KarunaNews: This Small Finnish City Will Be Carbon Neutral In Just A Few Years

Lahti, a Finnish city about an hour of Helsinki by train, was once a polluted industrial center, but over the past few decades, it’s been working to become more sustainable. In 2019, it set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2025; the city is now likely to hit the target a year or two later than that, says Elina Ojala, Lahti’s environmental director. So far, the city calculates that it has cut emissions by 64% below 1990 levels. To help make it easier for residents to drive less, the city is building more bike highways; it already added new bike parking, a bike repair station, and shared e-bikes. Community groups are getting on board too. The local hockey team has stopped flying to games in other cities, and nudges its fans to walk, bike or take public transit to come to games; he local symphony orchestra is doing similar things. In total, the city is tracking more than 113 different sustainability-related actions and the work is embedded throughout the city. “It has been our goal in the climate work to really make it a common thing for the whole city and that people feel like they have a role in that,” Ojala said.

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