THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC) stated in their press release on 8 October this year that rapid and far-reaching changes in all aspects of society are needed if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to ensure a more sustainable and equitable society compared to a 2-degree Celsius rise. I’m sure most people can agree with this as the vast majority of respectable climate and other scientists confirm that the climate is getting warmer.

If humans cause this warming, we can also do something to fix the problem, step by step. One step could be an introduction of what I call a “climate customs payment”. Each country would be evaluated on how well they are protecting the climate. According to a country’s performance a special climate customs tax would be added to its products. 

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THE EUROPEAN UNION’S efforts for building a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) have taken more steps forward in the past two years than in the preceding twenty. This has been due mostly to the wake-up calls provided by the two super powers, Russia and the US.

The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in defence which was part of the Lisbon treaty is now taking off with 25 member states on board in one or more of the projects started within this framework.

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IN 20 YEARS TIME, Helsinki and other cities around the world are going to look totally different. The reason? Automatic vehicles.

When vehicles can be on the road all the time, they will be on the road all the time. This simple change is going to reorganise our cities beyond recognition during the next two decades. Just check the ancient Mesoamerican city, Teotihuacan, a city without cars, carriages or horses; or streets or parking lots.

When a vehicle does not require a driver, it does not require a parking place. In U.S. cities, parking accounts for almost a quarter of the land area. In Seattle, about 40% of the land area is used for parking. 

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Elina Lepomäki, Member of Parliament for the National Coalition Party

MP Talk gives members of parliament the opportunity to share their views on Finnish society with an international audience. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Helsinki Times.

Finland has all the potential to become a modern service and innovation-based economy attracting talent from all over the world. We need to transform our labour market and recruiting culture, we need English as the official language and we need to modernize our social security model. Today, I will concentrate on the latter.

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Mr. Yury Fedotov is the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Prior to becoming Director General/Executive Director of UNOV/UNODC, Mr. Fedotov served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Court of St. James's in London for five years. Before that, from 2002 to 2005, he was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation for International Organizations.News that two university students in the United Kingdom were recently rushed to hospital after using a synthetic cannabinoid highlights a worrying trend. Cases across the world are often disturbingly similar: A young person is found sprawled out, often unconscious and in need of swift medical assistance. Many of these individuals recover. Some, however, do not.

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Pekka Haavisto is a Green member of Finnish Parliament, and Member of Committee for Foreign Affairs and Committee for Defence.Often we view the world through different narratives. In Russia the Slavophiles and the Zapadniki were two contrasting philosophical camps in the early 19th century. The Slavophiles advocated against western influences and values, preserving what they considered to be the unique cultural heritage of Russia. The Zapadniki - or westernizers - felt that Russia was lagging desperately behind the west in terms of advancement and industrialization. They felt that Russia had to industrialize and accept western cultural values in order to move itself closer to Europe and secure its footing on the global stage.

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Jutta Urpilainen is a Member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Party and member of the City Council of Kokkola. She has also served as the Minister of Finance and the chair of SDP.According to an estimate by the European Commission, the EU is at least 1,000 billion euros out of pocket because of tax evasion and avoidance.  A major problem related to tax evasion is that in many cases it does not involve any illegal activities but is regarded as tax planning which is legal under our system. This leads to member states losing a notable amount of tax revenue.

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James Hirvisaari is a Parliament Member and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of the political party Muutos 2011 (Change 2011). The main objective of his party is to obtain binding referenda on the Constitution of Finland.If 10 years ago you had been asked, "in which country are facial expressions illegal when they are against the official truth?", would you have suggested Finland? And would you ever have guessed back then that Sweden would today have the second-highest number of rapes per capita in the world?

Ten years ago, Finland was the most competitive and the safest country in the world, thanks to an open society. Today, silenced by force, we do not fit on the Top 10 list at all. Sweden dropped out long before us. That country is now praised for being the most generous and for accepting the most asylum seekers. We silently follow their example.

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Maria Guzenina is a former minister of Social and Health Services, current Member of Finnish Parliament and head of the Finnish delegation to the Council of Europe."The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing," is a quotation by 18th-century politician and philosopher Edmund Burke. Although the world has changed in Great Britain's House of Commons since Burke's day, the thoughts of this man – who is seen as one of the founders of modern conservatism – is still as relevant as ever.

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Eero Suutari is a National Coalition Party Member of Parliament from Kajaani, with 32 years of experience in the export business in the ICT sector (Kajaani Automatiikka Oy and Sunit Oy). In his free time, Suutari enjoys exercise, particularly dancing and motorcycling, and takes interest in community issues.We need 200,000 new jobs in Finland in order to maintain the current tax rate while still being able to pay for public services, demand for which will grow as the population ages. This is the only way we can stop the growth of the national debt and prevent our children from inheriting a huge debt burden. We suffer from a shortage of companies that can create new jobs. Thanks to our punitive tax system, the service business sector is under-developed in Finland. The country fails to attract investments because we have lost our competitive edge and entrepreneurs and business leaders have lost their trust in the political sector. Finland's labour laws date back to the 1970s even though the world has moved on from those days.

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Susanna Huovinen is a Member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Party. Huovinen has served as a Minister of Health and Social Services since 2013 and is also a former Minister of Transport and Communications (2005-2007). Huovinen has a Master's Degree in Social Sciences. Her hobbies include Nordic walking, zumba, pilates and reading.Recently, an elderly lady phoned me. She was outraged because we politicians talk nineteen to the dozen about every detail of the health and social service reform, while the basic services are in disarray. Why don't you do something about the services instead of gabbling on about the structure, she asked. A relevant question with a simple answer: if we do not find the courage to overhaul the structure, we cannot improve the services.

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