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Minnesota, Finland agree to team up on climate change

Two people sign documents at a desk.
Gov. Tim Walz (left) and Finland's foreign trade minister Ville Skinnari sign letters of understanding for Minnesota and Finland to collaborate on developing sustainable technology on Wednesday.
Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

The University of Minnesota and 3M hosted Finnish Foreign Trade Minister Ville Skinnari Thursday. The visits followed a meeting with Gov. Tim Walz Wednesday, when the pair signed a letter of understanding, pledging that Minnesota and Finland would collaborate on the development of sustainable technology across academia, government and business.

Michigan signed a similar letter last year.

“I really look forward to working with the universities and new, talented teams for startups and raising funding together to really create jobs here in Minnesota, but also back home in Finland,” Skinnari told MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner.

Noting his country’s big-name electronics company Nokia, Skinnari said he sees a lot of potential for the partnership to develop software for electric vehicles and charging stations. He also touted Finland’s use of wood pulp to create more sustainable fabrics.

Gov. Walz is scheduled to visit Skinnari on his home turf next month, bringing along delegates from the state’s technology, agriculture and education sectors.

To hear more from Skinnari, click play on the audio player above or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast.

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