Preventing climate change
Kuopio is one of the leading cities in Finland in preventing climate change and improving energy efficiency. The city has entered into an Energy efficiency agreement for the years 2008 - 2016, with the precondition of 9 percent energy savings by the end of 2016. The agreement covers the city administration and most of the city-owned companies.
Measures to improve energy efficiency have been compiled into a programme, which will be monitored annually. These include such things as procurement, planning, traffic and construction. In addition, education and communication are important in increasing energy efficiency.
Kuopio has taken active steps in preventing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The first Climate Strategy was compiled in 2003, and the Climate Policy Programme was approved in 2009. The programme includes, among others, the following goals:
- Greenhouse gas emissions cut by 40 percent of the 1990 level by 2030.
- The city organization cuts its energy consumption by 9 percent of the 2005 level by 2016.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by traffic and transport.
- Increasing the share of renewable energy in energy production.
- Identigying and preparing for the impacts of climate change.
- Making citizens aware of the impacts of their choices and actions on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
The climate is changing
The most notable effects caused by climate change in the Kuopio region are a lengthened growing season and changes in the abundance of fauna and flora. Eutrophication of lakes is expected to increase because of the increase in nutrient content.
In addition, the growth of humidity is expected to increase mould problems in buildings and decrease the real estate life cycle. The need for heating and heating costs may decrease, but, in turn, cooling costs will increase. Extreme weather events, such as heavy rains and wind speed changes, are expected to occur more frequently.
Photo Erkki Pärjälä