Sharing practices for local solutions

An Expert's View about Energy Efficiency in Finland

Last updated: 9 Feb 2011

Sharing good practices provide most sustainable local solutions and strengthen the state of sustainable development in the region.

6 February 2011 Sharing good practices provide most sustainable local solutions Sharing good practices and multiplying new solutions contribute to cooperation and entrepreneurship, create new partnerships and socio-cultural models and strengthen the state of sustainable development in the region, according to the experts gathered at the Nordic Conference on Sustainable Development in the Baltic Sea Region. 'The Solutions local, together' conference, held in the city of Turku, Finland, aimed at bringing sustainable solutions available for all Nordic countries and countries in the wider Baltic Sea Region and inspiring various actors to change their practices, working methods, services and products also in the long term. The conference brought together more than 550 experts - local authorities and other stakeholders, and representatives of the business world - from 19 countries. At the event, the participitants shared positive experiences - from innovations and operation models to knowledge, ways of thinking, attitudes and products - while offering municipalities and other local actors genuinely productive and practical ideas. Strengthening the inter-linkage of economic, social and environmental aspects in creating win-win solutions for local authorities, companies, communities and citizens is of importance. Through example and commitment different actors inspire to change their practices and working culture into more sustainable ones. In her opening speech, Mari Kiviniemi, Prime Minister of Finland, highlighted the pioneering role of the Nordic region in sustainable development. In their panel discussion, the Ministers for Nordic Co-operation pointed out that climate change is not only a threat but also an under-utilized opportunity for the green economy and finding new solutions for sustainable development. ?A lot is currently going on in the area of sustainable development in the Nordic countries and the Baltic Sea area,? said Senior Adviser Annika Lindblom, Finnish Ministry of the Environment. ?It is important that local actors as well as developers and users of innovations can meet to share their experiences and ideas,? said Ms Lindblom, who led the preparatory group for the conference. Examples of sustainable local solutions Through the various workshops and discussions, new solutions were sought for creative urban planning, sustainable consumption, protection of the Baltic Sea, combating of climate change, and renewable energy use. The best practical solutions for combating climate change were also recognized at the event. The awards went to the ECO2 - Eco-efficient Tampere 2020 project of the City of Tampere and to the snowcooling project of Snowpower AB and the County Council of Västernorrland, Sweden. The main idea of sustainable development is to get more and more from less and less. Regarding climate and energy, Professor Peter Lund, Aalto University, pointed out in his speech that restricting global warming to two degrees would only cost each and every one of us the same as a cup of coffee per day for the next 40-50 years. He called for radical solutions and innovations to promote sustainable energy production. ?Currently, the Baltic Sea area consumes a significant proportion of Europe's energy, but it is also an important producer and exporter of energy. In proportional terms, the use of renewable energy is higher here than in other parts of the EU, however, it could still be considerably higher,? Lund said. All in terms of sustainable development The conference was organized by the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Southwest Finland, City of Turku, and Union of the Baltic Cities. It was held with as low carbon footprint as possible. This was reached through minimizing transportation, using local gatering products and environmentally friendly suppliers, eliminating disposable products, and recycling or reusing all possible materials after the conference. The conference was the forth in the series of Nordic Conferences on Sustainable Development. Previous events were held in Gothenburg, Sweden 2004, in Oslo, Norway in 2006 and in Odense, Denmark in 2008. More solutions for sustainable development will be explored later in Umeå, Sweden, which will host the next conference. 'The Solutions local, together' conference marked the start of the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Climate change is the theme of the Finnish Presidency, which aims to transform the Nordic region into a stronger and more unified climate leader. Sources: Conference program and sustainable solutions Related: EU leaders agree on efforts to enhance green growth
Posted: 09 February 2011, last updated 9 February 2011

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