NEWS

People in Estonia call on the Prime Minister to take more ambitious climate action

04-10-2019
Category: Climate Change
Justice & Environment member group Estonian Environmental Law Centre, together with the Estonian Fund for Nature and Estonian Green Movement, submitted a citizen initiative in support of climate neutral Estonia by 2035, to the Prime Minister Mr Jüri Ratas on September 30th.

They call on the Prime Minister and the government to take more ambitious action to fight climate change, using science-based and fair solutions engaging the entire society. The initiative received nearly 3000 signatures and was joined by 12 organisations, including the aforementioned initiators.

During the meeting with the Prime Minister, NGOs pointed out that the climate crisis is not leaving us but gains momentum instead. Similarly, there is no escape from the increasing pressure exerted by the international climate policy and climate movements. As the climate crisis affects many walks of life, the state should involve scientists from all of Estonia’s major universities to find cross-sectoral climate-friendly solutions.

The NGOs highlighted that Estonia could take a big step towards climate neutrality (meaning a country does not emit more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than it absorbs) now by implementing the just transition model used in various places in Europe. Among other things, just transition means that people affected by the transition are ensured fair income and future prospects.

“Today, Estonia stands at a crossroad”, said Siim Kuresoo, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Estonian Fund for Nature. “Should we continue to sustain a polluting industry for decades by establishing new oil plants and burning wood and oil shale at low efficiency or choose a path of development based on climate-friendly renewable energy sources with the help of the European Union. In the first case, Estonia will continue to lag behind in terms of climate policy, whilst the second option allows us to assume the role of innovative trailblazer”.

The initiative was handed over to Prime Minister Mr Jüri Ratas at the Government Office of Estonia before the session of the government’s Climate and Energy Committee.

 

**Further reading:

Blogpost by Bankwatch experts who were visiting Estonia at the end of September 2019.