Riigikogu committee discusses achieving carbon neutrality in Estonia

European Union Affairs Committee chairwoman Anneli Ott (Centre).
European Union Affairs Committee chairwoman Anneli Ott (Centre). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu at its Friday meeting heard representatives of energy-intensive companies and green companies, who provided an overview of challenges and opportunities that would accompany the achieving of carbon neutrality in Estonia by 2050.

Committee chairwoman Anneli Ott (Centre) believes that the approach to carbon neutrality should be integrated, not sector-based, according to a Riigikogu press release.

"Besides energy, it is also necessary to deal with the transport sector, with the housing and agriculture sectors," Ott said. "These sectors influence the daily lives of people more than technological changes in individual large enterprises. Unfortunately, there is currently no agreement and understanding in society that the use of climate-friendly solutions means a change not only for businesses, but for everyone."

Ott explained that entrepreneurs had pointed out that it would be impossible to achieve zero emissions in the EU's cement and energy industries until a technological revolution had taken place in carbon emission sequestration technologies.

"The entrepreneurs emphasized that global agreements are necessary for achieving carbon neutrality," she noted, summing up the issue of energy-intensive companies. "If efforts are made only in the EU, there is a risk that large concerns will move their production facilities outside of the union."

At the same time, she continued, more and more green technology development projects focusing on circular economy and providing smart possibilities for energy savings are emerging in Estonia.

Those to deliver reports at Friday's committee meeting included Meelis Einstein, managing director of Kunda Nordic Tsement, Ahti Asmann, board chairman at Viru Keemia Grupp (VKG), Erki Ani, CEO of Cleantech Forest, and Andres Tropp, head of the Regulatory Affairs and Compliance Department at Eesti Energia.

The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu launched a series of parliamentary hearings this fall in order to draw up a resolution with which Estonia will participate in EU negotiations on 2050 climate targets.

The next parliamentary hearing at the committee will take place on Sept. 27, when the committee will discuss the meeting of Estonia's 2020 and 2030 climate targets with Minister of the Environment Rene Kokk (EKRE).


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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