Despite having a population of just 5.4 million, the Nordic nation now boasts 10 per cent of the world’s startup exits, with the Finnish capital Helsinki at the epicentre of these flourishing ecosystems. There are 500 startups in Helsinki alone, in industries ranging from gaming to clean tech, fintech, ITC and food services, many of which have attracted substantial interest from foreign venture capitalists. In 2018, foreign investments in Finnish startups exceeded £200 million. So when Jan Vapaavuori became Helsinki’s first elected mayor in June 2017, it was only natural for him to look to harness the city’s culture of innovation and technical expertise to position Helsinki as a global leader among cities in paving the way for a post-carbon economy. At the time, Helsinki had already made impressive progress with meeting global climate targets. In 2018, the city’s greenhouse emissions were 28 per cent lower than in 1990, despite a population increase of 150,000. But having previously served as a minister in the Finnish government during the past decade, Vapaavuori had come to the conclusion that the capital could take an even more ambitious approach to climate policy. In 2018, the City of Helsinki revised the city’s timeline […]


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