Climate change is a concern for almost 90 percent of Finns, shows survey by YLE

More and more Finns understand that the impacts of climate change are not limited to a lack of snow, says Jyri Seppälä, a director at the Finnish Environment Institute. Photo: Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva


Almost 90 per cent of Finns are concerned about climate change, finds a survey commissioned by YLE.

YLE on Tuesday reported that 59 percent of respondents to the survey indicated that they consider climate change a very serious problem and 30 per cent that they consider climate change a serious problem.

The percentages represent a considerable increase from previous iterations of the survey: Fewer than a half of respondents (43%) said they consider climate change a very serious problem at the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. The share dropped to as low as 23 per cent at the height of the crisis in 2012.

The public broadcasting company interprets the results of the survey as evidence that the public can yet again afford to be concerned about climate change.

The latest iteration of the survey also found that no more than two per cent of the public refute claims that climate change has been caused by human action. Almost one-fifth of respondents, on the other hand, estimated that climate change will be more beneficial than harmful to Finland.

Jyri Seppälä, the director of the centre for sustainable consumption and production at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), estimated in an interview with the public broadcaster that the results also reflect the growing amount of convincing scientific evidence of man-made climate change and observations about its impacts all around the world.

Finns, he also adds, recognise that they cannot dispute the conclusions drawn by the scientific community with their own opinions.

“People here understand that the impacts of climate change aren’t limited to the lack of snow here,” he stated to YLE.

A total of 1,117 people responded to the survey via an online survey distributed by Taloustutkimus between 7 and 13 December.

Climate change was also one of the major themes of the speech given by President Sauli Niinistö on New Year’s Day. Niinistö reminded that climate is no longer a matter of opinion but a real threat.

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