North Karelia is one of the five ‘Hinku’ regions in Finland since June 2020. Regions involved in the Hinku network are committed to an 80 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the 2007 level by 2030, together with municipalities involved.
For years now, the municipalities in North Karelia have worked together on projects to mitigate climate change. So far, 9 of the 13 municipalities in North Karelia – Ilomantsi, Joensuu, Kitee, Lieksa, Liperi, Nurmes, Outokumpu, Tohmajärvi, Valtimo – have joined the Hinku network, covering over 80 % of the area and accounting for 84 % of the population of the region.
“We build our future together,” says Hanna Huttunen, Chair of the Regional Board of North Karelia. “Local decisions make a difference. A good example is the thermal power station ‘Miilu’ of Outokummun Energia, which replaced heavy fuel oil with wood chips in the generation of heat, leading to a 60 % decrease in greenhouse gas emission in the town right away,” Huttunen says.
The Regional Council of North Karelia has been committed to climate and energy programming for decades, practically for the whole of the millennium 2000. Together with Finnish Environment Institute, The Regional Council is implementing a multi-annual, extensive program, Towards Oil-Free and Low-Carbon North Karelia. In 2018, the greenhouse gas emissions had reduced by 25 % from the 2007 level, so there is still plenty of work left.
The four other Hinku regions in Finland are Kymenlaakso, South Karelia, Tampere Region and Päijät-Häme.