The city of Lahti, Finland, with a population of about 120,000 is making impressive progress towards its Net Zero goal.
In a recent FastCompany article, we learn that “So far, the city calculates that it has cut emissions by 64% below 1990 levels. While there are different definitions of “carbon neutral,” it’s ultimately aiming for an 80% cut in emissions, with the rest offset by programs like reforestation in the region.”
But what is really fascinating, and inspiring, is the way the city is achieving this with a whole bounty of programs ranging from the individual:
“a personal carbon trading app that lets residents automatically track how they were getting around town; based on the speed that someone travels, it’s possible to tell if they’re walking, on a bike, or driving. Each week, the app gave users rewards—including credit they could use for bus rides or discounts on local products—if they stayed within a certain carbon budget”
… to the systemic like stopping using coal in its district heating power plant in 2019 (the daily difference has talked about district heating previously - <Jen are you able to put in a link>) and how the local hockey team no longer flies to games in other cities.
Key to the venture is the idea of tracking progress and Lahti uses software developed specifically to do that and additionally the “platform is also publicly available, so citizens can see how the city is changing.”
There is much to emulate in Lahti and though they may not reach their Net Zero by 2025 goal they will likely only miss it by a year or two.
What practices from Lahti could you suggest to a municipal mayor and council or even a state/provincial government where you live?