Tallinn’s climate plan links the city's actions to green economy

Tallinn City Government proposed a draft climate plan to the City Council, which aims to make the capital climate-neutral by 2050 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

According to the Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, the objective should be to reduce the impact of city life and the economy on the climate, but to do so in a way that enriches the economy and the urban environment. "We are firmly committed to a green future, but we will only achieve it if we can make changes in different areas at the same time and in synergy. The prepared climate plan is in correlation with the development plans and activities of different areas of the city," said Mihhail Kõlvart. "By now, the time has passed when the protection of nature and the progress of people are opposites – we have learned to associate innovation and development with a sustainable economy and green thinking."

The climate-neutral Tallinn plan sets the goal of developing a model of community-based renewable energy cooperatives, promoting bicycle traffic, improving the accessibility of public transport and supporting the complete reconstruction of apartment buildings according to energy efficiency requirements.

In close cooperation with the private sector, it is planned to expand the district heating network, develop the district cooling network and apply the principles of the circular economy in energy production. A climate-neutral city supports biodiversity and uses natural resources circularly with minimal losses. These activities make the urban environment cleaner more and pleasant.

Considering all areas, the development document specifies the fulfilment of the sub-objective of the current long-term development strategy “Tallinn 2035” – the green transition. With changes in the energy economy, transport and buildings it is planned to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2007, and climate neutrality is set to be achieved by 2050.

Adaptation to climate change also has an important role to play: the use of nature-based solutions in urban planning, the improvement of the ability to respond to weather-related risks and comprehensive communication provide the fertile ground for tackling unavoidable climate change in the urban environment.

The plan of climate-neutral Tallinn has been compiled from the commitments made upon joining the Covenant of Mayors "Mayors Adapt". Both Tallinn 2035 and Climate-Neutral Tallinn are based on the European Commission's Green Agreement and the European Union's long-term vision of a Clean Planet for All, which was approved by the Estonian government in October 2019. The vision is to make the entire European Union climate-neutral by 2050, meaning that our continent will not emit more greenhouse gases than the ecosystem can sequester.

The climate plan document in Estonian can be found at https://www.tallinn.ee/est/strateegia/Kliimakava.