In a cabinet meeting on Thursday, 17th of August,  the Estonian government gave its backing to the green reform action plan for 2023-2025 drafted by the Government Office. The plan brings together almost 300 different actions in fields ranging from energy to the circular economy. It aims to reduce negative environmental impact, to foster entrepreneurship that preserves the natural environment and to develop the modern living environment.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas says that although the government, entrepreneurs and people in Estonia have already taken major steps towards shaping a cleaner environment, centralised management and a clear plan are required to achieve the objectives that have been set and to maintain the pace needed to achieve them.

“The Ministry of Climate will be fully operational from September and will start coordinating the actions required for our green reforms,” she explained. “The plan approved in today’s cabinet meeting will help the ministry lead those reforms and move more assuredly towards achieving Estonia’s long-term climate and environmental goals.”

The action plan was drafted by the Government Office in dialogue with ministries and stakeholders, guided by the recommendations of an expert group, ministry proposals, development plans, the coalition agreement and feedback from public consultation.

More than 80 organisations, agencies and companies contributed to the plan, submitting close to 1000 proposals.

The action plan focuses on three areas: reducing negative impact on the environment; shaping a modern, high-quality living environment; and contributing to the development of competitive and environmentally responsible entrepreneurship.

These areas will be addressed in 10 fields: energy; climate policy; the just transition; spatial design and buildings; biodiversity and land use; a sustainable food system; the green economy; transport and mobility; the circular economy and waste; and state governance.

Across these fields, the plan features 295 actions to be implemented in the coming years, including legislative drafting, analysis and investments.

According to the plan, with the support of the European Union at least two billion euros will be channelled into these actions in the years ahead as measures contributing to the green reforms.

Implementation of the green reforms is based on the ‘Estonia 2035’ development strategy approved by the Riigikogu in 2021, which aims to ensure that Estonia is a climate-neutral country with a competitive, knowledge-based society and economy by 2050.