Rural affairs minister: Climate change increasingly affecting agriculture

Ministers at a Climate and Energy Committee meeting, including Minister of Rural Affairs Arvo Aller (right).
Ministers at a Climate and Energy Committee meeting, including Minister of Rural Affairs Arvo Aller (right). Source: Stenbock House

The Climate and Energy Committee of the Estonian government received an overview at Wednesday's meeting of climate measures in agriculture and the development of green technologies. According to Minister of Rural Affairs Arvo Aller (EKRE), climate change is increasingly affecting the agriculture sector.

"At the same time, the agriculture sector can for its part contribute toward mitigating and adjusting to climate change," Aller said regarding the reduction of greenhouse gases in agriculture.

According to the minister, this would be possible first and foremost through the neutralization of acidic soil, improving manure management, using renewable energy and energy conservation, as well as precision fertilization.

"Audits, studies and pilot projects need to be conducted in order to assess the situation in agricultural businesses and assess the impact of various practices and technologies on climate change," he said. "In order to cope with all of these challenges, farmers also need significant support from the state."

The Ministry of Rural Affairs will draw up a more exact overview of what investments are needed in the sector for this in time for state budget strategy talks.

Ratas: No sector will go untouched by climate change

According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre), not one sector will go untouched by climate change, and in order to remain economically competitive, smart action is required immediately.

"We need to update our economy and develop technologies in such a way that it benefits everyone," Ratas said. "Agriculture needs to become greener, and green technologies must become the foundation to our future economic growth."

He stressed that climate policy has to be very strongly considered with this year's state budget strategy already.

The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications provided the committee with an overview of the overall development of green technologies. Investments into this field would help the development as well as the adoption in research and business of green solutions.

Environment ministry drawing up green tech stimulus package

According to Minister of the Environment Rene Kokk (EKRE), renewable resources and energy sources motivate making the maximum use out of the development of green technologies.

"Estonia has what it takes to stand out with the development of new solutions on the international level as well," Kokk said. "Our strength is our ingenuity and international success stories in the IT field, as well as a clean living environment and Estonians who value the environment. A well-considered state green technology stimulus package will help to see the realization of good ideas."

In cooperation other ministries, the Ministry of the Environment is drawing up a comprehensive green technology stimulus package proposal for the state budget strategy process.

The Estonian government's Climate and Energy Committee is led by the prime minister and also includes the minister of the environment, the minister of economic affairs and infrastructure, the minister of finance, the minister of education and research, the minister of defense as well as the minister of foreign affairs. The committee submits its proposals to government or cabinet meetings.

Wednesday's meeting also included the minister of rural affairs as well as the minister of foreign trade and information technology.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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