Flight tax initiative to parliament
A citizen’s initiative to add a flight tax to every plane ticket bought in Finland will be submitted to Parliament today, after collecting more than 55,000 signatures last autumn. The organisers of the initiative believe that economic controls are needed to reduce the number of Finns flying. They say that air transport generates very high levels of carbon dioxide, water vapor and other emissions which account for about 4% of global warming. The tax, levied per passenger, would bring Finland in line with Sweden where a tax between €6 and €40 is charged – and where there’s been a drop in the number of people taking flights recently.
Morning fire badly damages apartment block
A small apartment building in Alajärvi has been badly damaged in a fire on Wednesday morning. The alarm was raised just before 08:00 and when rescue crews arrived on the scene they found the building already fully engulfed. Firefighters had to break windows to rescue the residents of several apartments in the two-storey building, which sit on top of a ground floor gym. One person who was rescued from the apartment where the fire began is said to be badly injured and taken to hospital for treatment. The blaze was extinguished by 09:00.
Latvian Prime Minister visits for talks
The Prime Minister of Latvia Krišjānis Karinš is in Helsinki today for talks with Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP). On the agenda for discussions is cooperation between the two countries in the energy and infrastructure sectors, as well as Baltic Sea environment issues. They’ll also be talking about the EU’s Green Deal and the EU’s budget for 2021-20217 which is to be agreed on at the end of February by leaders from the 27 countries. During his visit, Prime Minister Karinš will also meet with President Sauli Niinistö.
Wednesday morning weather
It’s a crisp, cold and mostly sunny start to Wednesday morning across northern areas with temperatures in Lapland down to -11°C. Further south things warm up above freezing and there’s a chance of some sleet or freezing rain in between glimpses of sun across Central Finland. There’s rain too forecast in south and southeast areas where the temperatures rise a few degrees above zero.