Estonia at UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow #COP26EE

This page will keep you up to date on all things considering Estonia's role at COP26.

To watch recordings of our side-events, the links can be found down below.

In the run-up to COP 26, Estonia has increased climate ambition.

We aim is to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and we have established a clear timeline for phasing out fossil fuel-based energy production by 2040.

  • Fast deployment of innovative solutions is needed for the achievement of global climate and sustainability goals. Estonia aims to accelerate innovation and share smart solutions to drive global climate action and green transition.

  • We are steadily transforming our energy sector.

  • Smart energy policy targets energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency of buildings.

  • The public sector in Estonia leads the way.

  • Internationally, Estonia is committed to supporting those most vulnerable to climate change impacts.

  • The impacts of climate change are already felt today. We need to develop and use more data-driven and scientific research-based solutions to monitor, measure, understand and communicate the effects of climate change and speed up our adaptation actions.

  • An effective response to global challenges, as well as to environmental problems, largely depends on accessible, interoperable, and authentic environmental data and data-driven digital solutions.

  • Nature by itself offers us solutions for climate change, but the pressure on ecosystems continues to rise. Therefore, climate change and the loss of biodiversity are inextricably linked and need to be tackled in synergy.

In a show of support for those most at risk from climate change, Estonia pledges 1 million EUR in funding for Global Environment Facility hosted Least Developed Countries Fund in 2021. 

9 November in Glasgow, Estonia with several other countries, announced contributions totaling $413 million USD to the LDCF. The LDCF plays a key role in addressing urgent and immediate adaptation needs of least developed countries, focusing on reducing the vulnerability of people, nature and infrastructure, as identified and prioritized in their National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and Adaptation Communications. The LDCF also supports the national adaptation planning process in coordination with others as a means to reduce medium- and long-term vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation into relevant policies, programs and activities. 

The full joint statement by contributing countries can be found on GEF webpage

Side-events hosted by Estonia

Date: 2 November 15:15-15:45 GMT
Location: NORDIC Pavilion and Online

Rewatch the event on Youtube. 

In case you are interested in joining DEAL, please contact Ms Kätlin Weinzierl, Adviser to the Ministry of the Environment of Estonia. 

Opening remarks by Prime Minister of Estonia H.E. Ms Kaja Kallas

Climate change affects everyone regardless of borders or social class. Like many other large-scale environmental problems, it needs a global response. To be successful, we need to have access to high quality and easily usable global environmental data. For this reason, Estonia has announced a new global cooperation initiative called DEAL — Data for the Environment Alliance.

Ms Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia

Ms Kaja Tael,  Ambassador at Large for Climate and Energy Policy
Ms Shereen Zorba, Head of the Secretariat of the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment
Dr. Chris K. Kiptoo, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Kenya

With DEAL we are uniting global efforts towards making quality environmental data accessible using the latest technologies.

DEAL is a coalition of Member States, business sector, academia and civil society. The DEAL initiative will improve environmental and climate data governance and digital infrastructures at the national and regional level. DEAL also supports the UN Environment Programme in developing a global environmental data strategy by 2025.

The DEAL initiative has received broad support from many countries and organisations from every region of the world. Estonia is working closely together with the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment on all activities involving DEAL. The official launch of DEAL will take place at UNEA-5 in February 2022, and we are already planning the first cooperation projects in developing countries.

Estonia invites all countries and stakeholders to join in and collaborate actively with the alliance. To learn more about DEAL, join us for the COP26 side event!

Date: 3  November 18:30-19:45 GMT
Location: UNFCCC Pavilion - room Derwentwater (formerly Fourth Room) and Online

Rewatch the event on YouTube. 

Listen to different perspectives of just transitions and explore how inclusion of just transition concepts in climate policy will enable and accelerate climate action.

It will explore climate ambition and just transitions through national lenses: Estonia’s experiences of implementing ambitious climate policies leaving no one behind; and Indonesian, Ghanaian and Colombian experiences of applying Just Transitions principles in a developing country context. There is no one size fits all framework for a just transition, as countries across the world have their own unique contexts, sectors and cultures. However, through collaboration, commonalities can be found through similar challenges and opportunities.

Together we can develop a clearer picture of what just transitions can look like, and importantly, how a just, inclusive approach can accelerate climate action.

Speakers from Estonia
Ms Kristi Klaas
, Deputy Secretary General of Ministry of the Environment of Estonia
Dr Annela Anger-Kraavi, Climate Expert

For full agenda and speakers list, please visit Climate Strategies' webpage.

Date: 6 November 19:00-20:00 GMT
Location: EU Pavilion – room G and Online

Rewatch the event on YouTube

Estonia and Finland have both set a clear goal for achieving carbon neutrality and both public and private sector are actively working towards this direction. Industry plays a central role in achieving climate targets, and succeeding in the industry transition is crucial.

In the event, we showcase best practices and business-driven approaches to drive the transition, looking also at global examples of industry transitions, and at key policy and industry levers to facilitate and manage transitions.

Ms Kädi Ristkok
, Head of Climate Department of Ministry of Environment of Estonia
Ms Kaisa Jungman, Director, Sustainable Business Development, Metso Outotec
Mr Janne Peljo, Chief Climate Policy Advsior, Confederation of Finnish Industries
Ms Gökçe Mete, Head of Secretariat, LeadIT, Stockholm Environment Institute
Mr Erki Ani, CEO, Member of Board, Cleantech Estonia
Mr Alar Saluste, Project Manager, Ragn Sells

Side-events Estonia took part in

Date: 01 November 15:00-15:50 GMT
Location: Make Climate Action Everyone's Business Forum by the International Chamber of Commerce 

To rewatch the recording, please visit the event's webpage.

There are in some areas we can and have to decrease emissions, but at least today there are still vast non-avoidable amounts produced, which demolish our atmosphere and climate. Should the circular mindset in economy be extended to CO2 emissions and could those even be treated as raw material? One unique project of producing calcium carbonate for paints, flooring, or window frames from energy production ashes by using CO2 is proving, that almost everything is possible. We should not limit the options around residue, waste, or emissions with yes or no instead we should be in search for new solutions beyond.

Estonia is the stage, where a project was born with an international collaboration of scientists, organisations, and companies. The country has a compelling and inspiring story to tell, how to make a 180 degrees turnaround in the challenging energy sector and linear economy. In addition, these 600 million tons of oil shale ash hills and hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 if treated as raw materials will decrease the demand for virgin material mining somewhere else. Is this one of several ways, we should use to take our civilisation out of the climate crises? 

Ms Kersti Kaljukaid, President of Estonia | 2016-2021 |
Ms Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia
Ms Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner of Energy
Mr Alar Saluste, Project Manager, OSA
Mr Arnaud Marquis, Global Head of Sustainability, Tarkett

This session was hosted by Ragn Sells.

Date: 02 November 11:30-13:00 GMT
Location: Multilevel Action Pavilion

Read more on Scottish Government's webpage.

In cooperation with UN Women The Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland will convene a panel of female heads of government from around the world - with strong representation from climate vulnerable countries - to discuss the gendered impacts of climate change and the importance of women’s leadership in addressing climate change. The Glasgow Women’s Leadership Statement will be launched at the high-level panel, signed by the leaders participating in the panel and by female leaders from government, IGOs, business and civil society.

Estonia was represented by Prime Minister of Estonia Ms Kaja Kallas.

Session was organized by the Scottish Government and UN Women.

Date: 4 November 12:15 GMT
Location: MDB Pavilion and Online

Rewatch the event on YouTube

This event will bring together MDB, country and civil society speakers to discuss the role of MDBs in supporting a just transition, and opportunities for collaboration. Speakers will introduce the joint MDB work on just transition – including the Common Principles for MDB Support to a Just Transition – and provide country perspectives on just transition challenges and opportunities.

MDB Support for a Just Transition: from Common Principles to policy support and finance will feature following speakers: 
Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the EIB
Harry Boyd-Carpenter, Managing Director, Green Economy Transition and Climate Action, EBRD
Siân Bradley, Senior Research Fellow, Environment and Society Programme, Chatham House
Mark Joven, Under Secretary of Finance, Ministry of Finance, Philippines
Iryna Stavchuk, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, Ukraine
Annela Anger-Kraavi, Co-Chair UNFCCC Katowice Committee of Experts on Impacts of Implementation of Response Measures (KCI) 
Moustapha Kamal Gueye, Global Coordinator, ILO Green Jobs Programme, Enterprises Department, ILO
John Morrison, CEO, Institute for Human Rights and Business
Bambang Susantono, Vice President, Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, ADB

Date: 8 November 13:30-15:00 GMT
Location: Peatland Pavilion

Recording of the event will be uploaded to Global Peatlands' webpage in due time. 

Estonia was represented by Ms Kristi Klaas, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of the Environment of Estonia. 

The Peatland Pavilion is a global collaboration between the UN, Member States, NGO’s, academia, practitioners, business communities and people. It has been created and coordinated by the Global Peatlands Initiative partners including the United Nations Environment Programme, Wetlands International, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature UK Peatland Programme, Greifswald Mire Centre, Michael Succow Foundation, National Trust for Scotland, Scotland’s Rural College, and the University of East London. 

Date: 12 November 09:45-10:45 GMT
Location: Water Pavilion and Online

Rewatch the event on YouTube. 

The impacts of both climate change and conflict know no borders. River Basin Organizations are important transnational bodies that are well placed to play the role of moderator and coordinator across borders to address climate resilience and contribute to resource security and stability.

This session will facilitate a discussion between various River Basin Organizations around their experiences on the management and coordination of climate mitigation and adaptation projects, enabling greater transboundary climate resilience.

Estonia was represented by Mr Harry Liiv, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of the Environment of Estonia, and Chair of the Bureau to the Water Convention.

Convenors of the side event are GIZ and UNECE Secretariat of the Water Convention, with N Lake Kivu and River Rusizi Basin Authority (ABAKIR), Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Mekong River Commission (MRC), Niger Basin Authority (NBA) and Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO).

Estonia’s representation at COP26

Estonia was represented at the COP26 World Leader’s Summit by Prime Minister of Estonia H.E. Ms Kaja Kallas.

During the second week of COP26, Estonia was represented by Minister of the Environment H.E. Mr Tõnis Mölder.

Estonia's National Focal Point to the UNFCCC is Ms Reet Ulm.

For media and press related inquiries, please contact Ms Agnes Aaslaid.

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COP26 official web page:

Eikellegi Ma - a song by reket

A song about a toxic relationship – carelessness, inattentiveness, and indifference that nobody wants to experience.
However, the song tells the story of our relationship with the planet Earth. How does our current lifestyle affect the planet and its environment? 
The music video introduces the beauty of Estonian nature we all want to preserve. 

The song has been released in cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment of Estonia to draw attention to the preservation of the environment and nature around us. 

Last updated: 17.11.2021