The 2023 Riigikogu elections platform of the ruling Reform Party promises to pass a climate law and amend acts governing advertising in order to combat greenwashing.
"The climate law will create legal basis for meeting climate targets, regulate state activities across different fields and distribute green reform obligations, goals and rights across sectors. The climate law will provide a mandate for the minister responsible for the green reform," the energy and environmental policy chapter of the party's 2023 platform, that Reform published on Friday, sets out.
The idea of a climate law was proposed by Ahti Asmann, CEO of Estonian oil shale chemistry group VKG, last September. "Without clear legal limits, the green transition will create an uncertain business environment where long-term decisions or investments cannot be made," Asmann said at the time. This sparked virtually no reaction from political parties at the time.
The rather long chapter promises a plethora of other changes to facilitate the green transition. "Every fiscal investment must help achieve climate neutrality," it reads. "The public administration minister will be replaced by a green reform minister whose /.../ task is to coordinate every ministry and their agencies follow national strategies (Estonia 2035, Fit for 55 etc.) and quantifiable targets in the climate crisis era."
"We will amend the Advertising Act to combat greenwashing. Companies advertising climate friendly and/or neutral products must be able to back up such claims scientifically, taking responsibility for the environment and the consumer to put an end to greenwashing and advertising tricks."
The Reform Party also pledges to support initiatives, ventures and organizations that tackle environmental and climate issues to facilitate "constant cooperation on all levels and give interested individuals a way to participate in environmental protection and reorganizing the economic model" through the Environmental Investment Center.
"We will finalize purchases of natural conservation lands from private owners and pay owners fair compensation for maintaining diversity. If the owner so wishes, the state must immediately and for fair compensation buy lands on which limitations that rule out economic activity are placed. Natural preservation and maintaining diversity in the public interests of landowners needs to be subject to compensation and a matter of honor for landowners," the program reads.
The Reform Party promises to create "smart possibilities" for developing a modern housing fund in areas that see market disruptions.
"We will put together a digital trash reduction program for state and local government institutions. We will develop solutions where unnecessary files and emails will automatically be deleted after a set period of time to reduce the public sector's carbon emissions footprint," the final part of the program reads.
Editor: Marcus Turovski