The fight about use of “emission” resources is in first hand the dispute about not so small amount of money. This amount from new system of emission trade will flow to Slovakia from beginning of next year and despite the hard time of economical and finance crisis, it will be quite a lot of money. Experts are expecting this amount to be in scale of 100 to 250 millions of euro annually - depending on actual price on stock.
Slovak Ministry of Environment plans to distribute these resources in these parts:
- 50 % on financing the projects really achieving and measuring the savings of greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the energy efficiency, cutting the primary energy sources, replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy sources and establishing the best available technologies leading to decrease of greenhouse gas emissions and contaminating substances,
- 10 % to companies with treat of carbon leakage, in this case companies burning the coal and their customers,
- 20 % to unclear “goals of state environmental policy”, where we have 162 of them!
- 20% to Envirofond.
On the other hand Ministry of Finance is insisting on putting this money as non-address income of state budget. Emission money would, in this case, be the tool to consolidate the state budget or other expenses of state, which have nothing to do with environment or cutting the greenhouse gas emissions.
If the reason of stopping the discussion about ETS act on government meeting the aim would be to direct resources to state budget, it would be the worst decision of all possible.
Money, which can Slovakia earn from polluters, should be according to logic used to cut emissions of CO2. Otherwise all the emission trade philosophy, directive of EU and environmental goals would be lost. Basic principle of ETS stands in plain on idea, that this kind of money, coming from polluters of environment, should be used to cut greenhouse emissions and remedy of adaptation to climate change (for example flood action).
In time, in which we cannot expect any major investment to protection and development of environment from state, the amount of emission money represents the only one chance for this government to fulfil declarations about green development economy, development of modern green technologies and making green jobs.
In these days it will be decided, if we use the money from ETS in favour of development, even the development we can call green economy. Or, if we will drown the money in ocean of steps, leading to decrease state deficit. In these days it will be decided, if we will have another emission scandal on table, what stealing the money for environmental protection definitely would be, or we will direct the money to help the people and nature.
This very year Greenpeace Slovakia proposed to government program, which would direct ETS money to households and public buildings for projects as insulation of buildings or using renewable energy. Program could deliver to Slovakia approximately 10.000 jobs in building industry, insulation material production, project development companies and others. This program would bring significant resources to state budget, cut emissions of CO2 in scale of 2 – 3 % and would markedly help to decrease households budgets, as the energy expenses are the significant part of them.
There is alternative! And it is not just the paper one. Experiences from Germany and Czech Republic show that benefits from massive investment to energy efficiency are real, measurable and deliver results.
Pavol Široký, Climate Campaigner Greenpeace Slovakia