Almost PLN 300 million for pro-climate investments

Poland’s National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management has announced the first four competitions for financing of green investment projects, in a total amount of nearly PLN 300 million.

Under the Act on the System for Management of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases and Other Substances dated 17 July 2009 (Dz.U. No. 130 item 1070), proceeds from sale of Assigned Amount Units received by Poland under the Kyoto Protocol may be earmarked for actions under the National Green Investment Scheme.

The act provides that actions under the Green Investment Scheme are to include financing for implementation of programmes or projects related to environmental protection, limiting or avoiding domestic greenhouse gas emissions, absorption or sequestration of CO2, and the like.

As pointed out by Maciej Szewczyk, a lawyer from the Environmental Law practice group at Wardyński & Partners, “Poland holds the third-largest AAU surplus in the world—about 500 million units—because the number of units awarded us under the Kyoto Protocol for 2008–2012 is significantly higher than the CO2 emissions we are entitled to during this period under EU law.”

According to information published by the Polish Ministry of the Environment, so far Poland has signed four agreements for sale of AAUs, for a total of over EUR 80 million (two agreements with the EBRD, on behalf of Spain and Ireland, and two agreements with private investors from Japan), and now is conducting negotiations with additional buyers.

The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, which under the act serves as the National Operator of the Green Investment Scheme, has announced a call for applications for financing from the proceeds received so far, for initiatives in the following categories:

  • energy management in public buildings (total grant value PLN 181 million, applications accepted from 29 October through 29 November 2010)
  • agricultural biogas works (total grant value PLN 36 million, applications accepted from 30 August through 28 September 2010)
  • biomass heat and power plants (total grant value PLN 36 million, applications accepted from 29 September through 28 October 2010)
  • construction and reconstruction of electricity networks for connecting renewable wind energy sources (total grant value PLN 43.7 million, applications accepted from 30 August through 28 September 2010).

Financing for pro-climate investments under the competitions will be provided in the form of grants worth 20% to 30% of the qualified costs of each project.