Despite mitigation actions, the climate of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Region will be changing during the future decades. The project Visioning a climate resilient Helsinki-Uusimaa (VILKKU) aims to create the first regional vulnerability study and adaptation plan. In this joint project by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and the University of Helsinki, the risks caused by climate change are also studied as related to the vulnerability of the regional business sector.
The direct and indirect impacts of the climate change will cause significant changes in the operating environment of Helsinki-Uusimaa. Due to climate change, the temperatures will rise, the precipitation will increase, the snow cover season will shorten, and the soil frost will decrease. Adapting to the climate change means to get prepared for these changes, by actions to reduce the vulnerability and to increase the resilience to these changes.
In addition to the direct impacts, indirect and cross-border impacts play a significant role. In many areas of business, the indirect impacts are the most important. Disturbed international supply chains are an example of this phenomenon.
Possible adaptation to climate change
This VILKKU project has just begun. It identifies the impacts of climate change on Helsinki-Uusimaa and lists possible adaptation actions. The effects of the impacts found are evaluated against the vulnerability and exposure of our region and the risks involved are identified.
The aim is to identify the regional key risk factors, also to find and assess the regional adaptation needs and responsibilities. A model for risk and adaptation surveys will be taken into use, and it will provide a general understanding about the regional challenges and opportunities.
– Concrete actions will be gathered into a regional adaptation plan. Adaptation actions will be identified both on a municipality and a regional level as well as in different sectors, the Project Manager, Ms Salla Siivonen from the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council says.
Finland’s National Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2022 acts as a basis for regional actions. The adaptation will be linked to the future’s review of the region. It also supports the regional forecasting, forming the basis for a new Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Programme probing regional development.
The project consortium consists of the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and the University of Helsinki. The university is strongly involved and focuses on evaluating the regional vulnerability and supporting the regional adaptation based on case studies. Various lines of business are impacted differently by weather and climate risks, but the climate change can also lead to new business possibilities.
– Managing the climate risk for companies is an essential development target, meaningful both for future scopes of action and for a stronger regional capacity to take action in changing climate conditions, Ms Sirkku Juhola, Professor at the University of Helsinki, states.
The project VILKKU is carried on in wide cooperation with stakeholders. This is essential in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of climate change on our region and on our ability to adapt. Besides a regional adaptation strategy, the municipalities are offered support for their own adaptation studies.
Goals for regional adaptation actions
Shared understanding of impacts
The adaptation actions in Helsinki-Uusimaa create a shared view of the direct, indirect impacts and cross-border impacts. A particular focus lies on indirect and cross-border impacts. There is a wide opening of impacts and their reflections on Helsinki-Uusimaa, with its operational environment
Assessing regional risks and vulnerability
The regional risks and vulnerability are being studied in the adaptation actions. Risk factors are opened and classified. An increased understanding is achieved of the impact mechanism, and how the risks are targeted.
Impact assessment in wider forecast
The identified impacts of climate change will be tightly connected to the regional forecasting. In the adaptation studies, other future drivers and megatrends are also taken into account via forecasting.
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Regions4Climate – Adaptation solutions to climate change
The Regions4Climate is producing comprehensive adaptation solutions to climate change. The Regions4Climate project includes 44 organisations from 12 European regions. Helsinki-Uusimaa is strongly represented:
Helsinki-Uusimaa an EU pioneer region in climate change adaptation
The themes chosen for the mission of the adaptation to climate change wish to be climate proof, that is prepared for it by the year of 2030. It is a mission supporting regional adaptation actions.
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