Under Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol, countries may participate in international emissions trading of their Assigned Amount Units (AAUs). Within this framework, Poland can use approximately 500 Mt of CO2 equivalent. The Polish Green Investment Scheme (GIS) guarantees the "greening" of financial resources generated from the sale of AAUs, creating an institutional structure to ensure the effective management of the scheme and that funds are used for purposes directly or indirectly related to climate protection.
As of April 29, 2008 Poland met specific criteria and became eligible to engage in international emissions trading (Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol) including trading of AAUs. The Polish Act on management of GHG emissions and emissions of other substances adopted on July 17, 2009 defines:
-proceeds from the transactions can be spent on hard greening, as well as on soft greening
-transparent rules for acquiring of the applications for projects, that can be co-financed from the GIS proceeds
-robust but flexible regulations for monitoring, reporting and verification of the effects provided by the projects
-other operational rules of National Green Investment Scheme
The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (National Fund) acts as the Operating Entity for the GIS. Within the National Fund, a special Climate Account is created for resources stemming from AAU sales transactions. To facilitate monitoring of funds according to conditions provided for in the sale contract by the purchasing state, resources can also be directed to separate sub-accounts within the Climate Account.
The GIS also establishes a selection and monitoring system for projects and programmes to be co-funded. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis according to rules and conditions set out by the National Fund, including those arising from the AAU sales contract. Recipients must monitor and report on GHG reductions achieved, other environmental effects, as well as on how resources have been spent and progress with implementing the programme or project.
The resources generated from the sales of AAUs are to be used to implement programmes and projects in the following areas:
- improving energy efficiency in the various sectors of the national economy;
- improving the efficiency of coal use, including efficiency related to clean coal technologies;
- replacing fuels by low-emission ones;
- avoiding or reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector;
- using renewable energy sources;
- avoiding or reducing methane emissions through its recovery and use in the mining sector, solid waste and wastewater management and farming as well as through its use for generating energy;
- measures related to greenhouse gas sequestration;
- other measures to reduce or avoid national greenhouse emissions, to ensure removal by CO2 sinks and to adapt to climate change;
- research and development activities relating to the use of renewable energy sources as well as advanced and innovative environmentally friendly technologies;
- educational activities, including training courses to support the fulfilment of Polands commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
- Multiple end-uses