Swedish report urges Estonia to give up oil shale energy

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Photo: Tairo Lutter / Virumaa Teataja

A climate change report of the Swedish Air Pollution and Climate Secretariat calls on Estonia to drop oil shale energy, emphasizing that the emerging green economy must offer work to released miners and other oil shale sector employees in the northeastern Virumaa region, the Estonian Renewable Energy Association reports.

«The report singles out Estonia as the biggest per capita polluter in the region,» the head of the association, Rene Tammist, says in his blog. The document calls the Estonian oil shale complex the dirtiest industry in the Baltic Sea region and voices concern that contrary to the European Union's climate and energy policy directions Estonia continues developing its oil shale industry.

According to the report, the jobs to replace those lost through the gradual closure of the oil shale complex must be created in green economy and also be located in the northeast. This would avert mounting of social problems and ethnic tensions, the report says.

The report that surveys eight countries says that carbon dioxide emissions in the Nordic and Baltic region should be reduced by 70 percent by 2020 and by 95 percent by 2030 through efficient use of existing technologies.

It puts emphasis on energy saving in buildings and transport, and suggests giving up the use of coal, oil shale and peat to produce electricity and heat, cutting back drilling for oil and gas in Norway and concentrating on clean energy production.