Monday, September 17, 2012

NGOs urge government to support energy savings, not coal

Greenpeace Slovakia and 25 other non-governmental organizations have asked Slovak government to abolish its resolution of September 5, 2012. According to the resolution future state aid for coal mining and processing for electricity and heat production would stem from auctioning of emission allowances. 

The NGOs warn that the measure contradicts EU directive on emission trading (Art. 10, par. 3 Directive 2009/29/EC).

„According to the European directive money from the new emission trading system in 2013 – 2020 should be primarily used for measures leading to further reduction of CO2 emissions, such as energy savings, renewable sources or adaptation to ongoing climate changes,” says Pavol Siroky, the coordinator of climate campaign at Greenpeace Slovakia.

In the official appeal NGOs warn that according to the government resolution “polluters will get back the fee they have to pay for emissions of greenhouse gases”.

NGOs also refer to a paper of Institute for Financial Policy, serving as “analytical capacity for the Ministry of Finance“. In March 2011 the Institute wrote: „Annually the citizens might save € 37 million together with smaller pressure on environment if we pay the hardworking miners in hazardous environment equal wage that would motivate them to retrain or retire early.“

Green jobs

The non-governmental organizations urge the government to support creation of green jobs, especially via Program for energy savings and support for renewables. In July the program was presented by Greenpeace to Slovak ministry of environment.

The proposed support should be aimed at regions where currently coal mining takes place. Backbone of the program would be renovations of residential and public buildings. Environmentalists believe it might create 10 000 jobs, improve social situation of approximately 200 000 households and decrease consumption of primary energy sources by 3 - 4 %.

“The sooner the search for new employment opportunities and recovery of these regions starts, the easier the change will be,” Pavol Siroky concluded. 

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