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Lithuania creates an innovative Green Investment Scheme

2010-04-07

Lithuania creates an innovative Green Investment Scheme

Tuesday, April 6th Lithuanian minister of Environment has signed legislation establishing green investment scheme (GIS). Lithuanian GIS is rather innovative in the market as it is based on the revolving fund framework, where money from any carbon trade that is under government’s disposition is spent in the form of subsidies, soft loans and capitals investments in the climate change projects ensuring the sustainability of the programme.

Lithuania has a surplus of 50 million assigned amount units (AAUs) which is willing to sell. In order to be eligible for international trade, Lithuania started to build its GIS when the new government came into power at the end of 2008. It is estimated that there is 9 billion of assigned amount units surplus in the market and the demand is calculated as being around 2 billion. The competition for the buyers, mainly Japanese firms is fierce and the country was trying to create what the minister of Environment Gediminas Kazlauskas calls a sustainable and self- replenishing GIS.

Lithuania rejected the straight forward idea of short term financial instrument which relies solemnly on the revenues from surplus AAUs trade, as seen in majority GIS in the market. “It took us longer as we have done a lot of research and considered many options for the scheme. We were aiming to create a sustainable framework that would serve in disbursing money generated from any Kyoto units trade now and in the future as well as revenues from auctioning of the EUAs from 2013” – says one of the architects of the Green Investment Scheme in Lithuania, adviser to the minister Laura Dzelzyte.

According to Lithuanian GIS at least 40% of the revenues from carbon trade must go to energy efficiency, 40% to renewable energy and the rest to other climate change projects. The money is distributed through subsidies, soft loans and capital investment ensuring fiscal returns to the programme and self-replenishing. The system also puts a requirement for guaranteed CO2 reductions per every euro spent on the financed project.

Lithuania is advocating international carbon trade regulation to ensure the transparency of the carbon dealing. “We built our GIS as a carbon trading tool to finance Lithuania’s long term climate change strategy that would underpin the way to green and sustainable economy. Carbon trade is a very important source of finance for the environmental projects especially in the face of economic downturn and we do not wish to see the market being discredited because of unfair or opaque dealings of other market players” – says Mr Kazlauskas.

Tomas Beržinskas, spokesman for the Ministry of Environment, tel. 219 1868

7 April 2010

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Valentinas Mazuronis
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Valentinas Mazuronis