Policies, measures and actions on climate change and
environmental protection in the context of COVID-19 recovery.
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Minister of the Environment
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)Recovery RedesignAnalysis 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.Contact Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Government Office
Building sectorRecovery RedesignRenovation 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.Contact Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
Sustainable transportationRedesignTransport and Mobility Development Plan for 2021-2035. The new Transport and Mobility Development Plan is ready and adopted. It has 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.Contact Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
Sustainable transportationRecovery RedesignElectrification 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.
Contact Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
Sustainable transportationRecoverySupport 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). New round of applications for electric vehicles will be opened in the end of 2022.Contact Ministry of the Environment
Transition to renewable energyRedesignAt the end of 2021, a pilot project for the introduction of green hydrogen in public transport was launched. The grant went to Utilitas, which uses hydrogen in taxis.
A support measure for green hydrogen in the transport sector and as a raw material for the chemical industry was opened in January 2023.
Starting from 2022, Estonia will support three projects of pan-European importance (IPCEI) for the development of hydrogen technologies.
On March 3, 2023 Minister of Economy and Infrastructure, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology and Minister of Environment signed the Estonian Hydrogen Roadmap.Contact Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Government Office
Sustainable transportationRedesignSupport for the purchase of electric vehicles (passenger cars, vans and e-cargobikes). 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 who prefer sustainable mobilty opportunities instead of using internal combustion engines. New round of applications for electric vehicles opened February 2023.Contact MoE
2.Climate adaptation measures
Adaptation planningRecovery RedesignClimate 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.Contact Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Social Affairs, Health Board
Adaptation planningRecovery RedesignIn spring 2017 Estonian Government adopted "Climate Change Adaptation Development plan until 2030" and action plan for 2017-2020. MoE has compiled the NAP 2017-2020 implementation overview and new action plan for 2021-2025, which includes expanding the monitoring of vector-borne diseases to the effects of climate change.Contact Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Social Affairs, Health Board
Citizens’ lives (behaviour change) / employmentRedesignReconstruction of visitors infrastructure of national parks and other proteced areas and restoration of protected habitats. The infrastructure in protected areas, such as lookout towers, boardwalks, hiking trails, will be reconstructed. The scope of activities is nationwide and is planned to be carried out by 2023. As a result, activities that might damage natural values will decline, thus improving the condition of protected species and habitats. Well equipped national parks will at the same time become more attractive for visitors and increase the time people spend outdoors and nature. In addition, other measures are implemented for the restoration of protected habitats, especially habitats with high carbon stocks and carbon sequestration capacity (bogs, wetlands, forests, semi-natural grass-lands), thus helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Our aim is also to raise awareness of nature based solutions (NBS) and its potential to address several environmental, social and economic issues that we are currently facing, including climate change, biodiversity decline, pollution, ecosystems degradation, deforestation and the emerging of new zoonotic diseases.Reference https://kik.ee/et/rahastatud-projektid#edit-field-maakond-tid-i18n%3Dnull%26edit-field-taotlusvoor-value%3D2014-2020.8.1.4%26edit-field-rahastusallikas-tid-i18n%3D186%26edit-field-valdkonnagrupp-tid-i18n%3Dnull%26edit-title%3D%26edit-field-toetuse-saaja-nimi-value%3D%26edit-field-aasta-tid-i18n%3Dnull%26edit-field-with-research-value-i18n-1%3D1%26edit-field-with-research-value-i18n%3Don%26edit-sort-by%3Dtitle%26edit-sort-order%3DDESCContact Ministry of the Environment, Estonia
OthersRecovery RedesignOn June 2021 Government proposed and on October 2021 European Council adopted a document on recovery and resilience facility (RRF), with targeted measures related to resource efficiency and integrating business development models and startups for resilient development and recovery, redesign to address concerns that have emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic.Reference https://rtk.ee/toetusfondid-ja-programmid/taaste-ja-vastupidavusrahastu-rrf/eesti-taastekavaContact The State Shared Service Centre
OthersRedesignEnvironment Plan 2030. The Ministry of Environment is undergoing preparations for putting together a comprehensive plan for the environment up to 2030. One of the areas in focus is climate change mitigation and adaptation, considering the green recovery and redesign objectives.Reference https://envir.ee/kevadContact Ministry of Environment
4.Other environmental measures
Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumptionRecoverySupporting 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 application process as simple as possible.Contact Ministry of the Environment
Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumptionRecoverySupporting 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%.Reference https://kik.ee/et/toetatav-tegevus/jaatmete-liigiti-kogumise-lahenduste-toetamine-kohalikes-omavalitsustesContact Ministry of the Environment
Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumptionRedesignDevelopment 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.Reference https://ringmajandus.envir.ee/en/creating-strategy-and-action-plan-circular-economy-estoniaContact Ministry of the Environment
COVID19 recovery and climate change mitigationRecovery RedesignSupport 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.
Contact Ministry of the Environment
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- The European Commission
- The Marshall Islands
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- The Philippines
- Republic of Korea
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- The United Kingdom