On Wednesday, Estonia's new Climate Council held its first ever meeting after being convened by the Ministry of Climate. The council's first port of call was to elect Tartu City Architect Tõnis Arjus as its inaugural chair.
The members of the council are Timo Palo, Aveliina Helm, Kerli Kant-Hvass, Gunnar Okk, Marek Rannala, Tõnis Arjus, Ants-Hannes Viira, Veiko Uri, Sten Tamkivi, Rainer Sternfeld, Erik Puura, Grete Arro, Jaak Vilo, Kai Realo, Väino Kaldoja, Maia-Liisa Anton and Kaspar Oja.
"The Climate Council brings together experts with the knowledge, background and experience to help Estonia answer the question of how a smaller environmental footprint can become our competitive advantage," said Minister of Climate Kristen Michal (Reform) at the inaugural meeting.
The climate law to be prepared would have a directly impact on a number of sectors such as energy, transport, economy, biodiversity and circular economy. According to the ministry, the Climate Council's composition was decided on the basis of the main focus areas and those upon which it will have the greatest impact.
The newly-elected chair of the Climate Council, Tõnis Arjus, has been Tartu City Architect for the past 11 years and is a champion of sustainable and modern spatial design. He has also been an active member of the expert group at the Government Office.
"Without a climate law, Estonia will not be able to move towards a more sustainable way of life and economy in a fast and purposeful manner. We recognize the magnitude and importance of the task assigned to the council, and seek to be an active advisor in this process. At the same time, it is important to emphasize that the development of the law involves many different forms of cooperation to ensure that the voices of all the people, experts and scientists are heard," said Arjus.
The Climate Council's next meeting will take place in October, at the same time as the drafting of the climate law will is due to begin.
The Ministry of Climate, which was established by the new government, began preparations for the drafting of the climate law in July this year. The aim is to carry out the first public consultation on the draft proposal this fall and to have the law ready by early summer next year.
Editor: Michael Cole