the respondents’ reduced use of private cars and their life satisfaction. There is a concern about sustainability and a willingness to change current mobility practices, as well as signs of altruism, while hedonic concerns such as health and personal finances dominate the responses. Furthermore, concerns about social injustice, such as a lack of public transport, are emerging themes, i.e., when enacting mobility transitions it is vital to focus on how to enable a meaningful life for all demographic groups using suitable mobility services.

This is an open access article and it can be read online.

2nd International Conference “Our Climate – Our Future: Regional Perspectives on a Global Challenge”

From 23 to 25.09.2019 2nd International Conference “Our Climate – Our Future: Regional Perspectives on a Global Challenge was organised in Berlin, Germany.
Professor Tynkkynen participated in Open Panel Discussion ‘On the importance of Science Diplomacy in the Arctic realm’ on 24th of September, Tuesday.

By hosting this public event, our goal is to open the conference to a broader audience, and to highlight how science can serve as a bridge-builder for political processes when other channels fail. The Arctic was selected as the panel’s focus region. We will discuss how academic exchanges can foster constructive dialogues between countries and cultures, because they are based on the values and methodological standards of science – and science and research know no borders.
Science diplomacy draws on the reputation, networking and neutrality of science in order to improve international relations, and can be a powerful tool for developing joint strategies to face global challenges. Given the ongoing changes in the Arctic, all countries – Arctic and non-Arctic alike – now urgently need to make major decisions, because the changes affect us all. The following guest speakers from Norway, Finland, Iceland and Germany will speak at the conference.

More information on the event can be found online here.

Dmitry Yagodin gave first lecture of the Studia Generalia

Yesterday Dmitry Yagodin gave first lecture of the Studia Generalia series at the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi.

More information can be found at the University of Lapland website

Nyky-Venäjä asiantuntijoiden silmin

Yesterday Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen gave the first lecture at the lecture series “Nyky-Venäjä asiantuntijoiden silmin” (Modern Russia through experts’ eyes), organised at the University of Tampere. Professor Tynkkynen’s lecture was titled “Venäjän maantiede ja polku hiilivetykulttuurista ekologiseen” (Russian geography and path from hydrocarbon culture to ecology).

Venäjän öljy- ja kaasuvaroja hyödynnetään myös osana sisä- ja ulkopoliittista vallankäyttöä, jossa yhdistyy puhe identiteeteistä energiavirtojen kautta vaikuttamiseen. Tämän vallan kääntöpuolena on, että merkittävien talous- ja ympäristöongelmien takia valittu politiikka ei saa kansan silmissä siunausta. Tästä syystä Putinin hallinto on rakentamassa kansallista identiteettiä fossiilienergian varaan – se on luomassa hiilivetykulttuurin. Se on antiteesi ekologiselle kulttuurille, jonka edistämiseksi Venäjällä on kuitenkin kaikki kortit kädessään.

Read more information on the lecture series at the course description page.


Dmitry Yagodin on Russian media and climate change in the Arctic

Dmitry Yagodin, postdoctoral researcher in our team, wrote a  piece for ZOis Spotlight titled “Russian media and climate change in the Arctic”. Dmitry has been studying for some time now Russian journalism on climate-related issues in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YNAO) and in this paper briefly describes some of the results.

The Russian Arctic is facing unprecedented industrial development and an urgent environmental transformation. While the government seeks further exploration of the world’s richest reserves of natural resources, climate change is affecting the Arctic several times faster than the Earth on average. But, as some Russian media would have it, climate change simply makes the country’s cold climate warmer. For people living in the Arctic, such views are too simplistic.

Read the full version online here.

Article in Helsingin Sanomat on natural gas leekage role in climate change

“Maakaasussa on vuoto-ongelma, joka uhkaa tehdä ilmaston­muutoksen torjunnasta entistä vaikeampaa – ”Jos venäläisiltä kysyy, kaikki on kunnossa”” (There is a leakage problem with natural gas that threatens to make the fight against climate change more difficult – “If you ask Russians, everything is fine”) article was published in Helsingin Sanomat in the end of August, and Professor Tynkkynen was interviewed for it. While natural gas helps to combat climate change – “increased natural gas combustion saved some 2.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2000 and 2017”, yet the leakage of methane during the gas extraction process increases the greenhouse effect significantly. Professor Tynkkynen commented on the issue and added, that when Europeans are buying Russian natural gas, they do not have a clear understanding of the accompanying gas-leakage during transportation and production. The Russians say that everything is fine and do not report anything about the leakages.

The full article can be read online.

Wollie meeting in Murmansk Oblast

From 26th to 30th of August Wollie project participants had a work meeting in Kirovsk, Murmansk oblast, Russia, where they discussed the current results and plans. From our team Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen and Alla Bolotova participated in the event. Within the framework of Wollie, Dr. Bolotova and Lukas Allemann are conducting their fieldwork in the region and during the researchers’ visit they showed them their fields in Kirovsk and Revda, respectively.

Photo by Tanja Leena Joona