The Ministry of the Environment of the Republic of Poland

In its activities, the Ministry of the Environment contributes to and supports many projects aimed at implementing the doctrine of sustainable development, stimulating green innovation and investment and financing activities aimed at the protection of the environment.

Some of them stand out with their unique formula and mechanisms of action, which are internationally acclaimed and may provide a model for a modern approach to the implementation of environmental policy. The most interesting projects of this type without a doubt include GreenEvo – Green Technology Accelerator developed during the Polish presidency of the COP14, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, an environmental infrastructure financing mechanism which is unique on a global scale, the National Green Investment Scheme (GIS) and GEKON Environmental Concept Generator. All these initiatives demonstrate that Poland can serve as inspiration for other countries with economies in transition and identify good practices in terms of greening activities.

GreenEvo

GreenEvo - Green Technology Accelerator is an innovative project of the Ministry of the Environment prepared for promoting Polish environmental technologies and supporting the development of this sector in the country and abroad. The project is designed to support Polish technological thought and entities involved in the development of green technologies in their mobility and promotion of their unique solutions in international markets. In the project it is possible to identify four main stages: selection of technologies for the project, acceleration (series of trainings, first experiences in the transfer of technologies, reports and analysis on strategic overseas markets and the Polish market, analysis of policies to promote green technologies and promotion), the selection of winners, international promotion of winning technologies and the first report on the Polish market of green technologies.

The idea of GreenEvo dates back to the days of COP 14 Climate Change Conference in Poznań in 2008, during which the Poznan Technology Transfer Strategy was developed. During the COP 14 Presidency, the GreenEvo project in support of environmental technologies and their transfer was developed.

Assumptions

  • The programme aims to support the Polish green technologies in the expansion into foreign markets.
  • Accelerating the development of Polish environmental companies and strengthening their activities.
  • Supporting developing countries in improving the environment.
  • Strengthening the role of advanced environmental technologies in the process of economic growth.
  • Promotion of Poland as an active country in terms of ecological activities. 

The most important innovations

  • Comprehensive support of the government.
  • Creating a platform for dialogue between representatives of the private and the public sector.
  • Activities strengthening the role of advanced environmental technologies in the process of economic growth

Results

  • First transfer of the Polish green technology abroad is a result of government support for green technologies: On 16 December 2010, the government of Armenia signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the company which won the first edition of the GreenEvo project-Green Technologies Accelerator.
  • The Greenevo project has been successful for the third year already and its achievements are numerous. For example, in 2011 the revenues of companies which have taken part in the project grew on average by more than 30%, and by almost 60% in exports. This is a perfect example that ecology can be an effective way for business and economic development.
  • Thanks to participation in the competition 18% of companies launched new production plants and 57% improved their technology. The companies also improved their financial results by an average of more than 30% and more than a half of them increased employment. This is an impressive result, especially that the period of the project coincided with the global economic crisis.
  • A film was prepared about each winner of the GreenEvo project available in five language versions: English, German, French, Spanish and Russian. These films show the technology production process, final product, the company’s headquarters and projects. The 14th film "Five minutes with GreenEvo" sums up the project, presenting 13 winners and the assumptions of GreenEvo. This film was also translated into Chinese.
  • In 2010, the GreenEvo project prepared documents identifying the potential of Poland in the field of environmental technologies and opportunities for their international promotion.  Also the needs of foreign markets were identified.
  • Analysis of foreign markets by technological areas identified within the framework of the project GreenEvo (the analyses resulted in the publication of a two-volume report: GREENEVO-FOREIGN MARKETS AND THE PROSPECTS OF A GREEN EVOLUTION OF POLISH TECHNOLOGIES parts I and II)
  • A report on the Polish market of environmental technologies;
  • A report on the existing international support instruments;
  • Analysis of support instruments for companies in the Polish market.

The GreenEvo ® brand is a “baggage” of Polish experience and a desire to share it with other countries, which are in the same place as Poland not that long ago. What is more, it is a guarantee of the quality of Polish technologies. The winners of the project are a group of the best producers of green technologies developed in Poland.

For more information about the project visit: www.greenevo.gov.pl

 

National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management

The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFEP&WM) is a state institution operating on the basis of the Act Environmental Protection Law. Its most important task is the effective and efficient use of funds from the European Union and of those in the framework of Norwegian Financial Mechanism and the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism, the National Green Investment Scheme, the financial instrument Life+. The main purpose of the financial instruments implemented by National Fund is the development and modernization of the infrastructure of environmental protection in Poland. The implementation of environmental projects, which have received or will receive financial support from foreign funds and funding these projects from the resources of the National Fund will be used by Poland to achieve ecological effects resulting from Poland's international commitments.

The source of receipts for the NFEP&WM are charges for business use of the environment and penalties for violations of the environmental law. Thanks to the fact that the main form of financing activities are loans, the National Fund represents a "renewable source of funding" for environmental protection. Loans and grants, as well as other forms of financing, used by the National Fund are intended to cover the financing, in the first place, of large investments of national and supra-regional importance in terms of eliminating pollution of water, air and land. Recently investments using renewable energy sources have been a special priority.

In the last 20 years, the National Fund has played an important role in improving the state of the environment in Poland. The financial dimension of the National Fund’s activities is impressive: in the years 1989-2008 the National Fund concluded more than 14 thousand contracts (mainly on grants, loans and credits granted through the Bank Ochrony Środowiska), providing almost PLN 21.4 billion for financing environmental projects. The cost of projects funded from the resources of the National Fund exceeds PLN 76.5 billion.

The National Fund also coordinated implementation of nearly 250 investment projects in enterprises, which in the years 2004-2006 received funding from the European Regional Development Fund and funding from the resources of the NFEP&WM under the Sectoral Operational Programme Improvement of the Competitiveness of Enterprises. The next task of NFEP&WM is the effective use of funds granted to Poland in the framework of the environmental priorities of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism and European Economic Area Financial Mechanism.

The spectacular outcome of the 20-year-old work of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management is clear improvement of the environment in Poland and increased investment in infrastructure for people and the environment. The NFEP&WM strategy for the period 2009-2012 clarifies that its mission is financial support to activities to protect the environment and respect its values, based on the constitutional principle of sustainable development. The projects carried out with the participation of NFEP&WM will be consistent with environmental policy objectives. NFEP&WM, in cooperation with the voivodeship environmental protection and water management funds will provide financial support to projects implementing the Polish commitments arising from the Accession Treaty and other directives of the European Union. The NFEP&WM will also support the activities of the Minister of Environment in terms of meeting the Polish commitments arising from the Climate Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the implementation of the financial instrument LIFE+ and implementation of NATURA 2000 and environmental policy of the State on environmental education.

The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, which is responsible for using increasingly more funds from the European Union, also by implementing the motto "friendly for beneficiaries" has for several years been organising a series of trainings for applicants seeking financial assistance from both national and foreign funds. Only in the last three years several thousand people attended trainings and conferences organised by the National Fund. This is also a contribution of the NFEP&WM in improving qualifications of the personnel dealing with environmental protection in Poland.

The National Fund is not only the administrator of national or foreign money intended for environmental protection. The Fund actively helps in the development of projects in terms of expertise, technology, concept and implementation.

For more information about the NFEP&WM visit: www.nfosigw.gov.pl

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National Green Investment Scheme (GIS)

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change specifies commitments, for the industrialized countries which are parties to this Protocol, on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The commitments defined for industrialised countries are settled as part of Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) for emissions.In order to facilitate the implementation of the commitments, the Protocol contains mechanisms helping to meet reduction commitments by funding emissions mitigation activities in other countries. These mechanisms are:

  • the Joint Implementation mechanism (JI) - a country with a goal of reducing emissions can finance a project in another country which has the aim of reducing GHG emissions;
  • the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – project on GHG emission reduction, funded by the state with a particular reduction goal is implemented in a developing state which is a party to the Protocol;
  • Emission Trading – countries emitting less than the assigned target of emission reductions (and thus having unused AAUa) can sell "free" units to states emitting more than the assigned target.

Green Investment Scheme (GIS) is derived from the emission trading mechanism.      

The idea and purpose of the GIS comes down to creating and strengthening the environmental effect resulting from selling surplus AAUs.National Green Investment Scheme is linked to "labelling funds derived from the sale of surplus carbon units in order to ensure their use for implementation of strictly defined goals related to environmental protection in the country which is the vendor of those units".

The use of the funds from selling the units is subject to conditions agreed with the buyer and specified in the sales contract, inter alia, in respect of time limits for the use of these funds, use for specific projects, determining maximum intensity of financing, communicating information concerning environmental effects achieved. The National Green Investment Scheme therefore guarantees, on the one hand, that a country with a shortage of allowances will be able, through the purchase of units, to increase greenhouse gas emissions, and at the same time, the funds provided in this context will be used by the seller for goals related to the wider protection of the climate and the environment.

The National Green Investment Scheme is managed by the National operator, which is the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.

In view of the need to ensure the separation of funds derived from the sale of units, these are collected on the Climate Account. Its funds are allocated to funding tasks related to supporting operations implemented under programmes and projects and covered by the National Green Investment Scheme.

 

GEKON – Generator of Ecological Concepts

The idea of encouraging innovation in the Polish economy and offering a comprehensive and modern programme on the market to support the development and implementation of technologies in the area of eco-innovation was one of the main intentions of preparing the Gekon Programme.

The Programme is a joint initiative of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFEP&WM) and the National Research and Development Centre (NRDC). Work on a new support instrument began in September 2011 by signing an agreement between NFEP&WM and NRDC on taking joint actions aimed at the development of Polish environmental technologies by co-financing research, development and implementation work.

The Programme aims at conducting research, development works and implementation of innovative environmental technologies created as a result thereof. This objective is implemented in 5 areas selected and defined in the Agreement. These are the Environmental aspects of extracting unconventional gas, Energy efficiency and energy storage, Protection and rationalization of water use, Harvesting energy from clean sources and Innovative ways to obtain fuel, energy and materials from the waste and recycling of waste.

The launching of a joint Programme together with the NRDC aims at combining different environments for the benefit of science development, so as to gradually stop the imports of new technologies to Poland and start exporting qualified staff.

For more information about the project visit: program-gekon.pl