sunnuntai 15. tammikuuta 2017

I want jobs and a healthy climate

When I started in politics nine years ago, I was motivated by the worsening condition of the global climate. I was afraid that our planet can become a hostile place for humanity in a case the climate change runs away. 

At the same time, I understood that stopping the climate change is an incredibly difficult challenge. We should skip cars using fossil fuels, stop heating our houses with coal and forget the consumeristic way of life. And all this in a few decades.

I was worried what happens with employment if we make a climate policy that really matters. Are we going to live in a world of poverty and mass unemployment?

Nine years later, I am convinced we can have a sustainable life, still keeping our jobs.

Making a carbon neutral society requires much job in itself. We must install wind and solar energy, modernise our grid and create a new kind of bio-economy. In Vaasa region, this means jobs within energy industry, recycling, installing of new wind turbines,  subcontracting in solar energy and launching geotermic heating. Having a Tesla car factory or LNG powered ships in Vaasa region, would fit well with a good climate policy.

I want us to bear responsibility for each other in the era of climate change, too. We have still to take care of elderly people. Children need small groups in kindergartens, and schoolkids want to have grown-up people around them. The universities need independent research, the libraries are becoming citizens’ living-rooms. We need more good vocational training, and old buildings must be renovated.   
All this requires job. I have defended these jobs in the Vaasa City Council during the last four years, even if the bad economic situation has called for fiscal austerity.

The concept of job has changed during the last nine years, too. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs only in Finland, or their jobs have become part-time. More and more jobs can be found on the netsites of labour hiring organizations.  More and more people create their jobs themselves by combinations of entrepreneurship, project jobs, studies, child-care, sharing economy, scholarships, freelance jobs and voluntary work in NGOs.  

A stable full-time job is still what the most of the people want. Stable jobs are worth protecting. Anyway, I cannot ignore those hundreds of thousands of people in Finland who have no access to a stable job.

To support the people who have no access to a stable job, we need many things. A chance to study, supported by unemployment benefit.  Compatibility of social benefits with earnings. Career guidance for young people. Basic income. In a world where some people have too much job while others have too little, we need courage to talk about redistributing work. We need less control and more encouraging the jobless and the students. We have to reshape the concept of work.

The world we inherited was built by the work of our mothers and fathers.  To give a better world to our children, we still need much work.

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