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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Estonia 2017

image of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Estonia 2017

OECD Environmental Performance Reviews provide independent assessments of countries’ progress towards their environmental policy objectives. Reviews promote peer learning, enhance government accountability, and provide targeted recommendations aimed at improving environmental performance, individually and collectively. They are supported by a broad range of economic and environmental data, and evidence-based analysis. Each cycle of Environmental Performance Reviews covers all OECD countries and selected partner economies. The most recent reviews include Chile and France (2016).

This report is the first Environmental Performance Review of Estonia. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with a focus on waste and materials management, and mining and the environment.

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Executive summary

Estonia has made significant progress in decoupling economic growth from air pollution and energy consumption. However, its economy is the most carbon intensive and the third most energy intensive in the OECD, largely due to its heavy reliance on oil shale. In 2014, oil shale accounted for nearly three-quarters of the total primary energy supply and almost 90% of electricity generation. Use of renewable sources of energy has increased by more than 80% since 2000 due to extensive use of biomass in the heating sector and has almost reached the OECD average. However, the country’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions increased by 23% between 2000 and 2014, with the energy sector remaining the largest GHG emitter.

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