2010 analysis: main findings
Last year’s analysis showed that Estonia faced several challenges due to post-socialist economic restructuring, such as the collapse of former key industries, a sudden rise in living standards for part of the population, a high amount of inward foreign investment and vulnerability to the economic crisis. Estonia focuses on the measures needed to meet EU targets and to benefit from Kyoto but is yet not aiming at more ambitious reductions. Estonian sustainability policies are specifically focused on nature protection and the avoidance of pollutants. The highlights include:
- The agricultural sector is characterised by a good policy mix including limits for nitrogen loads. The consistent land use strategy is especially remarkable.
- Sustainable Forestry is put into practice and 30% of the forest area is already protected.
- An overall strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions covering all sectors is needed (e.g. see UK, Ireland). Except for the building, agricultural and forestry sectors, policies are not sufficient and are based on a piecemeal approach.
- Estoniadoes not have significant incentives for energy efficiency of new cars and has one of the lowest efficiency rates for new cars in Europe (e.g. see the innovative bonus-malus system for new cars in place in France and Austria)
- The building stock is characterised by poor insulation, high energy consumption and need for renovation. As efficiency standards in the building and energy sector are still at a low level, efficiency improvements are economically attractive. For good examples of renovation programmes, see the recent developments in Austria.