Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Environmental impacts of the financial crisis evident

Date:
February 5, 2014
Source:
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Summary:
The prolonged financial crisis that began in 2008 has evidently affected the environment in Finland. The impacts of the economic downturn have been both positive and negative. The recession has reduced the use of natural resources and eased other burdens on the environment, but many environmental policy processes have slowed, including international action on climate issues.

The prolonged financial crisis that began in 2008 has evidently affected the environment in Finland, according to a report on the State of the Environment in Finland in 2013 freshly published by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). The impacts of the economic downturn have been both positive and negative. The recession has reduced the use of natural resources and eased other burdens on the environment, but many environmental policy processes have slowed, including international action on climate issues.

The new report provides a concise and accessible overview of the state of the environment in Finland and current trends, while also assessing the adequacy of environmental protection measures. In addition to the national report produced by SYKE, separate reviews have been published by Finland's regional centres for economic development, transport and the environment examining the state of the environment in their respective regions. These reports have been compiled using public data and the expertise and information systems of the Finnish environmental authorities and other official and research organisations.

Climate change and declining biodiversity the most serious problems

Many of the indicators in the review show that the state of the environment is improving in Finland. Air pollution and water pollution have clearly declined over recent decades. Another positive development is that some trends earlier seen as irreversible, such as persistent increases in private car use and energy consumption, are showing signs that they could be levelling off.

"This positive picture is unfortunately overshadowed by the fact that our most serious problems -- climate change and biodiversity loss -- remain unresolved, and just keep getting worse," says SYKE's director general Lea Kauppi. "Several deadline years for halting the decline of biodiversity in Finland have been set, but so far we've just had to keep moving this target further ahead. On climate change there is a clear desire to limit the rise in average global temperatures by 2100 to two degrees at most, but with the measures currently in place this goal looks impossible."

Well-being in Finland largely based on natural resources in other parts of the world

Emission reductions largely depend on trends in fuel use and improvements in industrial processes and waste treatment methods. A significant share of Finland's economic growth in recent decades has been built on the use of natural resources in other countries. This has helped to reduce emissions in Finland, since the environmental loads generated during the manufacture of imported goods primarily affect their countries of origin.

To reduce the use of natural resources we need to increase our eco-efficiency by producing goods and services using smaller amounts of resources, with lower emissions. We have successfully done this in recent years, since Finland's gross national product has risen proportionally faster than energy consumption, natural resource use and carbon dioxide emissions. These increases in eco-efficiency have been most pronounced since the mid-1990s.

Financial constraints hindering the resolution of environmental problems

In recent years the state of the environment has been affected by the ongoing financial crisis. The global recession in effect made it easier to achieve goals such as the Kyoto Protocol's targeted reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Shrinking economic activity automatically leads to reductions in the use of natural resources and energy, as well as the resulting emissions.

But economic problems have also had negative effects on the environment. No significant progress has been made on international climate policies since the beginning of the financial crisis. Five conferences of the parties to the UN climate agreement have been held over the period 2009-2013, most recently in Warsaw in November 2013, but no decisions on binding emission reduction targets have been forthcoming.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). "Environmental impacts of the financial crisis evident." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205075819.htm>.
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). (2014, February 5). Environmental impacts of the financial crisis evident. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205075819.htm
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). "Environmental impacts of the financial crisis evident." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205075819.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins