Candidate for European energy commissioner Kadri Simson told ERR that constructing a new shale oil mill and pre-refinery in Estonia will not be problematic from the European Commission's point of view.
Host of Vikerraadio program Uudis+ Arp Müller asked Kadri Simson whether the European Commission could look unfavorably on a member state investing in new production capacity to emit one million CO2 equivalents annually.
Simson said that Estonia is among the most successful member states when it comes to climate goals and has met its 2020 targets well in advance.
"Our ambitions in terms of reducing CO2 emissions and relative importance of renewable energy are far greater than the European average. We have nothing to fear in that sense," Simson said and added that Estonia is known for keeping its promises.
"And talking about oil shale, it is not coal that is only good for turning into electricity in solid form. Oil shale power generation has a greater ecological footprint than turning it into shale oil. That way, we can use our strategic resource more sparingly during the transitional period."
Simson added that Europe agreeing on climate neutrality by 2050 does not mean countries need to be there by 2020.
"The important thing is to have a plan for moving in the right direction. We have member states saying they'll stop producing electricity from coal by 2038; in other words that they have a plan."
Simson said that the European Commission gives member states targets for curbing carbon emissions and using renewable energy.
"Everything else remains at the sovereign discretion of the member state," Simson said.
Editor: Marcus Turovski