Estonia doubles down on EU climate goals ahead of European Council meeting

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Estonian and EU flags in the Riigikogu's White Hall. Source: ERR

Estonia supports the European Union target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, as announced at a European affairs ministers meeting ahead of an impending European Council session. Estonia would however require additional investment to make this happen.

U.K.-EU relations were also on the table ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, BNS reports.

Mart Volmer, deputy secretary general for European affairs at the foreign ministry, represented Estonia, with transatlantic relations and the pandemic also on the table.

Volmer said of the 2030 climate goals that: "The plans of the multi-annual financial framework and the NextGenerationEU (NGEU) are not sufficient to fund all additional investments needed for meeting the 2030 goals in their entirety. This means we should plan a transition that takes into account the situation and possibilities of all member states."

Volmer said that the U.S. remained the closest and most strategic EU partner

"We welcomed the proposed new transatlantic agenda," Volmer said.

"Dialogue with the U.S. must be ambitious and address all current issues ranging from the climate, strengthening democracy and trade and economic cooperation to foreign policy topics."

With the clock ticking on finding an EU-U.K. agreement, Volmer stressed the necessity of redoubling efforts to find a solution, while also preparing for all eventualities.

He said: "We cannot abandon our [EU] fundamental principles, such as the unity of the single market. As there are only three weeks to the end of the transition period, we must make preparations for every scenario, regardless of whether an agreement emerges."

The meeting took place remotely, ahead of the two-day European Council meeting which starts on Thursday. Other topics discussed included EU legislative priorities and the European Democracy Action Plan, spokespersons for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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