Social climate policy and municipal development

On Friday, 1 December 2023, a workshop on ‘Social climate policy and the development of municipalities’ was held at the Konin Town Hall. The event was jointly organised by the Polish Green Network and the Konin Agglomeration Association.

The topic of the workshop was the new variant of the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme, or so-called ETS2, and the associated Social Climate Fund. ETS2 will extend the Energy and Industry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS1), in force since 2005, to include two new sectors – construction and road transport. According to the European Union’s decision in early 2023, ETS2 is due to come into force in 2027. And in view of the fact that the resulting burden on the construction and transport sectors will translate into costs borne directly by end users, i.e. de facto all of us, the European Commission has decided to create a special fund – the Social Climate Fund. This will be a tool, available from 2026, to support the groups of consumers most at risk from the financial consequences of ETS2, in particular fuel-poor households.

The condition for an EU country to benefit from this fund, however, is to draw up a Social Climate Plan, a document that will indicate how the country intends to use the available funding. The guidelines on the content of the Plan are ambitious and require the Polish government to start work on the document as soon as possible. This is because it must contain a comprehensive strategy combining reforms, investments and direct aid, based on well thought-out data and indicators, and going beyond the timeframe of the Fund, i.e. beyond 2032.The second part of the workshop was devoted to exemplary topics that should become part of the above-mentioned strategy. Such topics include pro-social building and housing solutions, which, although innovative, can and should become available to a wide Polish audience in the near future. Thus, the participants heard, on the one hand, about the current and projected development of energy communities and various forms of collective prosumers, and, on the other hand, about the intermediary project between municipalities and those seeking housing, which is the Social Rental Agencies.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Association for Social Cooperatives, for whom it was an opportunity to present the solutions developed during the SDG Labs project. The Wielkopolska Centre for Social Economy, run by the Association, plans to actively engage in activities related to the development of social climate policy and to use the tools and competences acquired during the project for this purpose.  

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