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Finland hopes for green jobs too

Finland hopes for green jobs too

| Text: Carl-Gustav Lindén Photo: Mikael Nybacka

Finland has long made a living from its "green gold" - the forests - even though its pulp mills and paper production plants hardly can be called environmentally friendly.

As those factories close one after the other, the hunt for new, green jobs intensifies.

The main focus rests on green energy: the percentage of renewable energy must be increased dramatically with the help of wind power and biogas power plants. The Ministry of Economy hopes biogas production alone will create 12,500 new jobs. The Minister of Labour, Anni Sinnemäki, and her Green Party believe the green sector will provide 50,000 new jobs by 2017.

There are some 1,500 businesses working with green energy in Finland today. The hope is for them to develop into successful players in the global market. One large project is to switch pulp mills over to produce ethanol.

Then there are the brand new possibilities, like the newly opened factory east in Finland producing lithium batteries for the electric vehicle market. And in the west coast city of Nystad, production of Saab, Opel and Porsche makes way for production of the Danish car designer Henrik Fisker's hybrid sports car, the Karma.

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