Government officially declares support for EU Green Deal ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Wind turbines (photo is illustrative).
Wind turbines (photo is illustrative). Source: Postimees/Scanpix

The Estonian government confirmed its position on the European Union Green Deal Thursday, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

The prime minister said that Estonia supports the goal of climate neutrality across the EU by 2050.

"The green agreement gives us a way to achieve this goal," Ratas said.

"This is a framework that covers almost all policy areas, where, in addition to environmental issues, there is also a strong emphasis on the social and economic side," Ratas added.

Ratas also noted on his social media account that the action plan proposed by the European Commission and its accompanying climate law provide a unified way and good opportunities to reach the agreed goal, I.e. by 2050, the EU will be climate-neutral.

The government also believes that the interim EU 2030 climate targets – a framework which includes EU-wide targets and policy objectives for the period from 2021 to 2030 –needs to be preceded by thorough analysis of all 27 Member States and the relevant sectors; energy and transport require the highest level of investment, given the importance of ensuring energy security and the security of supply in the transition to climate neutrality, the government says.

One example of this is offshore wind farms, which the government says represent a good opportunity for the greater use of renewable energy in the Nordic-Baltic region.

Notwithstanding battles with the private sector on the issue of wind farms permissions and related issues, going back a decade in some cases, the government recently discussed development of both on- and off-shore wind farms.

Environment minister: Hydrogen economy and other renewables also key

Environment minister Rene Kokk (EKRE) also highlighted the importance of renewables, including the so-called hydrogen economy -  the use of hydrogen as a low carbon fuel, particularly for heating.

"One important area for Estonia is the development of hydrogen and other renewable energy and fuel-based technologies," Kokk said.

"In my opinion, hydrogen is definitely one of the solutions for the future, and I believe that in ten years' time hydrogen solutions could work very successfully in Estonia and Europe," he went on.

The government also says it is necessary to support the development of innovative solutions, the development of green technologies and basic and applied research. 

According to the government, the focus should also be on the implementation and use of future technologies and the development of the necessary skills. 

Estonia also emphasizes the importance of environmental education and the fact-based treatment of green issues.

Estonia's position is also that the European Green Agreement action plan published in December should also now factor in the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. The government added that exit measures from the pandemic must be in line with the EU's long-term climate goals and the principles of the circular economy.

The action plan proposed by the European Commission describes activities in all related areas: Transport, energy, agriculture, science, the EU's global role, and more. The European climate law is a draft regulation which forms a part of the European green deal package and aims to establish a framework for achieving climate neutrality.

After originally opposing the EU's climate deal, which aims for climate neutrality by 2050 across the union, Estonia came on board in October last year.

Estonia's European Commissioner, Kadri Simson (Center) holds the portfolio for energy.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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