MPs form support group to protect domestic interests in EU climate package

A Riigikogu sitting.
A Riigikogu sitting. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

25 members of the Riigikogu from three parties have formed a support group to protect Estonia's interests within the European Union's climate package. The aim of the group is to develop proposals for Estonia's position on the package.

Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), chairman of the support group, said the views expressed by the government do not sufficiently take into account the interests of Estonian consumers, businesses and security, and there is no substantive analysis of the cost and consequences of the proposed measures.

"In such a situation, the support group intends to develop proposals for Estonia's views on the climate package and, in the interests of involvement, to form a permanent council of interest representatives and experts from the support group," Reinsalu said.

The vice-chairs of the support group are Aivar Kokk (Isamaa) and Peeter Ernits (EKRE), and the group also includes Priit Sibul (Isamaa), Heiki Hepner (Isamaa), Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa), Üllar Saaremäe (Isamaa), Raivo Tamm (Isamaa), Andres Metsoja (Isamaa), Kaido Höövelson (Center), Jaanus Karilaid (Center), Sven Sester (Isamaa), Mihhail Lotman (Isamaa), Tarmo Kruusimäe (Isamaa), Merry Aart (EKRE), Alar Laneman (EKRE), Paul Puustusmaa (EKRE), Ruuben Kaalep (EKRE), Leo Kunnas (EKRE), Uno Kaskpeit (EKRE), Riho Breivel (EKRE), Helle-Moonika Helme (EKRE), Kalle Grüthal (EKRE) and Jüri Ratas (Center). Thus, Isamaa, EKRE and the Center Party are represented, but the Reform Party and the Social Democrats (SDE) are not.

The Riigikogu's EU Affairs Committee postponed the approval of Estonia's positions on the EU climate package "Objective 55" from December to January 10, but it is now clear that the adoption of the package, if it takes place, will do so at the end of January, or even later.

Representatives of the government have said that the lack of confirmed positions makes it difficult to defend Estonia's position in the EU in the negotiations which have already begun.

As Estonia has agreed to the main goal of the package, but at the same time, the countries have a right to decide how to achieve it, Estonia could correct the goals that are less suitable for it in the negotiations.

Minister of the Environment Erki Savisaar (Center) says there are proposals within the EU's climate goals that are not suitable for the Estonian state. For example, it is unrealistic to reduce CO2 emissions from forestry and agriculture by 2.5 million tonnes, he said.

The European Commission's July 55 climate target proposal is part of the EU's Green Revolution initiative, which aims to reduce Member States' total greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 and to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050.

Objective 55 consists of 14 legislative initiatives, most of which have been approved by the government as Estonia's negotiating position and which now also require the approval of the European Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu.

Initiatives must be agreed by national governments in the Council of the EU and approved by the European Parliament.

Negotiations between EU representatives to finalize the package are expected to last a few years.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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