Morning headlines: Tuesday 4th February 2020

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

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Government’s new climate change fund

The government has decided to set up a climate fund to lead the nation’s efforts in fighting the climate crisis. The aim is to channel hundreds of millions of euros into various different initiatives to lower Finland’s carbon emissions and help meet the 2035 goal of being carbon neutral. The fund will be managed by the state-owned development company Vake. The government announced the new initiative during it’s two-day talks on how to bridge the gap between promises made, and the ability to deliver concrete results on making Finland climate neutral. The five coalition parties continue their discussions today in Vuosaari.

Finland falls behind Nordic countries for birth rate, income

The birth rate and disposable income of Finnish households has fallen more than in other Nordic countries. That’s according to a new report published by the Nordic Council of ministers. Disposable income in Finland has fallen in almost half of municipalities, a divergence from the trend in other Nordic countries. Finland has also overtaken Sweden to have the oldest population in the region; and the lowest birth rate with the smallest share of foreign-born population in the Nordics.

Chickenpox vaccination rates are high

The number of cases of chickenpox in Finland has dropped sharply but experts say there’s still room for improvement in vaccine rates. The National Institute of Health and Welfare THL has been studying vaccination rates in different parts of the country since chickenpox was included in the national vaccination for the first time in September 2017. According to THL almost all school-age children have been protected against chickenpox, but the weakest vaccination rates are to be found in the west coast.

Parliament returns for spring session

Parliament is back in business today for its spring session. MPs will meet at noon for a plenary session where the first order of business is electing the Speaker and two Deputy Speakers of parliament. The voting will be chaired by Social Democrat MP Erkki Tuomioja, the oldest Member of Parliament. The current Speaker is Matti Vanhanen (Centre) with Antti Rinne (SDP) and Juho Eerola (Finns) as the deputies. The official opening of parliament for the spring session takes place on Wednesday when President Sauli Niinistö will preside.

Tuesday morning weather

It’s a clear and bright forecast for Tuesday with the whole country enjoying temperatures below freezing, and plenty of sunshine around this morning as well. Temperatures in Lapland are down as low as -28°C this morning with -18°C in Oulu, -12°C in Jyväskylä, -6°C in Vaasa, -8°C in Lahti, -6°C in Turku and expect sunshine and -5°C in the capital city region although it will feel colder than that in coastal areas.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 4th February 2020 / Credit: FMI