European Elections: Estonian Parties Focus on Environment

Vincent van Gogh: Green Wheat Field with Cypress // Public domain

In their election manifestos for the European Parliament, the political parties have paid a lot of attention to environmental issues; there is talk of steps towards climate neutrality, but also of issues that directly affect Estonian entrepreneurs and rural life.

The Reform Party’s program links the environment with security. According to candidate Hanah Lahe, the party emphasizes restoring and preserving biodiversity. The party says that green reform is an opportunity for growth in Europe.

“The priority must be to decouple economic growth from the use of primary resources. Perhaps, this is where the circular economy has a big role to play in how we value our resources and how we become more efficient in our businesses,” she said.

Social Democrats consider the implementation of the green transition to be one of the most important areas to be addressed by the European Parliament. Natali Mets (SDE) highlights the importance of grassroots solidarity:

“So that everyone is included in these processes and no one is left behind, so that jobs are maintained and new smart jobs are created, and so that social inequalities are reduced, not widened.”

Parempoolsed defends the right to keep the property, said Annela Anger-Kraavi. She cited the example of compensating the owner of land used for conservation purposes. However, the party also emphasizes the link between environmental policy and the economy.

“The money will come from a growing, competitive economy, which will be needed to invest in environmentally friendly technologies and to develop the valorization of Estonia’s natural resources,” she said.

The Estonian Greens support small-scale production, the further development of renewable energy, and the real enforcement of European environmental law in Estonia. “This is all a sham. The result is the plundering and wasting of Estonia’s natural resources,” said Evelyn Sepp, co-leader of the Greens.

The Eesti 200’s program states that renewable energy developments must move forward quickly and that continued European funding is essential. The Center Party believes moving towards climate neutrality requires considering science-based impact assessments and a financing plan.

Isamaa emphasizes that it is important to ensure that the climate targets are met by providing sufficient guarantees and support. EKRE says they are conservationists but oppose green extremism, and that wind and sun alone do not guarantee Europe’s energy independence.

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