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EBRD adopts new country strategies for the Baltics

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has adopted new country strategies for the Baltics for the period 2021-26.

Among the main priorities, there is the green economy transition of all three countries, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania as the EBRD is well-positioned to help accelerate these countries’ green economic transition to meet their 2030 energy and climate targets.

In line with the Paris Agreement, Latvia’s government’s has achieved a 55 per cent reduction of GHG emissions, a 45 per cent share of energy produced from RES in gross final energy consumption and a 20 per cent lower final energy consumption than the optional national target for 2020. According to the EBRD, the country’s green transition towards 2020 targets has been notable, but gaps remain in the carbon-intensive transport sector, high energy-intensive building stock and industry. Furthermore, Latvia has relied on its existing hydro infrastructure, while efforts to deploy alternative sources have been modest. Also, landfilling of waste is significantly higher than in regional peers. Here, the Bank will combine investment in renewables with policy engagement, offering experience in supporting improved energy and resource efficiency.

Estonia’s government was able to decrease waste disposal to landfills by 30 per cent and develop diverse and sustainable production technologies based on different sources of energy. Now, it aims to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 and a 13 per cent reduction by 2030; to reach a 42 per cent share of renewable energy in total final consumption by 2030, to reduce primary energy consumption to 14 per cent and ensure energy security by reducing the dependency on imported energy.

Although the country met the renewable energy target in final energy consumption by 2020, for the EBRD reaching 2030 targets will require significant and continued investment in the RE sector from both the private and public sector. Moreover, the share of renewable energy in the transport sector remains lower than the EU average. Thus, in Estonia, the Bank will help to develop competitive and transparent auction systems. It also offers its experience in financing energy efficiency modernisation of the residential housing stock, in order to support a green transition that leaves no one behind.

Finally, in Lithuania, the priorities for the new government are to connect to the European power network and develop domestic energy production capacities. The government is also strongly opposing the construction and operation of unsafe nuclear power plants constructed without compliance with EU safety standards. And, the National Energy and Plan targets the reduction of GHG emissions from all sectors of the economy by at least 40 per cent by 2030; envisages reaching a 45 per cent share of renewables in gross final energy consumption and 15 per cent share in the transport sector.

The EBRD noted that the development of wind energy has been notable, but the ambitious 2030 targets will require a significant effort to continue renewable energy development, increase energy efficiency as well as support the transport sector to shift to cleaner solutions. Also, carbon pricing and coverage should be brought in line with the ambitions under the EU ETS. Here, the EBRD will support the transition towards GHG emissions and improved energy and resource efficiency through a combination of policy engagement and investment.

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