Minister Risikko: Adapting to Climate Change – Finnish Expertiseand Know-how in Global Use. 13 Feb 2015
Ms. Paula Risikko, Minister of Transport and Local Government of
Briefing on the Finnish candidacy for the position of the
Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation, 13
Adapting to Climate Change - Finnish Expertise and Know-how in
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is a great pleasure to see you all here today. I am delighted
that you have found time to attend this event.
I am very proud of the atmospheric expertise and know-how that we
have in Finland. The Finnish Meteorological Institute, FMI,
universities and sectorial research institutions have attained an
internationally recognized position in the field.
Especially the Finnish Meteorological Institute, under the
capable leadership of Professor Taalas, has evolved into one of the
world's leading weather services and atmospheric research
institutes. The FMI has been very successful in competing for
external funding. During the recent years, sixty (60) to seventy
(70) per cent of its research activities have been funded from
Last year alone the number of FMI publications in international
science journals amounted to more than three hundred and fifty
(350). This was the highest number of publications among the
meteorological institutes in the whole of Europe.
Also other Finnish atmospheric and marine research organizations
deserve to be mentioned. For example, the Universities of Helsinki
and Eastern Finland as well as the Aalto University have all been
ranked high as international expert organizations.
Our success is based on all Finnish operators' engagement in
extensive national and international research cooperation. This has
contributed to Finnish expertise in the field of atmospheric
science. It has also encouraged the development of new products and
A decision was made in two thousand and thirteen (2013) to open
up access to FMI data and to make it publicly available to all.
This has greatly benefitted the development of new services in
Finland, created new opportunities and endorsed innovations.
It has actually been said that everything is weather dependent.
Therefore, open access to weather data is very important to all
sectors of the society.
Besides Finnish research institutes and the FMI, we also have
active private companies in the field of meteorology. For example,
Vaisala Corporation is the world's leading manufacturer of
atmospheric instruments. It is well known for its radio probes,
radars and automatic weather stations. These products all represent
high-quality and innovative technologies.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Weather knows no borders. Therefore, we need international
As a small open society Finland has always been ready to share
its expertise and know-how with other countries.
Finland has strongly supported the development of national weather
services worldwide by sharing its high-level weather service and
research expertise. The FMI has built partnerships with the leading
weather services and research organizations around the globe.
Finland is also an active player in the World Meteorological
The FMI has been active in more than a hundred (100) countries
during the past decades with a total investment exceeding one
hundred million euros (100M€). A half of these investments have
been allocated to African countries.
At the moment, the FMI runs development projects in more than fifty
(50) countries. These include Pacific Small Island Developing
States, Vietnam, Sudan and South Sudan as well as countries in
South-Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Andes, the Caribbean and
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Why do we need international cooperation and sharing of
Climate change is one of the main challenges of this century.
Recent findings presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) are in this respect undisputed.
As we look at our future prospects, it is important to
understand what is really happening to our climate, and more
specifically, what is the role of human activities in global
climate change. In order to make justified conclusions we need
reliable scientific information.
In this work, the Finnish Meteorological Institute plays an
important role, and under the leadership of Professor Taalas it has
claimed its place as one of the key climate change research
institutes in the world.
I am proud to state that Finland has leading expertise on
greenhouse gases, aerosols and the changes in Arctic snow and ice
cover. Our know-how has granted Finland the task of leading the
European carbon dioxide monitoring network, which is a joint
research infrastructure of fifteen (15) European countries.
Concurrently, we are also leading the satellite-based monitoring
programme on atmospheric pollutants and ozone.
In Finland we often tend to think that a small country cannot be
a superpower in any sense. I come from the Bothnia Region of
Western Finland, where we think big and are proud of our
achievements. I have no difficulty in saying that Finland can be
regarded a superpower in weather services and atmospheric research
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Finland is keen on sharing its high-level weather service and
research expertise and on promoting global cooperation. Therefore,
I am very happy that we have a strong Finnish candidate for
Secretary-General of the WMO. Professor Taalas has the right
capabilities and extensive know-how required for the position. He
is also fully committed to serving the WMO for the benefit of all
its member states.