Finns are rather carefree when it comes to climate change. As this attitude implies, climate change makes many of us dream of a longer summer cottage season and smaller electricity bills.
I am slightly embarrassed by this optimism demonstrated by Finns. We should be more humble, as the effects of climate change on the global economy and security will be felt here as well. At the same time as snow banks are melting in our yards, the world's water shortage is growing worse, communicable diseases are spreading and dangerous pests are moving further north.
I am hoping for a comprehensive climate treaty. I share the concerns of its supporters that the risks of climate change are greater than its benefits.
Adapting to this partially unavoidable change will require large investments. These investments may give birth to new companies, innovations and business that have an international market. Business opportunities will take shape, when our municipalities recognise the risks they are faced with, draw up adaptation strategies and define their acquisition needs.
At the same time as Finland must prepare for floods and heavy rains, the northern sea ice is shrinking and the time period during which the sea is open is increasing. This will make logistics activities and the exploitation of natural resources in the north more profitable.
The Arctic's natural resources are being rapidly surveyed. A record number of cargo ships are travelling in northern waters. Research and production activities will require large-scale investments. Railroads, roads and ports, ice breakers and cranes will be needed in the north to support these investments Ships must be provided with detailed information on the environment, wind and ice. Workers are being recruited to the north. Each worker must be provided with work equipment and clothing. They will need breakfast, lunch and dinner. Arctic workers are valuable, and their wellbeing must be ensured.
The arctic market is close to us. We know that we are able to provide solutions that will work in challenging conditions. The image of Finland as a cold and snow-covered country will foster business.
The business opportunities brought about by climate change are the focal point of Tekes' Arctic seas programme. We are looking for companies that are interested in seeing to the varied needs of customers operating in the Arctic seas. We encourage companies to develop intelligent, sustainable and eco-efficient solutions that will serve the needs of these customers. By combining our expertise and networking, we can increase the draw of or arctic expertise.
Read more about the content of the programme and how to apply.
The author is the Programme Manager for the Arctic seas programme