November 19, 2012, Warsaw – Today, the Government of Poland and the World Bank’s Spanish Carbon Fund and the Carbon Fund for Europe signed two contracts, for a total amount of €21 million, to purchase Assigned Amount Units (AAUs), commonly known as carbon credits. under the Green Investment Scheme (GIS), a program that reduces greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency projects across Poland.
The proceeds will contribute to the modernization of energy management of public buildings, such as public schools and hospitals through the Polish Energy Management in Public Buildings Program. Such energy management includes installing energy efficient equipment related directly to the thermal modernization of buildings. The revenue stream represents an additional contribution to the Polish Government’s GIS designed to tackle climate change.
“The Polish Green Investment Scheme has been designed to ensure the effective and transparent management of revenue from the sale of AAUs and monitoring the subsequent environmental impact of projects funded from these revenues” said Marcin Korolec Polish Minister of the Environment. “This is guaranteed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, which has a successful track record of implementing environmental projects. Once again we prove that AAUs generated through overachievement on GHG reductions in Poland can successfully contribute to additional reductions through necessary climate related investments, also creating benefits for people and countries. We’re also delighted that the World Bank has decided to be our partner again.”
The cooperation between Poland and the World Bank on climate change through the GIS started in October 2011 when the first two purchase agreements for AAUs were signed. Both of them are now at the phase of implementation.
"We are delighted with this opportunity to support Poland in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Xavier Devictor, Country Manager for Poland and the Baltic Countries at the World Bank. “The thermo-modernization program has proven successful to improve energy efficiency in public buildings, such as schools and hospitals. We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with the Polish authorities on climate change-related issues.”
To date, Poland has signed ten purchase agreements of this kind since 2009, with various counterparts. Including today’s transactions, the total amount received by Poland through the sale of AAUs under the GIS reached around €190million.
Poland has participated in an international emissions trading scheme since 2009, when the GIS was established by government decree. The sale of AAUs follows strict and transparent rules. Proceeds are used exclusively for specialized programs with the objective to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, such as energy savings measures. Poland guarantees that the financial proceeds generated by the sale of AAUs are used to green the grid, by directing the financial resources through the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. The proceeds from the sale of AAUs are transferred to a dedicated bank account – the Climate Account. It ensures sound monitoring of the implementation of GIS co-financed programs and projects.
These contracts help countries meet their Kyoto obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and provide grant finance to projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Poland. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the parties are committed to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. Poland is obliged to cut its emissions by 6 percent by 2012 (using 1988 as a baseline), and it has already fulfilled its emission goal, achieving a reduction of 30 percent.