Saeima adopts amendments to establish the Ministry of Climate and Energy

(01.12.2022.)

On Thursday, 1 December, the Saeima adopted urgent amendments to the Cabinet Structure Law in the second and final reading in order to introduce the Ministry and Minister of Climate and Energy.

The amendments aim to improve planning and coordination of national climate and energy policy and reduce fragmentation of climate and energy policy. They also aim to build a strong, professional, and compact public administration, according to the explanatory note to the Draft Law.

The new ministry will incorporate the units that draft, organise, and coordinate energy issues to be transferred from the Ministry of Economy, as well as the relevant units from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.

As the authors of the Draft Law state in their explanatory note, the structure of government needs to be flexible, adapting to current needs and government’s priorities. In the institutional framework of public administration, the portfolio of a sectoral minister and the creation of a separate ministry are assessed against the priorities of a given policy sector. The amendments promote climate and energy to one of these sectors.

The current organisation of the Latvian public administration in the field of climate policy is fragmented and not efficient enough to cover this policy area and achieve the set objectives, the explanatory note to the Draft Law states. Until now, political responsibility for climate has fallen on a minister who is also accountable for digital transformation, environmental protection, regional development, local government development and supervision, spatial development planning, and land management, stress the authors of the Draft Law.

The explanatory note to the Draft Law also reads that the successful implementation of the energy policy is critical for the whole society, especially in light of the Russian war in Ukraine and the subsequent disruption of energy supplies to Europe. It is necessary to pay special attention to strengthening Latvia's energy security and to moving away from fossil fuels. Until now, the Minister of Economics has been responsible for energy policy.

The amendments will enter into force on the day following their promulgation.

 

Saeima Press Service

Pirmdien, 20.maijā