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Draft climate bill will be made public end of April

Presentation and discussions of the Climate Act. Keit Kasemets, the undesecretary for the Ministry of Climate.
Presentation and discussions of the Climate Act. Keit Kasemets, the undesecretary for the Ministry of Climate. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Although discussions on the climate bill are still halfway through, the Climate Ministry will be able to present the draft to the public in as little as two months, undersecretary Keit Kasemets said at a conference on Monday.

Kasemets said that the Ministry of Climate's purpose in developing the climate law is to choose the most suitable climate-neutral route for Estonia.

"Whereas at first there were many voices wondering why we needed it at all and we had to defend what we were doing, now we are becoming more and more practical in our talks on climate law," Kasemets said.

Kasemets also said that he is approached by concerned business people who said that their perspectives are not heard in debates and that activists' ideas are more fundamental.

"Activists, however, say that the debate is biased towards business. This shows that the debate is moving forward," he said.

Kasemets added that the ministry is in the midst of discussions, but the draft climate law should still be made public by the end of April. "We're doing well, working hard," he said.

Minister of Climate Change Kristen Michal (Reform) on a tour of the Narva River. Source: Jelizaveta Gross/RMK

€1.6 billion from the EU to meet climate targets

"Against the backdrop of the European Commission's 2030 aim, Estonia stands out: if Europe needs to cut its carbon footprint by 55 percent, we are already there. However, over the last two to four years, Estonia's carbon emissions have increased. Estonia has a very high greenhouse gas intensity, and we are still effectively on the front line," Kasemets said.

According to the undersecretary, Estonia analyzes each area separately, including energy, industry, transportation, buildings, agriculture, waste management and land use.

He emphasized the European Union's investments in its climate goals. "EU funding will total €1.6 billion between 2021 and 2027. Carbon funds will provide €1.1 billion from 2024 to 2027. "The money is there," Kasemets said.

The Chancellor also outlined the major issues on which Estonia's opportunities in the context of global climate change are based: the ability to generate large amounts of clean and affordable electricity; digital and data; material recycling; the ability to produce low-emission fuels such as hydrogen and biomethane; maximizing domestic resources; and new opportunities for coastal economies in the context of climate change.

On Monday, the Ministry of Climate gave a mid-term review of the climate law's advancement, covering what has been discussed so far in sectoral working groups and how to proceed in light of these findings.

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Editor: Mari Peegel, Kristina Kersa

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