The first round table was held on revenues from the sale of emission allowances; the Ministry of the Environment wants to invest the money mainly into energy savings

A meeting between the Minister Tomáš Chalupa and representatives of ministries, the Union of Towns and Municipalities, the Chamber of Commerce, housing cooperatives, the Czech Green Building Council, the Green Circle and others opened a series of round tables to discuss the individual variants and proposals for solutions to division of revenues from auctions of emission allowances in 2013 – 2020.

“In 2013 – 2020, the Czech Republic will have approx. 280 million emission allowances at its disposal for sale in auctions”, stated Minister Tomáš Chalupa. “Simultaneously, the number that the Czech Republic will sell in auctions will increase linearly at the expense of allowances allocated free-of-charge – from 18 million in 2013 to approx. 50 million in 2020”, he added. Operators, banks, investment companies and their representatives (e.g., associations and federations) will be able to purchase the auctioned allowances.

The current price of an allowance varies around the historical minimum, i.e. approx. EUR 7. It is very difficult to predict the future price – at the present time, there are a great many factors that affect it in various directions (reallocation in the second period, the economic crisis, etc.).

The Ministry of the Environment currently has 3 scenarios predicting the amount of revenues from auctions. According to them, the revenues could equal EUR 2.6 billion, 3.9 billion or as much as 5.3 billion. The most realistic scenario seems to be that which predicts revenues of EUR 2.6 billion and is based on the current price of allowances, while simultaneously anticipating the impact of the economic slowdown continuing into the coming years.

According to European Directive 2003/87/EC, at least 50 % of revenues from auctions of allowances will have to be used for measures related to protection of the climate, where the European Commission does not in any way bind the second half to a specific purpose – they will become an income for the State budget of the Czech Republic and the Government will be able to decide on their distribution.

The half of the funds (i.e. EUR 1.3 – 2.6 billion) earmarked by the European Commission for measures connected with protection of the climate should be divided up amongst three areas according to the proposal of the Ministry of the Environment. “Our priority lies in investments in energy measures”, states Minister Chalupa and adds that the greatest portion of the funds should be directed towards support for energy savings and use of renewable energy sources for heating in public and private buildings. The Ministry of the Environment plans to divide up the remaining part amongst technical innovations and smart environment solutions and other programmes, such as flood-prevention measures or compliance with international obligations.

In the context of support for energy-saving measures on the part of consumers, the Ministry of the Environment further plans to continue to provide support for investments in insulation of private and public buildings and support for the production of heat from renewable energy sources. Compared to current conditions, support from the revenues from auctions of emission allowances should be arranged so that more projects can be supported. This programme should follow on from the current Green Investment Scheme.

The timing of the programme, its administration and overall organisation will be discussed at future meetings. A round table with the same composition on revenues from auctions of emission allowances is expected to be held in 6 weeks time.

Michaela Jendeková, tiskové oddělení MŽP