The second year of the Climate Programme of the city of Tampere is already well under the way. The new programme manager of Sustainable Tampere 2030, Laura Inha, M.Sc, commenced work at the beginning of the year, and the Climate Actions Roadmap is also taking shape. The City’s target is to be carbon neutral by the year 2030.
Ms Laura Inha, who has just started out in her new job, is originally from Tampere. However, she has also studied and gained extensive work experience around the world. For her M.Sc degree in Water and Environmental Engineering, Inha studied at the Tampere University of Technology (now Tampere University), in the Construction Technology programme. She has worked for the World Bank in India on a water project, and also at the same organization’s headquarters in Washington DC. In addition, she has worked as a consultant for Ramboll, in rainwater planning. Alongside her work, Inha is preparing her doctoral thesis on water management policy.
When an interesting job opportunity arose in Laura Inha’s hometown she decided to seize the opportunity and applied for the job.
Climate change is strategically connected also to the water issues that I have been working on. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to make an impact on the climate work of my hometown. There is the political will in Tampere to promote climate goals which are part of the city’s strategy. There is a good buzz all over the city, things are happening here, Laura Inha enthuses.
It is possible for Tampere to become carbon neutral by the year 2030, but hard work must be done to accomplish this, the new programme manager states. Other cities have similar objectives. Turku has just outdone Tampere, with the target year set for 2029. The whole of Finland is due to be carbon neutral by 2035.
The Road Map indicates the climate actions of Tampere
The major individual achievement of the city of Tampere is the Climate Actions Roadmap that has been put together from the climate targets and measures taken by all sections of the City, with their respective schedules and emissions impact. The Roadmap will be presented to the Tampere City Council for approval at the end of August.
The Roadmap is flexible and dynamic, and it may be updated. The Roadmap includes major targets such as the introduction of trams. Some of the targets concern e.g. the procurements of individual sectors. Also, the efficient use of facilities and energy savings are included in the map, Laura Inha explains.
Sustainable Tampere 2030 is a part of the Smart Tampere Programme. In the programme the city is developed as a platform for services for its citizens and for new business solutions. According to Laura Inha, work on the climate may offer great opportunities both for the city and for businesses.
Companies and citizens are involved in work on the climate
This year Sustainable Tampere 2030 will be reinforcing collaboration with universities and with businesses. Furthermore, the Climate Hero campaign will continue, which will highlight the climate actions taken by the residents. Sustainable Tampere 2030 will also be featured in other events.
Sustainable Tampere 2030 and BusinessTampere have also come up with ideas to challenge companies with their campaign on climate work.
The aim is to encourage companies in the urban region to identify their own carbon footprints and to consider what for them would be the most effective measures to reduce carbon emissions. The companies could also obtain peer support and practice social networking. Also, companies’ climate actions would be entered into the Roadmap available on the Internet, Laura Inha predicts.
The water project took Inha to India
Laura Inha’s work experience in India will certainly prove to be beneficial in the climate work in Tampere, too. In her work on the World Bank’s water management project she met officials from both central and local government, as well as the residents. The project focused on rural area water management and sanitation in the poorest states of India. Water shortages are a day-to-day reality in many villages, and more water is used than there is groundwater available. The idea of the project was to help people help themselves.
Villagers showed us their solutions. They had carried out e.g. absorption basins to collect rainwater and to secure the groundwater. The basins would also function as water fountains for cattle, Laura Inha says.
While in India, Inha lived in the great metropolis of Delhi where the problem of air pollution has recently been widely reported in the media.
My apartment itself had two air purifiers. Outdoors, many people used face masks. Poor air quality could most clearly be felt during the wintertime. Attempts have been made to improve air quality e.g. through motoring restrictions. The air is also polluted by industry and the burning of agricultural waste, Laura Inha explains.
Sustainable Tampere 2030 coordinates, encourages and sustains climate work by collaborating with the city departments, companies, communities, tertiary education and citizens. In order to reduce the carbon footprint bold leaps, as well as small actions, are required.
Photo: Hanna Leppänen