Former Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid: Advancing the Circular Has to Bring Economy Economic Benefits

Dubai, December 9, 2023: Entrepreneurs and policymakers at the UN Climate Conference agreed that creating a functional circular economy requires proactive government involvement, including the establishment of frameworks supporting investments.


While the feasibility of a green economy is self-evident in the Nordic countries, there is a global need to focus on demonstrating to citizens that a circular economy is achievable and brings not only environmental benefits, but it also needs to bring economic advantages, emphasized former President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid. “Our neighbors from Finland are at the forefront of this worldwide,” added Kaljulaid.


Tuuli Kaskinen, CEO of Climate Leadership Coalition, the largest non-profit climate business network in Europe, illustrated with the example of Finland how local interest can be increased through taxation legislation, providing municipalities with the opportunity to earn significant profits. “They are made to compete for wind power parks and other huge industrial projects, motivating both the locals and the public sector,” added Kaskinen.


However, Kaskinen noted that since markets drive the need for a green transition, legislation must keep pace: “Even in Finland, responses to climate targets are still too slow.” Peep Siitam, CEO of Zero Terrain, added that finding balance among social, economic, and legislative dimensions is crucial. “Smart flagship projects help find the sweet spot.”


Deputy Secretary General of Estonia’s Climate Ministry, Kristi Klaas, confirmed that a significant shift is already taking place in Estonia. “Two years ago, we had minimal readiness to align with the European Union’s green transition goals, but then we started discussions on the climate law. Even if some companies are unwilling to embrace changes, the government must create a supportive framework, answer questions, and educate the rest,” commented Klaas, confirming that by spring, the climate law will be in a state where the government has chosen a clear path, and all outstanding issues can be discussed, including energy storage.


Among the panels held on December 9 during COP28, former Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid led a discussion on the importance of green technology flagship projects and their positive effects. Participants included Deputy Secretary General of the Climate Ministry of Estonia Kristi Klaas, CEO of Zero Terrain Peep Siitam, and CEO of the Climate Leadership Coalition Tuuli Kaskinen.

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