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Estonia’s Ministry of Climate announces ‘Climate Resilient Economy Act’

Estonia’s Ministry of Climate announced the content of the Climate Resilient Economy Act and the main changes that will result from it. The emphasis is on vigorous growth of clean energy production, preservation of nature and birth of new industries. The draft law will go to the coordination round in June.

“The transition to renewable energy creates space for the development of new industries in Estonia,” explained Minister of Climate Kristen Michal. “Clean and more affordable energy reduces emissions, increases the competitiveness of the economy and export capacity and creates space for bringing new industries to Estonia. This is the way that the Climate Resilient Economy Act will contribute to our wealth and economic growth. Reduction of pollution, transition to new technologies and establishment of clear rules will in turn ensure a very important thing in Estonia – the protection of our clean and well-preserved nature.”

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the economic and legal environment and the new law will help counterbalance that by creating the necessary legal certainty and providing predictability,” he added. “The state will support the development of new technologies and we will give them preference in public procurements. We will facilitate innovation and testing of new technologies. We will create opportunities for the higher valorisation of local resources. All these directions will increase our wealth by keeping nature clean, reusing materials, and valuing each unit higher.”

The law will also provide for adequate protection of Estonian nature. “We will agree on a wise use of resources and a balanced economic policy,” the Minister explained. “We will channel money into nature-friendly technologies. We will adopt technologies that reduce the burden on nature. We will better prepare ourselves for coping with climate change because no matter how hard we try, changes are already a reality.”

The law will set national and sector-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • the goal for 2030 is to reduce emissions by 55 per cent;
  • the goal for 2035 is to reduce emissions by 71 per cent;
  • the goal for 2040 is to reduce emissions by 82 per cent;
  • by 2050, Estonia plans to achieve climate neutrality.

Transition to renewable electricity will have the biggest impact on the reduction of emissions.

“Since the transition to renewable energy significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, by 2030 emissions can decrease even by up to 66 per cent,” explained Kristi Klaas, the undersecretary for the green transition. “This brings us significantly closer to the goal of climate neutrality, which is very important for slowing down climate change and thus preventing natural, economic and health damage.”

For the land use sector, the goal for 2030 is to achieve zero net emissions, for 2035 the goal is to achieve binding and by 2050 the land use sector must bind enough to compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions of other sectors.

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