Public appeal: Estonia needs political will to transition to renewable energy

  • 2023-03-30
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Nearly 20 Estonian organizations sent an appeal to the parties currently holding coalition talks, in which they express their support for the position of the minister of economic affairs and infrastructure to abandon the opening of new oil shale mines and encourage the new government to act based on the goal of climate neutrality and assume a clear future direction towards renewable energy.

"The use of the existing fossil fuel infrastructure alone is enough to keep us from reaching the goal agreed upon in the Paris climate agreement and the climate will warm to two degrees, which exceeds the limit of human tolerance. Any investments that prevent or delay the transition to renewable energy will only harm the achievement of the country's long-term goals. Estonia must avoid activities that lock us into the trap of a fossil fuel-based economy, even for a short time, and boost the climate crisis," Piret Vainsalu, climate policy expert of the Estonian Fund for Nature, said in a press release.

According to the signatories, a clear roadmap on how to switch to renewable energy, including in electricity production, by 2030 is needed. This means a comprehensive approach on how to ensure security of supply in the renewable energy system from both a technical and economic perspective, while at the same time guaranteeing wider social benefits and the well-being of nature.

The signatories also find that it is necessary to calculate how much energy is needed for domestic consumption, what network developments these require and what investments we need in the form of wind energy, solar energy, managed capacities and storage. The focus of the plan must be how to organize the transition fairly, so that all Estonian people benefit from it, how to ensure the reduction of energy poverty and energy use, and how to maintain and promote biodiversity during the transition.

The appeal was signed by the Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation,, Eesti Energiauhistu, the Estonian Environmental Education Society, the Estonian Fund for Nature, the Estonian Ornithological Society, the Estonian PV Energy Association, the Estonian Green Movement, the Estonian Hydrogen Technologies' Society, Eleport, the Estonian Environmental Law Center, the Koosloodus SA foundation, NGO Mondo, NGO Save the Estonian Forest, the Estonian Seminatural Community Conservation Association, Rohetiiger and Sorex.