The city of Turku is located in southwest Finland, in Northern Europe. Founded in 1229, it is the country’s oldest city. It is situated around the Aura River, which flows into the Baltic Sea, making it an ideal location for its 184,000 inhabitants and 20,000 enterprises. In June 2018, the city unveiled an ambitious climate plan to be carbon neutral by 2029. This plan was prepared according to the common model of the European Union (EU) (SECAP, Sustainable energy and climate action plan) with key milestones for years 2021, 2025, and 2029. It focuses on both adaptation and mitigation strategies with six measures outlined as necessary to meet the targets, two of which directly target citizen outreach and engagement. These two measures focus on mobilizing communities as partners in the climate plan and on raising awareness of climate change. Given its significance to the plan, this paper examines stakeholder engagement in the City of Turku’s climate policies from a governance perspective. It asks the question, how does stakeholder participation materialize in the City of Turku’s carbon neutral planning process? It aims to give a snapshot of baseline stakeholder participation in the city’s carbon neutral aspirations. It has found that whilst the plan contains ambitions for stakeholder participation, it is not fully implemented. It recommends a citizen facilitated public participation steering group that aims to inspire citizens towards taking action and engaging in the decision-making process for a carbon neutral 2029.
- Climate change
- public participation