27 November 2023

Turku hosts stocktake event to discuss local climate progress ahead of COP28

On 2 November 2023, ICLEI Member Turku (Finland) brought together local organisations, communities, and inhabitants for a Local Stocktake event at city hall. During the event, the city presented its current climate strategy and projects to achieve climate neutrality by 2029, before engaging in an open dialogue with participants on the topic. The event fostered closer collaboration and dialogue between city officials and communities, shared new ideas and suggestions.

Participants discussed how they can have achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement in their own lives and organisations, and what additional actions they would like to see from the city. As part of the event, participants together envisioned how they would like the world and the City of Turku to look in 2030, and what climate actions are required to achieve this vision.

Participants addressed a number of topics, including:

  • Evaluating ways public transportant can become more attractive, while acknowledging the need for cars in some cases;
  • Envisioning a city centre exclusively available for public transport, pedestrians, and cyclists;
  • Raising concerns about an ever-growing city, in which local nature disappears under construction;
  • Addressing the health and status of the Baltic Sea;
  • Discussing the difficulty of ethical and environmentally-responsible consumption;
  • Stating the need for more regular dialogues and discussions to empower and educate, rather than increasing rifts in society around climate issues;
  • Acknowledging climate anxiety and pressure, which is especially felt by young people; and
  • Requesting more regular news about successes and progress towards climate targets.

The event furthermore offered a platform for local stakeholders and communities to meet and exchange. Aino Rönkä, a representative of the Turku University Student Union’s board, emphasised the importance of networking for climate action, saying: “Many entities and organisations are involved in environmental and climate work, but not all actors may necessarily know about each other. That’s why networking and dialogue events like this one are important.”

This event forms part of a larger effort from cities across the globe, who are taking part in the first-ever global stocktake, set to conclude at the next United Nations climate change negotiations (COP28), taking place from 30 November to 13 December in Dubai (UAE). The global stocktake is a process for countries and non-state actors to assess collective progress towards meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Individual cities’ and communities’ actions play a significant role in mitigating and adapting to climate change. As such, municipalities worldwide have organised discussion events like Turku’s as part of the #Stockake4ClimateEmergency initiative, which was developed by ICLEI. The summary of local stocktakes will feed into the United Nations’ global stocktake.

Read more about Turku’s climate work here.
Learn about ICLEI’s work as the official focal point of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) constituency to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change here.