Sanna Marin (SDP), the Minister of Transport and Communications, has reminded that switching from petrol to electric vehicles alone will not be enough to achieve the emissions reduction target in transport. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)


SANNA MARIN (SDP), the Minister of Transport and Communications, has identified three important transport-related developments that should be promoted to benefit the climate.

Marin said in Pori on Tuesday that the government must take action to reduce the mobility needs of people by planning cities so that jobs, services and residential areas are linked with good public transport connections.

The second important development is the change in the use of private cars.

“The use of private cars must become fossil-fuel free. We want to become the first welfare state in the world that’s fossil-fuel free,” she declared at SuomiAreena, a debate forum held annually in Pori, Western Finland. “Industries will have a big role here. I think this change will occur quicker than we’re currently expecting. It means that new cars – whether they’re electric, hybrid or other environment-friendly cars – have to be priced reasonably so that ordinary consumers can afford them.”

She acknowledged that the network of charge points for electric vehicles should be developed further, calling attention especially on the importance of introducing charge points to residential buildings.

The adoption of electric cars, she stressed, alone will not satisfy the emissions reduction targets set for the transport sector.

“We’ll have to examine mobility from a different point of view – by thinking how we could use other technological solutions, such as the wider use of remote access, to reduce the need to travel from one place to another. The way to reduce transport emissions is by changing your way of thinking rather than by moving people from petrol to electric cars,” said Marin.

The third objective should be to invest in developing the rail infrastructure to encourage more people to switch from using cars to rail transport services, according to her.

Marin also criticised the media for portraying climate measures – especially ambitious ones – as measures that complicate the daily lives of people. Such measures, she underscored, contrastively improve the daily lives of everyone in Finland.

“The fact that we’re offering better public transport services to people also improves people’s quality of life,” she said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi