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Decision-makers in Europe’s metropolitan areas are looking for solutions to mitigate climate change

The Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council has the honour of hosting the annual forum of the European Metropolitan Authorities Network (EMA) in Helsinki on 28–29 September. The main theme of the conference, which will be held at Marina Congress Center on Friday, is climate change mitigation with green and digital solutions.

Officials and politicians from cities and regions in Europe’s metropolitan areas will consider common strategic solutions for metropolitan areas and decide on proposals for the future European Commission and the European Parliament. The common goal is to harness the regions’ innovation potential, energy and circular economy solutions, as well as green and digital methods as a driving force for European development.

– Now and in the coming months, it is an excellent time to make an impact in the EU, especially since Finland is providing exemplary pioneering solutions with good cooperation, says Markku Markkula, President of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Board. As the participants of the Forum, we now also have the opportunity to learn from each other, he says.

Metropolitan areas gathering for the eighth time

The two-day event brings together over one hundred decision-makers from key metropolitan areas in Europe to Helsinki. The Forum was launched in 2015 on the initiative of Barcelona with the aim of establishing dialogue between the metropolitan areas, the EU institutions and the national governments. The Helsinki event is the eighth meeting of the Forum.

Before the actual conference day, European guests will get acquainted with either Kalasatama’s smart solutions or Ämmässuo’s eco-industry centre on Thursday, 28 September, according to their choice. After this, there will be a political meeting of the Forum and a dinner.

Minister Mykkänen to greet the Forum

In addition to Markkula, the main speakers at Friday’s conference will be Minister of Climate and the Environment Kai Mykkänen,Chairman of the EMA Network, Vice President of Metropolitan Area of Barcelona Antonio Balmón and Chairman of the Helsinki City Council Reetta Vanhanen. The Helsinki-Uusimaa Region will also be represented by the new Regional Mayor Tuija Telén, who will start in her new position in November.

Minister Mykkänen will speak about Finland’s unwavering commitment to sustainable development. Already in 2019, Finland set a bold goal of carbon neutrality by 2035. The commitment to the European Climate Law and the Green Deal also reflects Finland’s exemplary commitment to combating climate change. The state and Finnish businesses, together with municipalities and other operators, are among the global pioneers in the field.

The conference programme includes three authoritative panel discussions on topics common to the participating metropolitan areas. The titles for the panel discussions are:

On Friday, a joint statement will also be adopted by the network. It requires strong support for sustainable and innovative solutions presented by metropolitan areas in both national and EU decision-making. Metropolitan areas want to have a stronger role in political decision-making and implementation.

– We are ready to drive change and provide solutions to create a positive future for European citizens. By committing to the principles of the circular economy, developing skills, promoting strategic competitiveness and ensuring the digital transition, we will create a stronger Europe, the declaration promises.

Further information:

Markku Markkula, President of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Board markku.markkula@aalto.fi,
tel. +358 50 464 2455

Janne Tamminen

Senior Adviser

+358 50 558 6303

International networks, election preparation committee in Helsinki-Uusimaa