The 2017 operating budget of Estonia's Environmental Investment Centre (KIK) is to decrease by 12 percent compared to this year's budget, and the agency will be cutting up to 13 jobs.
The supervisory board on Tuesday endorsed the KIK's goals and operating budget for 2017, the latter of which will be 12 percent smaller than the previous year's budget.
As a result of a significant reduction in the amount of money to be disbursed, the agency will restructure its work and reduce the number of employees by up to 13 people.
In accordance with the supervisory board's decision, the previously separate structural fund support and environmental programs branches of the KIK will be merged into a single unit.
The KIK is responsible for disbursing money to environmental projects financed with income from environmental charges in Estonia, disbursing of proceeds from the sale of carbbon emission credits and EU Structural Funds. In addition, the agency also lends money to finance environmental projects.
The amount of money received by the KIK under the Environmental Charges Act has declined significantly as of late, dropping from 35.8 million euros in 2012 to 28 million euros in 2016 and an estimated 25.6 million euros in 2017. The reducion is primarily the result of a package of measures adopted by the government in the spring to salvage the Estonian oil shale industry which froze extraction charges for oil shale.
The same decline has taken place with EU Structural Fund money disbursed by the KIK as well, which declined by approximately 150 million euros from 730 million euros during the 2007-2013 budgetary period to just 588 million euros in the 2014-2020 period.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla