Category Archives: 2018

Dmitry Yagodin’s comments in Helsingin Sanomat

A new article “Venäjällä monet tutkijatkin uskovat, että maailman lämpenemisen sijaan edessä on jääkausi” (Many researchers in Russia believe that there is an ice age lying ahead of the global warming) was published yesterday, 18th of November, in Helsingin Sanomat. The article discusses how climate change is covered in Russian media and what is the discussion around the issue in the country in general.

The author of the piece asked Dmitry Yagodin to comment on how the recent IPCC report was met in Russia. Dmitry said, that out of 50 newspapers, according to his calculations, only 5 have written about the report, and it was largely ignored in the TV-news. According to Yagodin, the situation is hampered by the fact that there are only 5 journalists in the whole country that are well familiar with the climate change issue. Another important reason for the indifference of media is a twofold nature of the attitude towards the issue in the country – while Russia signed the Paris Agreement and has not withdrawn from it like the USA, it still has not ratified it.

Full version of the article is available on Helsingin Sanomat website.

ENERGETIKA XXI Conference in St. Petersburg

The XI International Scientific Conference “ENERGETIKA XXI: Economy, Policy, Ecology” “The Need for Energy Dialogue in a Fast Changing Environment” takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia, from 14th to 16th of November. 

ENERGETIKA is a conference regularly held in St. Petersburg in the month of November to address recent developments in the energy sector on a global basis with special focus on Russia. It is organized by UNECON (the St. Petersburg State University of Economics) with financial support by energy companies, combining an open academic atmosphere with the insights of representatives of important energy companies, like Gazprom and Gazprom Export, as well as from national and international public organizations.

On one side the world has seen a joint global approach to climate issues by the Paris Agreement (PA) with strong impact on the energy sector and on the relation between energy resource holding and energy importing countries. On the other hand unilateral approaches by the US by leaving the PA and stepping down from the Iran deal as well as fostering the position of US LNG by political means. While progress has been made in EU-Russia gas relations, much remains open, if not controversial. In such a fast and often abruptly changing environment it is paramount to foster dialogue between all parties to prevent misunderstandings and to identify mutual opportunities. ENERGETIKA offers itself as a place for an open dialogue on economy, policy and environment aspects of energy.

Jussi Huotari, Lauri Lähteenmäki, and Hilma Salonen from our team are participating in the conference. Jussi is presenting his paper “Yamal LNG and Global Production Networks” at the “Recent Developments of Energy Markets” panel on 15th of November.

More information on the conference can be found here.

STN:n luonnonvaraseminaari

Strategic Research Council‘s seminar on natural resources is taking place today in Helsinki, and Sakari Höysniemi from the Winland project is taking part in it. The seminar’s title is “Veden, ruoan ja energian globaali kysyntä ja sen merkitys Suomelle” (Global demand for water, food and energy and its importance for Finland).

The presentation made by Winland for the seminar can be downloaded here.

Asia on the Move

Our doctoral students Karoliina Hurri and Sohvi Kangasluoma are spending this week in Norway, taking part in the “Asia on the Move” conference in Tromsø and a PhD workshop on-board Hurtigruten cruise ship sailing between Tromsø and Svolvær. The event is organised by the Nordic NIAS Council in collaboration with the Centre for Peace Studies, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway. The conference is held on 5th-7th of November and the workshop from 7th to 9th.

Asia – a region that contains nuclear states, the second and third largest economies in the world, the largest global population – is on the move!
The continent which has changed the most in the 21st century is Asia: be it Asia’s engagement with the Arctic region, presence in Africa, economic prominence, or geopolitical influence within and outside of the region, increased population movements in and outside Asia, increased risk of climate change, democratization and citizenship issues, nuclear proliferation and security threats to and from some of the Asian countries – all require in-depth analysis for good global governance.
For example, the rise of China in Central Asia has led to many speculations, including a ‘New Great Game’ with Russia and the United States. On the other hand, new moves from both parties on the Korean peninsula may see a ‘new hope’ for peace.  Sideways, in the context of climate change and ‘arctic race’, new geo-ecopolitical, and geostrategic dynamics led to the growing interest of non-Arctic states in the affairs of the Arctic. Engagement of countries like China, Japan, Korea and India in the Arctic will significantly influence the evolving dynamics in that region.
Meanwhile, forced migration (e.g. Rohingya issues) and climate change induced displacement, corruption, violation of human rights and citizenship, crisis in Asian mega cities, and rising inequality have huge influence on ‘The Move’ and hence require much attention from policymakers and academics working on Asia.

At the PhD workshop, Sohvi presents a paper for NIAS PhD course – Theoretical background and operationalization of human security from a feminist perspective titled  “A feminist approach: Impacts of oil and gas sector to human security in Arctic communities”, and Karoliina presents a paper for NIAS PhD course Research Design and Key Concepts “China’s Leadership Role in Climate Negotiations: A case of BASIC countries, BRICS group and the Arctic Council”.

Check conference website for more information on the event.

Professor Tynkkynen giving expert opinion at the Grand Committee today

Today Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen was invited again to the Grand Committee (Finnish Parliament’s EU Committee) to give an expert opinion on EU energy politics during the discussion of the Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament. Professor Tynkkynen was one of the experts invited to the Parliament, together with Arto Rajala from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Olga Väisänen from Gasum Oy, Communications Manager EU and Nordic Policies of Nord Stream 2 Tapio Pekkola and Nord Stream 2 advicer Paavo Lipponen.

More information can be found on the Parliament’s website.

Päättäjäalumnien ja yliopiston ystävien tapaaminen

Yesterday Professor Tynkkynen participated in the Päättäjäalumnien ja yliopiston ystävien tapaaminen (Helsinki University alumni and University’s friends meeting), organised by the Rector Jari Niemelä at the University of Helsinki. Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen gave a presentation titled “Hydrocarbon culture in Russia”. The meeting was organised at Porthania and had distinguished guests taking part in it.

Two new members in our team

Our research group is getting bigger than ever – we are glad to introduce you two new researchers who are starting to work in our group today. Please, meet doctoral student Francesco Durante and master student Lauri Lähteenmäki. Francesco has joined the AUCAM project, and Lauri will write his MA thesis for the Winland project.

Francesco Durante

Lauri Lähteenmäki

 

Get to know Francesco and Lauri
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Research group on the Russian environment at the 18th Annual Aleksanteri Conference

From 24 to 26 of October Aleksanteri Institute organised the 18th Annual Aleksanteri Conference. This year’s theme was “Liberation – Freedom– Democracy? 1918–1968–2018”. Several members of our team participated in the conference.

Sakari Höysniemi chaired the panel “FRRESH (Finnish-Russian Network in Russian and Eurasian Studies) Perspectives to Russia and Beyond” on Thursday, 25th of October and Sohvi Kangasluoma chaired the panel “Peace Movement and the Third World” on Friday, 26th of October.

Dmitry Yagodin was a discussant and a chair at the panel “Russian Media Lab IV: Internet Regulation, Online Censorship and Resistance” on Thursday, 25th of October. He also presented a paper “Climate change coverage in the Russian national and local media” at “Russian Media Lab V: Media framing and Conflict” panel same day.

 

While other presenters of the panel spoke about issues widely discussed in Russian media like Telegram messenger or the Ukranian conflict, Dmitry was talking, in his own words, about an issue that is unfortunately not on the agenda in Russia – climate change. He presented his ongoing research on the media coverage of the Anthrax outbreak in YNAO in 2016. Climate change as the cause of the accident was not as interesting for the press in the region as one could imagine – a sign of Russian climate skepticism. However, several months after the outbreak there was a scientific conference on climate change organised in Yamal. Yet, the purpose of it, according to Doctor Yagodin, was not to raise the awareness about climate change, but rather to transfer the responsibility for the casualties among the reindeer population and one child’s death to something that was out of control of the officials and scientists – record high hot temperatures and permafrost and peat thawing.

Stephanie Hitztaler, another postdoctoral researcher of our team, presented her work that she does in the frameworks of Arctic PIRE project –  “A fossil fuel empire and the recasting of people and place in the Russian Arctic” at the panel Regional Issues in Russia on Friday, 26th.

 

Stephanie was talking also about Yamal region, calling it a place of massive industrialization. Doctor Hitztaler presented mega projects of Gazprom and Gazprom Neft companies, that are parastatal. However, their decisions are not solely motivated by politics, they have also strategic agenda. Stephanie showed the “Rodnye goroda” project agenda and pictures of the street art of “Festival Stenograffia», that creates murals in this area – a pretty way to brighten up and change the community. With this kind of projects Gazprom and Gazprom Neft are really trying to make the case of empowering people to make a change in their communities. At the same time, the actual landscape is getting a rapid transformation because of Gazprom Neft (for example, shrub dominated vegetation transformed into grass dominated) but this art as in “Stenograffia” festival gives a sense of stability, it doesn’t change over time.

The presentations of both Dmitry and Stephanie showcased different issues in the same region and inspired the audience to think about the Arctic region and the change it is undergoing now.

More information on the conference can be read on the event’s webpage.

Professor Tynkkynen became a member of the International Panel on Arctic Environmental Responsibility

Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen accepted a nomination as a member of the International Panel on Arctic Environmental Responsibility for the period 2018–2019. The panel is an independent body tasked with assessing the environmental status of oil, gas, and mining companies in the Arctic. It covers companies that are involved in resource extraction above the Arctic Circle in the circumpolar north: Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden.

The purpose of panel is to promote higher environmental standards among companies involved in resource extraction in the Arctic. The results of the panel’s work will be published as an open-access ranking of companies.

Professor Tynkkynen has nominated as a Panel Member because of his expert knowledge in this field as a researcher and resident of a region affected by these industries.

More information on the Panel can be found here.