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What can we do about climate confusion?

How small gestures can add up to make a big difference.


Climate change is such a big issue that it can make people feel helpless. Every day we hear more news about new heat records and the consequences of global warming, and hardly anyone disputes the fact that this climate change is caused by man. Every one of us would like to contribute to stopping this disturbing trend, but how can we know what to do?

There’s no shortage of information, and we also have access to a lot of environmentally friendly products and services. We can turn off lights and electrical appliances, choose green electricity and a low-emission car, or give up meat or air travel. But is any of this really going to have an effect or be worth the effort? Will paying more for a low-emission product really slow the progress of climate change? Why should I make the effort to reduce emissions if my neighbour does nothing? And how can I find the time to do all this when I should be taking care of my family, my children and my health?

It’s no wonder people feel like throwing in the towel in the midst of all this confusion. However, the choices made by ordinary people really do have an effect: up to 70% of Finnish emissions are directly or indirectly caused by private consumption. Every low-emission choice also increases the range of options: companies are always looking for new areas of growth and will develop new low-emission products and services if they see demand. Companies listen to the language of the market and, as consumers, we know how to speak that language in a very clear way.

We’re still left with the question of determining the right choices that will really reduce emissions and nudge development in the right direction. One answer is the Climatediet calculator developed by the Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE). This tool helps people track and reduce their carbon footprint. In co-operation with SYKE, we have updated the Climatediet website to correspond to the choices available today, and the new, modern version of the service went live on 1 June.

None of us can save the world alone, but we can do it if we all work together. That’s why we should encourage others to join in by making a Commitment to sustainable development or signing a Climate pledge. Actions like these will show decision-makers that we want them to make decisions that help us make sustainable choices.

Contact us
Leading Specialist, Carbon-neutral Industry, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra

+358 294 618 263

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