Estonian environment minister to discuss climate, biodiversity crisis with EU colleagues

  • 2022-10-24
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian Minister of the Environment Madis Kallas is to take part in a meeting with his EU counterparts in Luxembourg on Monday where an agreement will be sought on Council conclusions that will serve as the EU's general negotiating mandate for this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference and the UN Biodiversity Conference.

Kallas said that everyone must make an effort to curb climate change and the destruction of biodiversity.

"Every state has both a responsibility and an opportunity in this matter," Kallas was quoted by spokespeople for the Ministry of the Environment as saying.

The annual UN Climate Change Conference will bring representatives of close to 200 states to Egypt in November to discuss progress in achieving the key target in the Paris Agreement to keep the the rise in mean global temperature within 1.5 degrees Celsius. With regard to plans for the future, this year's conference also places a great emphasis on adapting to climate change and funding for meeting climate targets.

"Like all states, we're also going to the climate conference to learn from other states' experience," Kallas said. "There is much knowledge and technologies in Estonia that we can also introduce to others, however. Climate change is a difficult problem for everyone and, thus, it is important that developed countries should help others resolve it as well. We must keep in mind that by combating climate change, we're also solving the energy crisis."

Kallas said that Estonia is contributing to developing countries' climate projects by enabling the introduction of Estonian technologies. The minister of the environment said that all states should increase their support to adapting to and mitigating climate change in developing countries.

The UN Biodiversity Conference will take place in Canada in December where the goal will be to agree on a new and more ambitious plan for stopping the loss of biodiversity.

Kallas said that considering the rapid destruction of biodiversity in the world, Estonia supports this goal. He added that greater attention must be paid to the restoration and preservation of ecosystems and to drawing up a concrete action plan that would also help mitigate the impact of climate change.

"At the same time, it must be borne in mind that the achievement of climate goals should not be done at the expense of biodiversity," he noted.

The minister said that Estonia plans to direct its efforts towards habitats of key importance the condition of which leaves to be desired, such as marshes, bogs and forests.

The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP27, will take place in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, from Nov. 6-18. The 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity will be held in Montreal, Canada, from Dec. 7-19.

Discussions at the EU environment ministers' meeting in Luxembourg on Monday also concern industrial emissions and eco-design regulation.