COP26 final agreements to have little impact on Estonia

COP26: The action zone and globe at the Hydro, Glasgow.
COP26: The action zone and globe at the Hydro, Glasgow. Source: Alan Harvey/ UK Government

The agreements reached at the United Nations' climate conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland do not significantly affect Estonia. The EU will continue with its carbon reduction program.

After nearly two weeks of negotiations, countries signed the Glasgow Climate Pact on Friday. The joint goal is that the climate should not warm by an additional 1.5 degrees this century.

Kädi Ristkok, the head of the climate department of the Ministry of the Environment, said all countries were invited to submit a plan about how they plan to reduce their carbon emissions.

Ristkok said, for Estonia, this is already covered by the European Union's climate goal to reduce carbon emissions by 55 percent by 2030, in comparison to 1990.

Additionally, the rules for compliance with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement were agreed upon. This will see two global markets created for trading units of greenhouse gases but these will also not have a big impact on Estonia.

The EU already has an obligatory trading system, Ristkok said. Estonia could adopt the new framework for transnational cooperation and the second market, which replaces the Kyoto Protocol, is voluntary.

"This will not bring additional obligations to Estonia, rather it is a new opportunity," she said.

It was also agreed that more money would be given to developing countries to help them achieve their climate targets.

"The European Union plans to contribute an additional five billion US dollars to climate finance until 2027. Estonia has contributed one million this year," Ristkok said.

Another agreement about reducing the use of coal was finalized, which Estonia also joined. However, there is no coal in the country so it will have no impact.

"This is certainly a more general direction towards reducing fossil fuels. In that sense, we support this aim," Ristkok said.

Chairman of the Riigikogu's Environment Committee Yoko Alender said the results of COP26 show climate change is being taken seriously.

"Leaders have realized the urgency of the climate crisis and are no longer talking about a goal for 2050. I think it is because a lot of countries are actually [already] suffering significantly from climate change," she said.

EKRE MEP Jaak Madisson was critical of the outcome of the climate conference, calling it "hypocritical". 

He pointed out there was no sense in banning cheap energy, such as coal, while people continue to use private jets and do not make any changes to their everyday lives.

"So it shows a kind of hypocrisy [..] this is a nice ideological project that has nothing to do with reality or really halting global warming," he said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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