A new study commissioned by a coalition of NGOs including Bankwatch member Estonia Green Movement that analyzed the different European and Estonian funds in place or under development that could be useful for the transition, the existing plans Estonia has in place and policy recommendations from international best practices.
While most of Europe has shut down to stop the spread of COVID 19, governments continue to prepare territorial plans in order to be eligible for the new Just Transition Funds.
In Estonia, one of the leading nations in digital governance, high-level virtual meetings have been held in recent weeks between environmental organisations, public sector officials in charge of planning the territorial plans and stakeholders affected by the transition.
The groups discussed a new study commissioned by a coalition of NGOs including Bankwatch member Estonia Green Movement that analyzed the different European and Estonian funds in place or under development that could be useful for the transition, the existing plans Estonia has in place and policy recommendations from international best practises.
The report finds that Estonia is facing a challenging task in planning a proper just transition for its oil shale region and pointed out the importance of consulting a wide range of stakeholders. It also offers a possible step-by-step planning process and a number of policy recommendations, stressing the importance of starting with a clear vision and goals for the region.
Another policy recommendation is to conduct an analysis on the effects of an oil shale phase out on the local workforce, as without this data it is difficult to construct concrete plans regarding a just transition.
Given the current raport, ministries can continue building their capacity with further concrete studies on which decisions can be made to contribute to the EU-wide commitment to a climate-neutral future.
As was clear from the online discussions, Estonia must decide the fate of its fossil shale oil sector. Will the phase out be swift, just and controlled, or uncertain, drawn-out and costly? Bankwatch and other environmental NGOs will continue arguing for the former. The study is supported by EUKI.
Photo by Kaupo Kikkas – Viru Keemia Grupp, CC BY-SA 4.0