An EU anti-smog fund for Poland
Poland has some of the worst air quality in the EU. But fighting smog is expensive. The Modernisation Fund set up as part of the Emissions Trading Scheme could help here.
36 of the 50 most polluted cities in the EU are in Poland. This harms Polish people’s health and damages Poland’s standing on the world stage.
But tackling the problem takes time and is expensive. It requires comprehensive action to modernise Poland’s sources of heat, upgrading its grid and eliminating the use of coal in households. Simply transferring all these costs to the consumer would hit the poorest Poles the hardest. So we need a discussion on how best to distribute the costs of tackling smog and mobilise the financing.
The Modernisation Fund was established in October 2014. It is supposed to operate between 2020 and 2030 and its goal is to support the objective of reducing EU-wide emissions by 40% (on 1990 levels) by 2030. Funds will be available to member states with an average GDP per capita of under 60% of the EU average. That means it is a kind of solidarity fund.
Ten member states from Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland, will benefit from it. The size of the Fund is linked to revenues from the sale of EU emission allowances. So the more expensive the allowances, the higher the total budget.
So far it has been projected that the fund will have around PLN 20 billion. However, in the last 2 years the carbon price has increased by 350%, meaning that the fund can grow substantially.
What kind of projects?
Author: dr Joanna Maćkowiak-Pandera, Forum Energii
Date of publication: 19 September 2018