Züleyxa Izmailova: Climate package ambition must be retained on state level

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Green Party chair Züleyxa Izmailova in the ERR newsroom. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Should the government go along with fossil energy companies' rhetoric, according to which the climate plan will make life harder for less fortunate people, it will come as a sign of unwillingness to comply with parts of it, co-chairman of the Estonian Greens Züleyxa Izmailova writes.

Even though environmental organizations are not convinced the climate package will suffice, it is a start. While the ambition needs to grow in time, something needs to get done in the meantime. Action must be taken today, next to debating what is sufficient and what isn't.

Every EU member state must take responsibility for the green deal working out. And that includes Estonia. 

Now, Estonia will have to complement rhetoric with tangible efforts to catch up with European ambitions and overtake them. Polluting for free must end! 

Expanding the emissions trading system is the right step and needs to be handled in a way to benefit the Estonian economy, while suggesting it heralds the end of the Estonian economy is going too far. 

The Greens convened an extraordinary session of the Riigikogu on August 13, 2007, where they demanded a PÕXIT debate. (Estonia's exit from the oil shale sector – ed.) Other parties said that it was too soon and that the matter required more consideration. 

PÕXIT is now happening involuntarily and is much more complicated for both employees and businesses. Let us not repeat the same mistakes and take a proactive role in proposing solutions. 

The Estonian government must make sure the climate plan's goals are executed entirely, including by paying extra attention to improving the subsistence of least privileged households. The reason why the package has also been dubbed the social climate plan is its aim to reduce poverty and risk of poverty in addition to combating climate change. 

Should the government go along with fossil energy companies' rhetoric, according to which the climate plan will make life harder for less fortunate people, it will come as a sign of unwillingness to comply with parts of it.

Every measure must support reducing poverty lest efforts clash with the idea of the plan. 

Leading the charge against climate change will open a plethora of possibilities that the back markers can only dream of. 

Estonia has set itself goals that are more ambitious than those of other member states, while the time has now come to reach those goals. 

For the climate struggle to be successful, we must come to together and condemn the rhetoric of climate change deniers, such as the chairman of the Conservative People's Party (Martin Helme – ed.), of how nothing can or should be done, because on it depends not only the survival of our country and people but also Europe and the entire planet. 

The words of Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center Party) on ERR's "Päevakaja" program, according to which he is not yet familiar with the plan and even a preliminary analysis will take considerable time, comes as a sign of danger. This is peculiar coming from a member of government from the same party as EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson who played a crucial role in putting together the plan and did not voice a single protest. 

The matter is serious and burying our head will not help. It is the government's task to quickly and clearly provide us with a heading to give entrepreneurs enough time to adjust and revise their business models. Ignorance and dawdling are out greatest enemies right now. 

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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