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At the seminar "Paris Climate Conference – Chance or Challenge?", held in the Conference Hall of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) today, Chairman of the Environment Committee of the Riigikogu Rainer Vakra emphasised the need for a more decisive fight against the factors causing climate change.

We expect progress in fighting against climate change from the meeting in Paris. We must achieve agreements that are unambiguous and oriented towards results. The message is clear, because the world cannot continue with the current polluting way of life in the situation where the population is growing,” Vakra said. In his opinion, those who manage to create the most values with as little environmental and social expenses as possible are the winners in tomorrow’s Europe.

“Climate policy should not mean for us just keeping our commitments, but vice versa, it should be a possibility, in a long-term perspective, to improve the living environment of Estonia, to promote innovation and economy,” Vakra explained.

He said that very rapid changes are taking place in energy sector, like in the IT sector of the 1990s. In 15 years, in 2030, the picture will be radically different. “Estonia should strongly contribute to the developments of renewable energy and energy saving solutions, so that we could also be among the first in this sector, like we managed to be ahead of others in the IT sector in the middle of the 1990s,” Vakra noted. In his opinion, establishing of a renewable energy centre of excellence in Estonia should be considered. It would add value to economy by increasing export, and create high qualification jobs. “Estonia has excellent resources for renewable energy production. More effective energy policy would give Estonia a chance to become a country earning revenue from renewable energy export, and doing that without burdening the purses of taxpayers. Focus on clean sources promises more favourable energy price, jobs and a new engine to the Estonian economy,” Vakra said.

The seminar is organised by the Environment Committee of the Riigikogu, Ministry of the Environment of Estonia, the Embassy of France in Estonia, Estonian Renewable Energy Association and the Estonian Fund for Nature. The purpose of the seminar is to discuss if and how the transition to cleaner economy could contribute to economic growth and bring profit also to those countries that are on the forefront of the fight against climate changes.

Speakers at the seminar include Minister of the Environment Marko Pomerants, Ambassador of France to Estonia Michel Raineri, members of the Riigikogu Keit Pentus-Rosimannus and Artur Talvik, and representatives of various organisations.

More information: Rainer Vakra, +372 5800 2828

Photos of the seminar: https://fotoalbum.riigikogu.ee/v/Komisjonid/XIII+Riigikogu/Keskkonnakomisjon/24112015/

Riigikogu Press Service

Gunnar Paal, +372 631 6351, +372 51 90 2837

[email protected]

Questions: [email protected]