Morning headlines: Friday 29th November 2019

News Now Finland morning news headlines and weather first, every weekday at 09:00.

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Low up-take on government, Sitra carbon footprint pledge 

A year after Sitra and the government launched a ‘Commitment 2050’ website to encourage Finns to reduce their carbon footprint, only 1300 have said they’ll take action. Those who made the pledge have committed to cutting their carbon footprint by an average of 22%. A third of people promised to go vegan while a fifth said they would stop flying for a year. Other more modest commitments include buying more local food and only using the washing machine when there’s a full load of laundry. The website sends regular reminders to the people who signed up, and they’re asked to report on the progress. While commitments to cut carbon footprints had a fairly low up-take, a test to measure your carbon footprint has been taken more than 65,000 times.

Mixed messages on fur farming attitudes 

A new survey today shows mixed messages about Finnish attitudes towards fur farming. The poll was carried out by animal rights groups and found that while 36% of Finns would support a ban on fur farming – up 6% from last year – about half the people don’t mind if fur farming continues in its current form or with some changes. Those changes include more space for the animals and allowing them the chance to exhibit species-specific behaviours which are not possible when they’re confined to small cages.

Rise in workplace accidents 

New figures released on Friday show a big increase in the number of workplace accidents in Finland. According to Statistics Finland there were more than 138,000 accidents at work during 2017 – that’s up 6000 compared to the year before, and a rise of 11,000 compared with 2015. The majority of accidents happened to people employed in a company; while entrepreneurs and agricultural workers accounted for 12,000 of the total accidents. More than 25,000 people had accidents while commuting to their jobs. However the number of workplace or commuting fatalities is down: there were 30 deaths reported in 2017 which is 16 less than the previous year.

Black Friday price increases 

While many retailers have been advertising their ‘Black Friday’ sales all week with deep discounts on some items, one Finnish retailer is putting the prices up on a number of products. Helsinki’s Varusteleka store, which sells surplus military and outdoor equipment, has increased the prices of ten items by 15% to 40% and donating part of the profits to the Hursti Foundation charity which runs a Helsinki food bank. “With our Black Friday campaign, we want to remind people that you don’t have to buy everything, even if it’s on sale” says the company. “Don’t buy the crap you don’t need, buy the crap you really need” they say.

Friday morning weather

There’s still a lot of wet stuff falling from the sky on Friday across most of the country. In Lapland where temperatures drop to -10°C expect snow. The snow continues too in Central Finland, but by Jyväskylä has turned to rain. There’s rain too for Joensuu and the eastern border region, Tampere, Turku and the heaviest rainfall on Friday in the capital. There’s warnings in place for dangerous road conditions in many places especially where the temperature hovers around zero and highways turn slippery. Be careful!

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 29th November 2019 / Credit: FMI