The government approved the Estonian standpoint on the European Green Deal

Stenbock House, 4 June 2020 – At today’s cabinet meeting, the government discussed the Estonian standpoints on the European Green Deal and the corresponding European Climate Law and confirmed the decisions of the session.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas considers it a positive development that subjects concerning the environment and climate are increasingly important in all areas, and this objective is also carried out by the Green Deal. “Estonia supports the EU goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The Green Deal is a measure for fulfilling this goal,” Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said. “It is a framework that covers all political areas, where social and economic topics are almost as important as environmental issues.”

According to the Minister of the Environment Rene Kokk, the Green Deal brings about many opportunities for Estonia. “It is in our best interests to be involved in the innovation and find new ways to raise the competitiveness of Estonian companies, increase the volume of investments, and seek opportunities to switch over to renewable energy. Developing technologies that are based on hydrogen and other renewable energy fuels is an important subject for Estonia. In my opinion, hydrogen is definitely the way of the future, and I believe that hydrogen solutions could be successfully operated in
Estonia as well as in Europe as early as within a decade,” Kokk said.

Estonia supports the establishment of the European Union long-term climate neutrality framework for 2050 within the European Climate Law. However, to increase the European Union climate target for 2030, a thorough analysis of the Member States and sectors must be conducted.

Form the Estonian viewpoint, the most important sectors in need of investments are energy and transport because we must guarantee the security of energy and supply when transitioning to climate neutrality. Estonia sees great potential in offshore wind parks, which represent a good opportunity to use more renewable energy in the Northern Baltic region. The establishment of innovative solutions, the development of green technologies, and basic and applied research must also be supported. The focus should be on applying and using future technologies and developing the necessary skills. Estonia also emphasises the importance of environmental education and factual approach to green topics.

Estonia also recommends considering the crisis and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the initial European Green Deal strategy that was issued in December. Managing the exiting from the crisis must comply with the long-term climate goals of the EU and the principles of circular economy.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, presented the European Green Deal action plan in 11 December 2019. It is the umbrella strategy of the European Commission for establishing a resource-efficient Europe with a competitive economy. The main objectives of the deal are sustainable and durable economic growth, and a cleaner, greener, and healthier environment. For that purpose, the European Commission brings together 47 initiatives of different areas in the deal, trying to approach the environmental, economic, and social spheres with a unified vision.