Posted on Apr 04, 2020
The Estonian Government has decided to allocate 125 million EUR in aid to the state-owned company Eesti Energia for the construction of a shale oil plant. This decision is irresponsible in light of the ongoing pandemic, Estonia’s future and EU’s climate goals, say experts..
Climate expert at the Estonian Fund for Nature, Piret Väinsalu, said: “Much better uses could be found for this money in the current crisis – either in the healthcare sector or to support long-term economic solutions.
At the moment, providing a sense of security to oil shale workers with a new oil plant is like trying to build a new hotel for those who are unemployed in the hotel industry.”
Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Wendel Trio, added: “The EU should tackle both the health and climate crisis by taking the right measures and using its money wisely.
In this regard, the decision of the Estonian government is unacceptable and irrelevant to what the rest of the EU is trying to achieve.”
The government’s decision is based on the outdated Estonian National Strategy Papers which have to be reworked in the light of the 2050 climate neutrality objective of the European Union.
As Estonia is prolonging its dependence on fossil fuels, environmental damage and carbon emissions will continue.
According to the SEI Tallinn study it will make it extremely unlikely for Estonia to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
Estonia is facing a recession because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, and declining tax revenues will further limit public sector’s capacity. It is crucial for people’s wellbeing that the Estonian government makes wise, forward-looking choices.
Alongside environmental organisations, the government’s decision has also been criticised by Estonian research organisations, youth associations, entrepreneurs[ and politicians.
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