Selling greenhouse emissions credits earned Estonia €141.2 million in 2018

Trams in Tallinn. Source: TLT

Estonia earned €141.2 million in income from the sale of greenhouse gas emission credits in 2018, at least half of which is used to mitigate climate change, it appears from an overview to be presented by Minister of the Environment Rene Kokk to the government on Thursday.

During the period from 2010 to 2013, Estonia concluded the Green Investment Scheme agreements under the Kyoto Protocol with Austria, Luxembourg, and Spain, as well as with several private-sector corporations from Japan.

The Estonian state sold altogether over €75 million Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) of greenhouse gas emission credits and earned over €392 million in income from those sales, the government's communication office said. 

Part of the income, approximately €20 million, was received in the form of electric cars. By July 2018, the fulfilment of most of the agreements had been finished and €372 million euros of the funds obtained paid out.

A total of 46 businesses from Estonia are taking part in the system of trading in AAUs launched in the EU in 2005. The businesses are active in the fields of energy and the refining and production of mineral oils. Estonia's income in 2018 amounted to €141.2 million euros, at least 50 percent of which will be used to mitigate climate change.

The measures for which the funds are to be used include increasing the energy efficiency of buildings, using alternative fuels in transport, developing a forestry certification project, covering the costs of running of the system of AAU trading, reducing of the risk of flooding, and international climate cooperation. 

Since 2014, auctions of AAUs in aviation are held alongside regular AAU auctions. Of the income earned in these auctions, 100 percent must be used for mitigating climate change and adapting to it. 

The income of Estonia under that item in 2018 totalled €141,150 and the money was used to finance five projects related to raising environmental awareness, informing about startups in green economy, and research of climate change.

In 2011, Estonia signed an agreement with Spain which saw money from the sale of AAU's spent on upgrading Tallinn's trams.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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