The Estonian state earned €248 million revenue last year, from the sales of CO2 quotas via the European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS), the Ministry of the Environment reports.
Environment minister Madis Kallas (Reform) said that, thanks to a rise in quota prices, this revenue was higher than forecast, and was also used in part to mitigate soaring energy bills last winter.
He said: " Thanks to the higher receipts, last winter it was possible to provide support to less well-off households to reduce their energy bills," via a ministry press release.
Under EU regulations at least half of the revenue earned from the trading of EU CO2 emission allowances must be put towards climate and energy policy goals, the ministry says.
A cabinet sitting on Thursday saw this breakdown presented, including, for instance, several regions of Estonia, namely the coastal areas of Pärnu, Paide, Kuressaare, Haapsalu and Sindi seeing construction carried out to mitigate flood risks being financed via CO2 quota sales revenue.
The purchase of fully electric vehicles for firms, of electric buses in Tallinn, and the development of solutions for the separate collection of waste by local governments, were other examples of how the money raised from CO2 quota sales was put to use.
Energy savings in apartment buildings and public sector buildings, promoting the use of biogas, developing public transport using green hydrogen, sustainable rail and water transport and international climate cooperation were also so funded.
The latter category included aid to Georgia, in fighting or preventing forest fires there, and to Kenya, where the renewables sector was rationalized.
The state budget strategy (known in Estonian as the RES) sets out the use of CO2 auction sales revenues in the period 2021-2030, as it already had done for the period 2013-2020.
With regard to the latter period, which has now ended, 92 percent of funds had been allocated by year end 2020 and 40 percent of the total funds due had been paid out, the ministry says.
The revenue includes those relating to the aviation sector, which came to a little over €570,000 in 2021, the ministry adds, while this money has, for instance, been used in a renewables energy education projected at Kääpa elementary school, in Võru County.
The ETS, has been functioning since 2005.
Editor: Andrew Whyte