Estonia convinces Europe on climate

  • 2008-03-19
  • From staff reports
TALLINN - An EU summit ending on March 14 agreed on the principles of future climate and energy policy, including Estonia's proposal that the European Commission factor in small and isolated energy markets when deciding energy policy.

Estonian government spokespeople said that the text of the summit's conclusions regarding environment-friendly storage of carbon was changed at Estonia's behest. 
The agreement takes into account the favorable conditions existing in Estonia for chemical storage of carbon dioxide through the use of oil shale ashes neutralized with carbon dioxide for filling open-pit and underground mines. That will allow for the development of technology in Estonia with the help of EU research programs.
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip voiced satisfaction with the summit, stressing how important it is to speak with one voice in matters concerning energy.

In a situation where EU energy producers must in the future buy their entire carbon emissions quota in auctions and no such obligation is applied to producers in third countries, the output of the latter will be clearly more competitive, Ansip said.
Estonia's energy policymakers fear a flood of cheap Russian kilowatts once the EU energy market is deregulated and Russia begins boosting electricity exports.
Speaking at an energy forum in Tallinn on March 12, Economic Affairs Minister Juhan Parts stressed that the country's security should not suffer as a result of the EU's energy reform.
"Decisions that reduce security will not be acceptable," he said, adding that security was crucial when speaking of natural gas or importing electricity.