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Estonia: European Union Affairs Committee supported achieving climate neutral Europe

NordenBladet — At its today’s sitting, the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) discussed the positions formulated by the Government of the Republic on the Communication of the European Commission “The European Green Deal” and the proposal for a European Climate Law. When formulating Estonia’s position, the Committee also considered the opinion of the Economic Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu and the additional motions to amend by the Environment Committee of the Riigikogu.

Chairperson of the Committee Anneli Ott pointed out that climate neutrality was important and the steps to achieve it should be taken as quickly and resolutely as possible. “In implementing the Green Deal and achieving a climate neutral European Union by 2050, it is important that increasing the EU’s 2030 climate target would be preceded by a thorough analysis of Member States and sectors. At today’s sitting, we approved Estonia’s position and complemented it with the recommendation to support local transport. Besides rapid implementation of the Single European Sky concept, the European Union has to increase funding for the development of local train and tram transport,” she said.

Ott stated that one of the amendments added to Estonia’s position was the recommendation to channel additional investments into increasing the energy efficiency of private houses and apartment buildings, and the possibilities for monitoring the actual observance of energy performance certificate through smart solutions.

Member of the European Affairs Committee Mart Võrklaev also underlined the need for increasing the European Union funding for the development of local train and tram traffic. “Transport causes one fourth of the greenhouse gas emissions in the EU, and in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, the emissions from transport will have to be reduced by 90 per cent,” he explained.

As regards the smart solutions used to monitor energy performance certificates, Võrklaev said that Estonia could lead the way here thanks to its strong digital competencies. “At present, the energy class is assigned when buildings are designed, but the conformity of real energy consumption to it is not checked afterwards.”

Võrklaev expressed his regret that the Government had not thought it necessary to underline the importance of Rail Baltic in Estonia’s positions.

The European Green Deal is a policy strategy with the aim of transforming Europe into a society with resource efficient and competitive economy where climate neutrality is achieved by 2050.

Estonia supports setting the EU’s 2050 long-term climate-neutrality objective in legislation. At the same time, the states should be allowed flexibility in deciding on sectoral objectives and choosing the ways that suit them for achieving their targets. The proposal for increasing the European Union’s climate and energy goals for 2030 should be preceded by a thorough analysis of Member States and sectors, conducted by the European Commission. Estonia also considers it important that tax policy should support the achievement of the climate targets.

 


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