RIGA - The environment ministers of the three Baltic states have agreed to step up cooperation in promoting energy independence, Latvian Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Toms Arturs Pless (Development/For) told LETA following a meeting of EU environment ministers in Brussels on Friday.
Pless indicated that the Baltic states are currently tackling their dependence on Russian gas imports and that more resolute action to deal with the problem is required also on the EU level, including structural reform aimed at ensuring the energy sector's independence from third countries in the long term.
The Latvian minister said that the EU's Green Deal is playing an essential role in this process as the climate goals set forth in this initiative go hand in hand with a more effective use of renewable energy, while close cooperation with partners in Lithuania and Estonia is especially important in tackling collective challenges.
Responding to the war started by Russia in Ukraine, the ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia discussed national plans for increasing the capacity of renewable energy production and phasing out fossil fuel imports from Russia. The ministers were unanimous that a fast development of wind farms is one of the main ways to increase energy independence, which is why it is necessary to simplify administrative procedures and reduce the bureaucratic burden hampering the development of such energy projects.