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Policies, measures and actions on climate change and
environmental protection in the context of COVID-19 recovery.

Estonia Estonia

Last update2 Sept. 2020

Message

Minister of the Environment

Rene Kokk

Categories

Response
Emergency measures in the short term (a few months to one year) to address concerns that have directly emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and may include forced action.
Recovery
Socioeconomic measures in the medium term (one to a few years) with an environmental and climate focus to “build back better” from COVID-19, and usually involves planned, intentional action.
Redesign
Paradigm shifts and measures in the long term (more than a few years to a few decades) toward redesigning current socioeconomic and sociocultural systems to be sustainable and resilient.

1.Climate mitigation measures

  • Technological innovation (digitalization / hydrogen/ CCUS‚ etc.)

    RecoveryRedesign
    Analysis on the uptake of hydrogen resources in Estonia and hydrogen pilot project. Estonia is preparing to launch a survey for the production, transmission and use of green hydrogen in Estonia. The analysis will create a holistic approach to hydrogen production and deployment in Estonia, assessing the potential for hydrogen production and use in Estonia, mapping opportunities, bottlenecks, market barriers and threats, and strategic breakthroughs for the future, including identifying and evaluating potential business models. In addition, an innovation tender is planned to be launched in the autumn for the first hydrogen pilot.
    ContactMinistry of Environment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Government Office
  • Building sector

    RecoveryRedesign
    Renovation grants and loan guarantees for upgrading the energy efficiency of both single- and multifamily residential buildings. The comprehensive reconstruction of an apartment building makes it possible to increase the energy efficiency of the building, extends its useful life, raises its value on the real estate market, and provides an improved internal climate. The measure is targeted towards apartment associations and local governments that are looking to reconstruct their apartment building as comprehensively as possible. By means of the reconstruction grant for small residences, owners receive support to reconstruct their residences. The objective is achieving energy efficiency and the better indoor climate of small residences, reducing their energy consumption, and facilitating the adoption of renewable energy.
    ContactMinistry of Economic Affairs and Communications
  • Sustainable transportation

    Redesign
    Development of a new Transport and Mobility Development Plan for 2021-2035. The new Transport and Mobility Development Plan currently under preparation will have a stronger focus on cross-sectoral cooperation, especially on climate policy and energy objectives. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector, it will be necessary in particular to provoke changes in consumer behavior and to encourage modes of transport (eg public transport, cycling, walking) that reduce dependence on personal means of transport. To promote low-emission modes of transport, it is necessary to bring about structural changes and make large-scale investments at national level. Important measures foreseen in transport sector include increasing the share of biofuels, improving fuel efficiency, developing a more convenient and modern public transport system, spacial and land use measures for urban transport energy savings and improving the efficiency of the transport system, railway development and railway electrification, road usage fees for heavy duty vehicles and public transport conversion to biomethane and electricity.
    ContactMinistry of Economic Affairs and Communications
  • Sustainable transportation

    RecoveryRedesign
    Electrification of railway system. The Estonian government decided in 2019 to electrify the railway system. The aim is to increase rail connection speeds and safety that reduces spatial distances, and by that reduction of commuters by car, but also encourage to direct goods transport to rail. Using clean energy in rail will increase the use of renewable energy consumption in transport. The design of the first sections of the electric railway has already started and the work is planned to be carried out by 2028. Depending on the development and availability of technology, in addition to the electrification of the railways, there is the possibility of using other alternative fuels, such as hydrogen.
    ContactMinistry of Economic Affairs and Communications
  • Sustainable transportation

    Recovery
    Support for the purchase of electric vehicles (passenger cars and vans). The purpose of the measure is to reduce CO2 emissions and air pollutants of transport sector and increase the use of renewable energy. Support is targeted to companies and individuals with higher transportation needs (i.e. delivery companies, taxi services). The next application round is planned to be opened in autumn 2020.
    ContactMinistry of the Environment

2.Climate adaptation measures

  • Adaptation planning

    RecoveryRedesign
    Climate Change Adaptation Plan. In spring 2017 Estonian Government adopted "Climate Change Adaptation Development plan until 2030" and action plan for 2017-2020. At the moment MoE is preparing the implementation overview of current action plan and a new action plan for 2021-2025, which includes expanding the monitoring of vector-borne diseases to the effects of climate change.
    ContactMinistry of Environment, Ministry of Social Affairs, Health Board

3.Cross-cutting measures

4.Other environmental measures

  • Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumption

    Recovery
    Supporting innovative resource efficiency investments of companies. The aim of the measure is to increase resource productivity in companies through the introduction of innovative technologies and solutions. To apply support, it is mandatory to conduct resource efficiency analysis that will be carried out by independent resource auditor. The measure will support manufacturing and mining industry in their efforts to green transition. It will also help them on their way to green recovery. With the COVID-19 outbreak, we have simplified apllication process as simple as possible.
    ContactMinistry of the Environment
  • Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumption

    Recovery
    Supporting separate waste collection solutions in local governments. The aim of the measure is to increase the use of secondary raw materials and reduce the extraction of primary raw materials by increasing the capacity of separate collection of waste and bio-waste management in municipalities. The activities support the development (construction and expansion) of separate municipal waste collection infrastructure, bio-waste management and the acquisition of the necessary inventory. The amount of support is up to 200 000 euros and since the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been decided to increase the maximum support rate from 75% to 90%.
    ContactMinistry of the Environment
  • Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumption

    Redesign
    Development of Estonian circular economy strategic document and action plan (by end of 2021). The strategic document will set the direction and framework for the objectives of Estonian circular economy. Based on that, an action plan will be made together with specific measures, actions and deadlines. Circular economy creates a great opportunity for Estonia to increase its competitiveness and promote sustainable economic development. Mapping the current situation of Estonian circular economy reveals the priority areas, possibilities and obstacles that serve as an input in creating a circular economy approach. In addition to the necessary studies and researches, involvement of stakeholders and gathering ideas also play an important role, to ensure that the document would serve its purpose in practice.
    ContactMinistry of the Environment

5.International Cooperation

  • COVID19 recovery and climate change mitigation

    RecoveryRedesign
    Support measure for helping developing countries to achieve climate policy goals. Estonia is committed to fighting against global climate change, focusing especially on the situation in countries which are most affected by climate change, such as the least developed countries and the Small Island Developing States. Through the annual round of project calls Estonia aims to support activities which help developing countries alleviate climate change and adjust to its effects. The projects will bring knowledge and solutions in the field of green technology developed in Estonia to developing countries. The solutions must adhere to the needs of the target country and thus have potential to contribute to a sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19.
    ContactMinistry of the Environment