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Mika Anttonen, the board chairperson at St1, attended a seminar on climate change hosted by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in Helsinki on Monday, 10 December. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)
Mika Anttonen, the board chairperson at St1, attended a seminar on climate change hosted by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in Helsinki on Monday, 10 December. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

Mika Anttonen, the founder and largest shareholder of St1, has reiterated his message about the importance of land use for efforts to combat climate change at a seminar hosted by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in Helsinki on Monday.

“If the number of photosynthesising plants goes up or down by 10 per cent, its impact will be greater than emissions from fossil energy sources,” he explained.

Anttonen has repeatedly drawn attention to the importance of land use – and more specifically reforestation – and global co-operation for the effort to combat climate change. The European Union, he highlighted last month, accounts for a constantly decreasing share of the primary energy consumed in the world.

“If the EU stops using energy today, consumption in other areas will have grown by an equivalent amount by 2025. If we only take action inside the EU, our climate measures don’t really have an impact on whether or not the amount of carbon in the atmosphere will decrease,” he stated in the Finnish Parliament in November.

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“Neither biofuels nor electric cars aren’t a solution to decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he declared.

St1, one of the leading energy companies in Finland, also announced last year the launch of an admittedly ambitious commercial project aiming to reforest up to 85 per cent of the Sahara.

Anttonen on Monday argued that it is impossible to limit global warming to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels only by transforming the energy system.

“Such claims are untrue and lies,” he slammed. “It has been very difficult for me personally, having started with biofuels by making biofuels from waste, to realise that biofuels don’t even begin to be a solution to decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

He also floated the idea of establishing a marketplace for absorbed and emitted carbon dioxide, explaining that it would reduce the emphasis on lobbying and facilitate genuine competition between various climate solutions.

“We need a carbon exchange where the measures have to compete against each other, so that they’re no longer adopted based on who does the most lobbying,” said Anttonen.

Roughly 150 people from different sectors of the society took part in discussing the climate actions of Finland in Helsinki on Monday.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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