Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas delivered a national statement at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference (COP28) on Saturday, underlining that a global joint effort is needed for coping with the climate crisis and highlighting the necessity for actions, not empty words.
Estonian PM at COP28: Empty words won't solve climate crisis
Kallas said that it is necessary to cut emissions and boost renewable energy at the same time, spokespeople for the Estonian government said.
«We must triple renewable energy globally by 2030 -- and improve energy efficiency while phasing out fossil fuels,» she said. «We need both an ambitious negotiation outcome as well as pledges to strengthen national targets.»
Therefore, in her address, Kallas called on other heads of state and government to take action and explained what Estonia is doing to achieve climate neutrality.
«In Estonia, we already act. We place climate at the center. Our message is -- the economy must fit into environmental boundaries. In Estonia, we embrace the twin transition. With the help of modern technology, we align our society, economy, and mindset with a sustainable future. Estonia wishes to lead by inspiration. This year, our public, private and third sector solutions are on display in our first ever national pavilion.»
Kallas stressed that Estonia's goal is to only use renewable energy by 2030.
«Estonia's parliament has adopted a new renewable electricity target of 100 percent by 2030, more than tripling our level of renewables production. We plan to reduce emissions by 80 percent already by 2035, compared to 1990 levels. It's a bold ambition, since until very recently our energy production was dominated by fossil fuels. Bold ambition is necessary, especially now as we take stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement for the first time.»
The premier also pointed out that developed countries support developing countries in dealing with the effects of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This year, the climate funding provided by developed countries is expected to reach an agreed-upon target of 100 billion dollars annually. Estonia has decided to contribute one million euros to the UN Green Climate Fund, 50,000 euros to the UNFCCC Trust Fund for Supplementary Activities, and 50,000 euros to the new loss and damage fund to help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.
Kallas also spoke about the impact of military conflict on climate change, noting that Russia's full-scale aggression has a global impact, including to food security.
«We cannot afford to be distracted by the geopolitical scheming of those who use ecocide as a tool of warfare. Earlier this year, Russia destroyed the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine, with no regard for the catastrophic environmental consequences and also endangering the nearby nuclear power plant,» she said.
Finally, the prime minister highlighted the role of young people.
«The new generation takes climate justice issues into their hearts and hands. We must believe in them. I am pleased that a youth climate delegate from Estonia has joined us in Dubai,» Kallas said.