Press release from the Government of Estonia
Stenbock House, 19 December 2019 – Today, the government approved the National Energy and Climate Plan until 2030 and will submit it to the European Commission for assessment. According to the Commission’s initial assessment, the renewable energy portion of Estonia’s plan ranks among the best countries.
‘Estonia has already supported the European Union’s goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. Our plan for reducing greenhouse gases by 2030 is already ambitious and requires efforts from different parties in order to make its implementation a success,’ said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. ‘Our economy is facing a green revolution, one that will affect all areas’.
Taavi Aas, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, added that the ambitiousness of the plan confirms that the initial assessment of the European Commission, which placed Estonia’s plan – in comparison with renewable energy in other countries – in the top five.
The main goal of the National Energy and Climate Plan is to give the people of Estonia, companies and other Member States information that is as precise as possible regarding the activities with which Estonia is planning to achieve its energy and climate policy objectives. This, in turn, provides the opportunity to plan further activities and investments.
According to Aas, the plan mainly means making energy production greener, reducing greenhouse gases, contributing to energy efficiency in various sectors, reducing network losses, making buildings more energy efficient, adopting the use of alternative fuels in transportation, etc. ‘In essence, all our vital activities and needs are covered: food, heat, light, place of residence, transportation, waste, the forest, but also innovation and education,’ said Aas.
According to Rene Kokk, Minister of the Environment, climate policy has become an integral part of our lives and must be taken into consideration. ‘While moving towards climate neutrality we must also focus our attention on social and economic needs. However, greenhouse gases cannot be viewed only as a major problem, but also as an opportunity that encourages technological development and new environmentally friendly solutions’.
According to Taavi Aas, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, the country has already taken real steps to reach its goals by 2030 and 2050. ‘We conducted a study on the need to achieve climate neutrality and the actions required, and we have decided to electrify the Estonian railway network and procure a new radar for wind farms, to move forward with offshore wind farms, etc.,’ added Aas.
In addition, Aas pointed out that moving towards a cleaner economy would require huge investments, totalling an estimated EUR 17 billion by 2050, with EUR 4-5 billion of that required over the next 10 years. ‘ We will certainly receive money for green investments from the European Union, and the private sector will also contribute, but the fact is that the pressure on the state budget is increasing. Therefore, I have made the proposal to the European Union’s energy ministers that countries like Estonia, which have a low debt burden, could ease their budget requirements for green investments,’ he said.
The National Energy and Climate Plan was prepared in cooperation between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Rural Affairs, based on valid development documents, as well as research and analyses.
The National Energy and Climate Plan can be found here: https://www.mkm.ee/et/eesti-riiklik-energia-ja-kliimakava-aastani-2030
Additional information (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications):
Date of publication: 20 Dec 2019
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