Environment Minister: No strong pressure on Estonia on climate issues | New

Estonia’s main expectations at the COP27 climate change conference relate to the European Union’s approach that, in the context of the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis in Europe, climate goals are not should always not be forgotten, Kallas told ERR.

According to Kallas, some sections of society are concerned that climate targets will be abandoned, but there is no reason why this should be the case. “COP27 should reaffirm and maintain the direction of COP26,” Kallas said, adding that it was important for Europe to find willing partners among developing countries.

According to Kallas, the issue of support for the poorest countries is also still on the agenda, with the minister emphasizing that this should not stop due to the other crises we are currently facing. “The climate issue transcends national borders. The poorest countries must be supported in the implementation of climate projects. Estonia will continue to support the poorest countries, as it has done so far”, Kallas said.

While several Estonian energy producers have been granted special permission to switch from gas to shale oil to ensure sufficient heating supply this winter, Estonia is also feeling the effects of the energy crisis. According to Kallas, the additional use of fossil fuels in Estonia can only be a temporary measure. “At the moment we are talking about a heating period. From there we will monitor the development, including the war (in Ukraine) and the price of heating, and then we will look to the future,” said Callas.

Kallas cited Scandinavia and Western Europe as role models for Estonia in its approach to tackling climate change. “We are mainly talking about European countries that are climate champions. It is not possible to single out a particular country, as each follows its own path, but we can develop a model for Estonia based on different countries,” said Kallas said.

Kallas also said that during a meeting with Finland’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Maria Ohisalo, recent issues facing the two countries related to deforestation and biodiversity were discussed. However, Kallas pointed out that there is no strong pressure on Estonia regarding various climate issues.

“It is the job of our officials and diplomats to bring these issues and criticisms to the ministerial level, so that we can seek solutions to the problems or put them on hold,” Kallas said.

More than 30,000 delegates, including representatives from around 200 countries, will gather for the international climate summit, which kicks off in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Sunday, November 6. Those gathered will discuss ways to slow climate change and help those who are already feeling its impact.

One of the main themes of COP27 is whether dealing with the consequences of Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, including rising food and fuel prices and slowing economic growth , has slowed efforts to tackle the worst effects of climate change.

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Teresa H. Sadler