Richard Dixon: Estonia has the second highest level of climate change emissions per person in Europe, most of it from the energy sector. The transition to a market economy in the 1990s led to a big drop in emissions, but in an uncontrolled, socially disastrous way as factories closed down almost overnight. Emissions have increased again over the last two decades, with three-quarters of the country’s primary energy coming from burning oil shale, a dirty, inefficient fossil fuel extracted from beds of oily rock. On the positive side, Friends of the Earth Estonia has used increasing concern about climate change and future energy plans to start a serious discussion about a just transition out of fossil fuels, something which would have been impossible just a year or two ago. This has included convening large round-table meetings attended by unions, the government and the European Commission. On the negative side, just as Europe was going into lockdown, the Estonian government gave the go-ahead to a new fossil fuel plant with a promise of support of €125m, nearly half the estimated total cost.
Scotsman 15th June 2020 read more »