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HISTORICALLY, FINLAND WAS a poor country, but in the post-World War II era, it transformed itself. Finland in the 21st century has a highly developed industrial economy and a standard of living that places it among the 10 richest nations in the European Union. More sparsely populated than most European nations, modern Finland must still confront the environmental problems that trouble all industrialized countries. Severe winters and long distances separating parts of the population increase the need for fuel. These needs added to the heavy demands of energy-intensive industries make Finland's per capita energy consumption among the world's highest.

Since the 1970s, the Finnish government has been engaged in conservation, using state-owned enterprises and price controls to encourage responsible consumption. These measures, coupled with exploiting the ...

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