Poland’s first Green Investment Scheme agreed with Spain

By Ina Coretchi

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Poland and Spain agree on a €25 million emissions trading contract, the first transaction of this kind for Poland under the Kyoto Protocol. Ministers from Poland and Spain, along with representatives of the EBRD and EIB were present for the signature of the agreement facilitated by the EBRD-EIB’s Multilateral Carbon Credit Fund. The transaction will allow significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions through the associated greening programme, known as the Green Investment Scheme (GIS).

This contract helps Spain to meet Kyoto obligations and provides grant finance to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Poland.

Speaking at the signature Polish environment minister Maciej Nowicki highlighted that “The Polish Green Investment Scheme has been designed to ensure effective and transparent management of revenues from the sale of AAUs and monitoring the subsequent environmental impact.” Commenting on the institutional framework the minister added that “this is guaranteed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, with a successful track record implementing environmental projects.”

The Green Investment Scheme enables Poland to invest proceeds from the sale of carbon emission credits in greenhouse gas mitigation activities. This includes grants to projects including biomass, biogas electricity and heat production, and expansion of the electricity transmission network to make better use of renewable energy sources.

The greening program will be managed by Poland’s National Environmental Fund. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank will support projects by providing additional co-financing. The fund will leverage up to €75 million. The total investment is expected to exceed €100 million and significantly enhance effective climate change mitigation activities in Poland.

The signature ceremony of the agreement between Poland and Spain took place today during the bilateral summit held in the Polish city of Sopot. This was attended by Poland’s Minister of Environment Nowicki and the Spanish Minister of Environment Elena Espinosa. The Multilateral Carbon Credit Fund was represented by Josué Tanaka from the EBRD and Christopher Knowles from the EIB.

The Multilateral Carbon Credit Fund enables state shareholders of the EBRD and EIB to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. It covers countries from across Europe and central Asia where the EBRD operates, and is also open to non-governmental participants. Spain has invested in this fund to develop transactions under the Green Investment Scheme.

With significant amount of AAUs surplus, equivalent to 500 million tonnes of CO2 for the period of 2008-2012, Poland will pursue more similar transactions within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, which will generate additional greenhouse gas emissions reductions through the associated greening programme and projects. The surplus and emission reduction is a result of the complex restructuring of the Polish economy and considerable investment environment protection.

For Spain this is the fourth transaction of AAUs. It supports the country’s efforts to develop International Emissions Trading as a flexible mechanism that complements Kyoto Protocol implementation tools like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Joint Initiative (JI).

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