Sitra (Finnish: Suomen itsenäisyyden juhlarahasto), the Finnish Innovation Fund, is an independent public foundation which operates directly under the supervision of the Finnish Parliament (Wikipedia link).
In response to the request from the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland, Sitra has prepared a short statement concerning auction of the 26 GHz spectrum in Finland. The link to the Finnish language version of the statement is here https://www.sitra.fi/artikkelit/sitran-lausunto-26-ghz-taajuusalueen-huutokaupasta/. (down below is the Google translation of the statement).
Sitra’s statement was prepared by non-experts in the health and environmental effects of EMF. Thus, there is no information or discussion as to what opinion on the possible radiation effects on human health and environment is more plausible. However, the statement ends with a very clear message:
“…If the necessary research data is not available, it must be obtained before making a decision…”
Research data on the health and environmental effects of 5G-emitted millimeter-waves (including 26 GHz band) is extremely limited. Scientific information is absolutely insufficient to make educated and science based decisions concerning human health policy and environment protecting policy.
The missing scientific data, as Sitra recommends, must be obtained before the decision on the full-blown deployment of the 5G technology is made.
In the meantime, the deployment of the 5G technology should be delayed by invoking temporary moratorium, as part of the EU Precautionary Principle.
Concomitantly, all necessary research funds, should be provided for specifically targeted research, research that directly addresses the human health and environmental impact of 5G. The issue of targeted research should be strongly stressed when distributing funding because not every kind of scientific research is equally useful in practical application for devising health and environmental policies.
I certainly hope that, in the very near future, Sitra would undertake the preparation of a thorough report on the possible impact of the 5G-emitted radiation on human health and environment and that both, government experts as well as independent experts would be invited to the round-table discussion.
[red emphasis added DL]
Sitra’s statement on the auction of the 26 GHz band
In the light of the seriousness and urgency of the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis, it is important to evaluate the latest research in a comprehensive and multidisciplinary way.
Director, Carbon Neutral Circular Economy, Sitra
Specialist, Circular Economy, Sitra
Specialist, Carbon Neutral Circular Economy, Sitra
Leading Expert, Foresight and Strategy, Sitra
Senior Specialist, Carbon Neutral Circular Economy, Sitra
Statement was prepared in response to request for an opinion of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (Diary number: LVM045: 00/2019), to which Sitra has been consulted.
Sitra is grateful for the opportunity to comment on the auction of the 26 GHz band.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are progressing at an alarming rate. For example, the Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published in October 2018, highlighted the exceptional gravity of the situation. Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees requires immediate and unprecedented action .
According to a May 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Nature (IPBES) report, the loss of biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides is now unprecedented . The impoverishment of nature also threatens the well-being of mankind.
Sitra encourages measures that promote the sustainable use of natural resources, slow down climate change, safeguard biodiversity and create economic growth and employment with less environmental impact. The aim should be to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and climate emissions in order to adapt our societies to the limits of the Earth’s carrying capacity. Digitalisation and many technological solutions help with this decoupling, and it is therefore important to promote them.
However, digitalisation and the use of technology are also factors that accelerate climate change and reduce biodiversity and therefore need to be addressed. These include the increasing use of energy and natural resources.
So far, little research has been done into 5G technology and its impact on the environment. Some studies have suggested that the 5G network and the frequencies it uses could have adverse effects on the environment, such as humans, plants, animals, insects and microbes . However, scientific evidence on the health and environmental effects of 5G networks is controversial [3, 4].
In its statement, Sitra emphasizes that the latest scientific information on the health, environmental and climate impact of 5G technology should be taken into account when deciding on the 5G network and the frequencies it uses. In the light of the seriousness and urgency of the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis, Sitra emphasizes the importance of a comprehensive and multidisciplinary assessment of the latest research data. If the necessary research data is not available, it must be obtained before making a decision.
 IPCC (2018): Global Warming of 1.5˚C. Summary for Policymakers
 IPBES (2019): Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Summary for Policymakers
 European Parliamentary Research Service, EPRS (2020): Effects of 5G wireless communication on human health
 Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks, SCHEER (2018): Statement on emerging health and environmental issues
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