President Sauli Niinistö at the European presidents’ meeting of the Arraiolos Group in Latvia in September 2018 where the initiative was first presented. Picture: Matti Porre/The Office of the President of the Republic

President Sauli Niinistö has joined an “Initiative for more Climate Ambition” which, as the name suggests, calls for more ambitious action to halt climate change. Signed by 16 European heads of state and government and published on November 23, the declaration appeals to the parties of the Paris Agreement for swift and decisive joint action to stop the global climate crisis.

Some of the points in the initiative include:

Click to find out more.


“Climate change is the key challenge of our time. Our generation is the first to experience the rapid increase in temperatures around the globe and probably the last to effectively combat an impending global climate crisis.”

“Over the past century, the global average temperature has already risen by about 1 degree Celsius over pre-industrial levels. This increase is unprecedented in the history of mankind.”

“The climate crisis is a concern to all of us. Global warming impedes the global economy. It threatens various sectors including agriculture, forestry, tourism, energy and water supplies and inevitably, it is a serious threat to peace and stability around the globe.”

The launch of the climate initiative is connected to the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in December in Katowice, Poland.

President Niinistö will participate in the conference. According to the signatories to the climate appeal declaration, the conference in Poland carries a particular responsibility, as the parties will agree on the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement.

The signatories emphasize the collective obligation we have towards future generations to do everything humanly possible to stop climate change as well as to adapt to its adverse effects.

The 15-point declaration states that more needs to be done to reach the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. The signatories emphasize the collective obligation we have towards future generations to do everything humanly possible to stop climate change as well as to adapt to its adverse effects.

The presidents of Finland and Austria are joined by the presidents of Germany, Iceland, Italy and Switzerland and the prime ministers of Sweden and the Netherlands among others as signatories to the declaration.

President Niinistö will attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference meeting for heads of state and government on December 3, where he will deliver Finland’s national statement. The objective of the Climate Change Conference is to agree on the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement.

The conference will also discuss adaptation to climate change impacts, funding for climate action and short-term measures to reduce emissions.

The Finnish delegation will be led by President Niinistö and comprise, among others, Kimmo Tiilikainen, minister of the environment, energy and housing.

“Let us take the manifold opportunities and measures to combat climate change forward and shape a positive future for our planet. Let us bequeath a world worth living in to our children and to future generations,” says point number 15.

You can read the whole Initiative for Climate Ambition document here.