Finns want more effective measures for mitigating climate change

Press release 2015-04-16 at 9:00

Finns still consider climate change to be a major global threat, and wish decision-makers would adopt more active climate policies and companies would develop new solutions for mitigating climate change. This information comes from a survey carried out by TNS Gallup and commissioned by the state administration's Steering Group for Climate Communications.

The Climate Barometer 2015 survey was conducted to examine Finnish people's views on climate change and climate policy before the general election. In general, Finns would like the government to take a more active role in climate change mitigation, and over half of the respondents would also like this theme to be included in the new government programme. Just under a third of the respondents stated that they would vote in the general election for a person who works actively to mitigate climate change.

Being a pioneer is worth it; new solutions may also bring new jobs

The majority of Finns agree that Finland should reduce its emissions regardless of what other countries are doing. Citizens consider it important for Finland to be a pioneer in the adoption of emission reduction technologies and believe that developing new expertise and technical solutions can improve Finland's competitiveness and create new jobs. The respondents would also like Finland to increase the use of renewable energy, such as solar power, wind power and biofuels, even at the cost of making energy more expensive.

New global agreement on climate change and major emission-producing countries play a key role

Over 80% of the respondents agreed that international negotiations should swiftly lead to a newglobal agreement on climate change for reducing global emissions. According to Finns, the most important decisions affecting climate change are made by large developing countries, such as China and India, and by the United States. Also important are the actions of major international businesses. Conversely, the importance of the EU's and Finland's measures and climate policies are considered to be significantly lower, though Finns still wish for active policies from both. Just under half of the respondents are of the opinion that richer countries, such as Finland, should support developing countries and the poorest ones in adapting to climate change. Approximately half of the respondents supported the notion of focusing Finland's development aid increasingly towards climate change mitigation and adaption.

Climate change is still considered a major threat, but the concern is not reflected in everyday decisions

The survey shows that Finns are aware of the causes and effects of climate change and that they believe the primary cause of climate change is greenhouse gases arising from human activities. However, approximately half of the respondents felt that the scientific community does not fully agree on the cause of global warming. A clear majority is of the opinion that climate change is one of the largest global threats and that its effects can already be seen in different parts of the world. The effects of climate change outside of Finland's borders are considered to have the potential to cause serious security threats for Finland as well.

However, Finns have not changed their own behaviour in order to mitigate climate change: two thirds of the respondents felt that the statement "I have changed my modes of transport, eating habits or housing solutions in order to mitigate climate change" described them poorly or rather poorly. Only just over a third of the respondents consider climate impacts when deciding on purchases. On the other hand, the respondents felt that there is a great need for new low-emission services: over 80% considered them to be very or rather important in solving the problem of climate change.

Survey conducted by TNS Gallup

The survey on citizens' views on climate change was conducted by TNS Gallup Oy as commissioned by the state administration's Steering Group for Climate Communications. The steering group includes the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Demos Helsinki, Sitra (a fund operating under the Finnish Parliament) and Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation). A total of 1,005 people aged 15–74 from different parts of Finland, excluding the Åland Islands, participated in the survey. TNS Gallup collected the survey material during its Gallup forum respondent panel held on 5–14 March 2015. The survey's margin of error is approximately 3 percentage points in either direction.

For more information

Ms Riikka Lamminmäki, Communications Specialist, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 (0)50 524 5269,

Ms Outi Kuittinen, Researcher, Co-Creation Manager, Demos Helsinki, tel. +358 (0)50 326 5582,