A year ago the Belgian government bought 2 million tonnes of CO2 permits from Hungary. This 26 million euros investment aims to fulfill the country’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol: Decreasing their emissions 7.5 percent by 2012 compared to 1990 levels. Under the terms of the deal, Hungary had to invest the proceeds in the Green Investment Scheme (GIS), an investment vehicle for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Belgium is one of the first countries to experiment with this mechanism. Hence, the results of this deal are decisive for an evaluation at the Summit in Copenhagen.
In this article, Griet De Cort, Thomas Ortegat and Bart van Bael investigate whether the environment will also be benefiting from this multi-million Euro deal. A copy of the Belgian-Hungarian contract was procured through the state regulation on publicity. However, parts of the contracts were missing and answers were not forthcoming, pushing our correspondents to have a look themselves. They went to Hungary to track down these missing millions but it soon became clear that prying eyes are not tolerated in Budapest.