Tarmo Tamm does not rule out returning as chair of Environment Committee

Tarmo Tamm at the signing of the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition agreement in April 2023.
Tarmo Tamm at the signing of the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition agreement in April 2023. Source: Siim Lõvi/Priit Mürk/ERR

The Eesti 200 parliamentary group, who have pledged to make Züleyxa Izmailova the new chair of the Environment Committee, may have to eat their words, as the committee's current chair, Tarmo Tamm, expects that the misdemeanor proceedings against him will be resolved by June, and he does not rule out resuming the same position in the fall.

As to why the parliamentary group is hesitant about Izmailova's candidacy, Tarmo Tamm told ERR's "AK" that the group is free to decide: "The faction makes its decisions when it makes them, and I cannot put any pressure on them," Tamm said.

ERR asked as to why some members of the political group think that someone else could be better candidate than Izmailova. "There hasn't been such a discussion; simply no decision has been made yet. That is all there is to it," Tamm responded.

Tarmo Tamm, a politician elected to the Riigikogu in 2023 on the Eesti 200 list and a timber entrepreneur, is the subject of two misdemeanor proceedings in connection with logging in the village of Käsmu. In addition, he faces administrative proceedings from the Environmental Board (Keskkonnaamet) for installing a floating sauna in a restricted zone of Lahemaa National Park.

"But the good news is that, according to what I have heard, the Environmental Board will make a decision in June and then things should be sorted out," Tamm said.

Tamm said that he does not rule out the possibility that he continues as chair of the Riigikogu Environment Committee. "I might be one of the candidates to continue," he said.

Tamm explained that his resignation as head of the Environment Committee has been blown up by the media, while no such decision has been taken.

Züleyxa Izmailova — an environmental activist and politician, who was the leader of the Estonian Greens from 2017 to 2022 — ran on the Eesti 200 list for the 2023 Riigikogu election and is the author of the party's climate program.

"I proposed that Züleyxa Izmailova fill the role while the Environmental Board looked into my logging activities. The group then considered the issue. This decision could not have been made because, when the news broke, neither a political group meeting nor a board meeting had occurred. So there could not have been such a decision. Somehow it slipped into the press that such a decision had been taken; it was premature," Tamm explained.

Eesti 200 announces Izmailova as head of the Riigikogu Environment Committee

However, a press release sent by Eesti 200 party on June 2 "slipped" into the press, which ERR is republishing unchanged.

Press release


Estonia 200

Züleyxa Izmailova will serve as chair of the Environment Committee of the Riigikogu.

Eesti 200 replaces Tarmo Tamm with Züleyxa Izmailova as chair of the Environment Committee of the Riigikogu.

"In light of the Climate Act, it is necessary that the chair of the Environment Committee be able to devote themselves fully to lawmaking and the involvement of various interest groups, with representation from both the timber industry and independent environmental protection groups," Marek Reinaas, the chairman of Eesti 200 group in the Riigikogu, said.

"Züleyxa Izmailova is a politician from a new generation, and is perfectly suited to ensure that the goals formulated in the coalition agreement, such as the implementation of the green transition, the promotion of the circular economy and of the green economy, get achieved," Reinaas said.

"Tamm needs to get on top of his own affairs, while we now have the author of the party's climate programme in the group, who is an excellent champion for environmental issues," Reinaas said.

Izmailova stood as a candidate in the March elections to the Riigikogu in the Tallinn constituencies of Haabersti, Põhja-Tallinn and Kristiine.

The Environmental Board has initiated misdemeanour proceedings against Tarmo Tamme to investigate the felling that has taken place on properties belonging to him in Käsmu village.

The party will approve the change at a faction meeting on Monday morning.

Izmailova still counts on becoming chair of the environment committee

Züleyxa Izmailova told ERR that the confusion is regrettable.

"Yesterday, I was already required to attend a meeting of the Environment Committee; however, I believe that period will start in the fall. The decision (on Izmailova's appointment as chair of the environment committee - ed.) is still in force by the group, no other decision has been taken in the meantime, no debate has taken place. So probably in the autumn we will come back to the issue," Izmailova said.

When asked if this kind of party behavior would cause her to leave the party, Izmailova said no.

"Definitely not. The task of the chair of the Environment Committee is a very difficult one. If we really have someone in our group who can do it better than I can, I will vote for them," Izmailova said.


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Kristina Kersa

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