Analysis of Regional Climate Strategies in the Barents Region
Himanen, Satu; Inkeröinen, Jouko; Latola, Kirsi; Väisänen, Tero; Alasaarela, Erkki (2012-03-12)
Julkaisusarja:Reports of the Ministry of the Environment 23en/2012
Climate change is a global phenomenon with especially harsh effects on the Arctic and northern regions. The Arctic’s average temperature has risen at almost twice the rate as elsewhere in the past few decades. Since 1966, the Arctic land area covered by snow in early summer has shrunk by almost a fifth. The Barents Region consists of the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia (i.e. the European part of Russia). Climate change will cause serious impacts in the Barents Region because of its higher density of population living under harsh climatic conditions, thus setting it apart from other Arctic areas. In many cases, economic activities, like tourism, rely on certain weather conditions. For this reason, climate change and adaptation to it is of special urgency for the region.Regional climate change strategies are important tools for addressing mitigation and adaptation to climate change as they can be used to consolidate the efforts of different stakeholders of the public and private sectors. Regional strategies can be important factors in achieving the national and international goals.The study evaluated how the national climate change goals were implemented in the regional and local strategies and programmes in northern Finland. The specific goal was to describe the processes by which the regional strategies were prepared and implemented, and how the work was expanded to include the whole of northern Finland. Finally, the Finnish preparatory processes were compared to case examples of processes for preparing climate change strategies elsewhere in the Barents Region. This analysis provides examples of good practices in preparing a climate change strategy and implementing it.