Preventing climate change requires the expertise of engineers and investments into RDI, emphasises TEK expert Jussi-Pekka Teini.
– The number of new jobs relating to the prevention, containment and adaptation to climate change could be enormous, if only we took the matter as seriously as we should, says TEK’s Expert on Sustainable Technology Society Jussi-Pekka Teini.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the first part of its widely publicised climate report on Monday, 9 August.
– The most crucial message of the report was that we are in an even bigger hurry to stop global warming than before if we mean to restrict the rise to 1.5–2 degrees Celsius, says Teini.
Reaching this goal is not yet impossible, but it requires quick, instant and wide-ranging emission reductions.
– The most important factor is having the energy sector make the move from fossil fuels to clean energy production, and electrifying everything that can be electrified in areas such as industry and heat production, for example. In practice, the design and implementation of these solutions requires the work of engineers.
Adaptation to change and risk management become even more important as extreme weather becomes more commonplace.
This summer Europeans have faced extreme weather phenomena such as the heat waves in Finland, the floods in Germany and Belgium and the forest fires in Southern Europe.
– As such, climate change does not directly cause individual extreme phenomena, but it increases their likelihood and ferocity.
In addition to curtailing climate change, adaptation to change and risk management become even more important as extreme weather becomes more commonplace, Teini emphasises.
– The rise of sea levels is not as much a concern in Finland as it is elsewhere, for example, but this does not mean that Finland cannot experience floods similar to those of Central Europe. Floods must be prepared for by such means as improving the quality of the soil so that it will not collapse in a flood, for example.
More RDI investments into climate change prevention are required. At the same time, questions of employment and expertise must be considered.
Teini hopes that the questions of climate change would be even more connected to political decision making.
– There is a tremendous market out there for clean solutions. Finland is home to incredible engineering knowhow and sound infrastructure on which successful technologies can be built. More RDI investments into climate change prevention are required. At the same time, questions of employment and expertise must be considered once the move to clean energy occurs to ensure that the climate actions are adequately accepted by society.
- Further reading: TEK Requires the Inclusion of Nuclear Energy into the EU Taxonomy for the Good of the Climate (in Finnish)
- TEK’s blog: Engineers as Builders of Sustainable Society (in Finnish)