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How to reach climate neutrality together? The ACCC Flagship calls for collaborators to participate in co-designing an interactive roadmap

The Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center (ACCC) Flagship program invites stakeholders to collaborate on a roadmap to climate neutrality. On June 6th, ACCC organized a stakeholder event titled ‘Toward Carbon Neutrality’ in Think Corner, Helsinki. The event invited collaborators across sectors to join a co-designing process aiming to produce a roadmap to climate neutrality. This will help ACCC in supporting the EU Green Deal commitments and reaching other climate goas set, for example, in the Paris agreement and as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Supporting change across sectors

“Science can help to solve global grand challenges, such as climate change and deteriorating air quality, but it cannot do it alone”, states ACCC’s Director, Academician Markku Kulmala from University of Helsinki, who also opened the event. To reach real impact, we need to work together with businesses, decision-makers, educational institutions, civil society and others.

After greetings from Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, several stakeholders offered brief glances to their collaboration with ACCC. These impact stories were introduced by Doctoral Researcher Joula Siponen (University of Helsinki), who also gave an overview on her work on climate competencies in the ClimComp project. Mapping out society’s climate competencies is a crucial step in identifying which skills and topics need to be further supported in, for example, cities, municipalities and educational institutions.

In her talk, chair of the Baltic Sea Action Group Saara Kankaanrinta reminded the audience about the importance of acknowledging our responsibilities in different positions.

“We need to remember our responsibilities as decision-makers and people.”

BSAG is a key partner in finding solutions for regenerative farming, among other things. BSAG maintains, among other things, the CarbonAction platform on carbon farming. 

KMPG’s Senior Advisor Aila Aho said that science can support the financial sector in risk management. KPMG is global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services.

“A common language is needed when talking about climate change in the context of collaborations between science and the financial sector”, Aho stated.

Theresia Bilola from Think Africa association brought up that sometimes the individual can get lost in the climate discussion. Bilola emphasized the acknowledging both the role of rational and emotional aspects in the climate discussion.

Together with the new Initiative for a Safer Climate, established recently by ACCC with collaborators, Think Africa and other civil society actors aim to think of ways for increasing the visibility of communities and groups that are often underrepresented in the discussion on climate change.

Why a new roadmap to climate neutrality?

As a part of its impact activities, ACCC is planning a roadmap toward climate neutrality that will be developed together with stakeholders.

To initiate this discussion, the second part of the event consisted of joint discussion moderated by Mari Pantsar (Director of the Carbon-Neutral Circular Economy theme, Sitra). The panel consisted of Docent Anna Lintunen (INAR, ACCC, University of Helsinki), Tuuli Kaskinen (CEO, CLC) and Anni Sinnemäki (Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment, City of Helsinki).

The aim of ACCC is to develop a roadmap in the form of an interactive tool that will be updated together with stakeholders during the Flagship’s work. This kind of a living document will not provide answers for only one type of an organization but helps different types of actors to navigate towards their climate goals.

While initiating the development of such a tool got a positive response from collaborators, it is crucial to stop and think about the relevance of creating a new roadmap when many roadmaps oriented to reaching climate neutrality already exists. The panelists agreed that creating a multi-stakeholder solution that could help organizations in different scales and sectors is needed. As the speakers stated unanimously, we all share a common goal but the execution will be challenging.

To tackle this challenge, ACCC will continue organizing discussions, events and workshops with stakeholders as next steps of the roadmap work. As the discussion with Finnish stakeholders has been opened, the Flagship is looking forward to learning more about the possibilities to scale this kind of work on EU level across sectors.

About ACCC:

The Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center (ACCC) is a Finnish Flagship funded by the Academy of Finland. ACCC is constituted by the University of HelsinkiTampere UniversityUniversity of Eastern Finland and the Finnish Meteorological Institute and aims to address two of the most urgent global Grand Challenges: climate change and deteriorating air quality.

Interested in learning more about or work or working with us? Contact us.

Text by Rosa Rantanen, ACCC Research Coordinator.

Panel on Roadmap towards Climate Neutrality, (left to right): Mari Pantsar (Director of the Carbon-Neutral Circular Economy theme, Sitra), Anni Sinnemäki (Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment, City of Helsinki), Tuuli Kaskinen (CEO, CLC) and Docent Anna Lintunen (INAR, ACCC, University of Helsinki).