Latvia: phase-out for peat

The government in Riga has decided to stop the use of peat as an energy source as of 2030 - despite the fact that Latvia is the world's biggest peat exporter. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions so the country qualifies to receive 184 million euros from the EU's Just Transition Mechanism. The national press is not happy about the decision given the current situation on the energy market.

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Diena (LV) /

Bad timing

Diena says the decision is out of touch with reality:

“The Ministry for Environmental Protection and Regional Development and the government as a whole are voting to outlaw burning peat for fuel at a time when we are threatened with the very real prospect of an energy crisis and Latvia is due to stop importing gas from Russia as of 1 January 2023. It's certainly a bit odd - while a few 'green-minded' people in comfortable offices are thinking about how to prohibit peat mining in Latvia, which accounts for less than one percent of the total extraction volume per year, this fuel source is often mixed with wood chips in Estonia and Finland, where it sinks the cost of energy production.”

Neatkarīgā (LV) /

Climate neutrality as the holy grail

Neatkarīgā is also annoyed:

“Although we are being hit by the global energy crisis the Latvian government is backing the Just Transition Mechanism, which involves putting an end to burning peat for fuel by 2030. No matter what happens in Ukraine and Russia, or what happens with oil, gas and firewood prices, climate neutrality is taking precedence. ... Latvia's people can freeze in winter for all the government cares - peat burning will still be illegal. In this way and no other, Prime Minister Karins and his government are determined to achieve the strategic target of climate neutrality by 2050.”