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The Minister of the Environment: the climate agreement supports making the Estonian oil shale sector more eco-friendly
After late-night talks in Brussels yesterday, the leaders of the European Union Member States agreed on the European Union maintaining its ambitious environmental objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, increasing the share of renewable energy to 27% and increasing energy efficiency by 27%.
“These objectives take into account the needs of local people in maintaining their environment and health; are ambitious enough to make Europe globally competitive in rapidly growing green sectors, and give the European Union a strong position for the upcoming international climate negotiations in December. The agreement is realistic and considers the adaptation needs of enterprises as well as the characteristics of Member States, including helping poorer Member States in making the necessary investments,” Minister of the Environment Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said.
In the view of the Minister of the Environment, the most important aspect for Estonia is that countries are given the option of deciding on the way the target is reached. “We have proved that we can successfully manage it: Estonia has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by half in a little over 20 years, having doubled the economy in the meantime. The share of renewable energy in Estonia today is already at 25%, close to the 2030 target of the EU,” Pentus-Rosimannus said.
“The fact that the European Council gave more certainty in the context of using oil shale in a more environmentally friendly way is also important for us. For Estonia, the production of oil shale is less polluting and emits less greenhouse gases than the incineration of oil shale and therefore directly supports reaching the ambitious climate goals. The opportunity of producing it for the European Union market is an important way of making our extremely environmentally burdensome sector less polluting. Compared to electricity production, the carbon footprint of fuel production per energy unit is twice as small, less polluting, and uses less water,” the Minister of the Environment explained.