On Saturday 6 April 2019, Neste published an open letter to the future government of Finland urging ambitious targets for emission reductions for the next four years. According to the company, transport-related emissions must be reduced immediately, which requires the diverse development of both existing and new solutions.
The current discussion on climate change in Finland oversimplifies the complex questions surrounding it. To prove that there are no simple answers to questions surrounding climate change, Neste challenged a group of influencers and the company's President and CEO to take a polygraph test.
“Climate change is the biggest challenge of our times, and the clock is ticking. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC, we may have less than 12 years to tackle climate change. It is a challenge to which there are no easy answers. To succeed, all the possible alternatives need to be utilized. We must implement both small and large solutions as soon as possible. If we don’t act now, soon it will be too late”, says Peter Vanacker, President and CEO of Neste.
Vanacker was one of the participants taking the lie detector test, in which a real polygraph machine was used with a trained professional moderator. Participants were asked to answer complicated questions on climate change, such as “Do you believe that climate change can be stopped?” and “Are you personally doing enough to prevent climate change?”
“Agreeing to take the lie detector test was naturally unnerving. Taking the test means that one must confront difficult questions and be exposed to one’s own hesitations and judgement from others. However, there was a trick, which was that the questions were impossible to answer. It showed that there truly are no simple answers to these complex questions”, Vanacker continues.
Finnish influencers taking part in the test were journalist and communications entrepreneur Peter Nyman, researcher Tuuli Kaskinen, Professor of Practice Pekka Sauri and journalist Riku Rantala. While responding to the test questions, they also noticed that there were no easy answers to climate change.
“In the climate debate and especially in politics, it is common to force people to take sides against one another, which makes the problem almost impossible to solve. With climate change the truth is that for the first time we are all in the same boat and lost without a solution. The next government needs to achieve results and clear reductions. Not just plans, or good intentions, but results”, states Riku Rantala.
In the fight against climate, every action counts
“Fortunately, no one has to face the challenges of climate change alone, not even the governments. Companies create solutions, and for instance our promise is to help our customers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 million tons every year by 2030. Furthermore, our goal is to reduce our own carbon footprint in production ahead of EU’s climate and energy targets. Sustainability must be at the core of companies, and they must continuously assess their business from a sustainability point-of-view. We are no exceptions to this,” Vanacker highlights.
“The Finnish people make their own decisions every day and also cast their votes during the upcoming Finnish Parliamentary Elections. People achieve results every day. More and more of us are making smaller or larger behavioral changes in our way of living. This we can be proud of,” Vanacker adds.
Neste invites people to challenge the future government of Finland to set ambitious climate targets. Visit www.totuudenhetki.fi (in Finnish) to read the open letter and watch a video clip from the polygraph tests.