Reducing green house gas emissions
The EEA and Norway Grants contribute to reduced energy consumption and pollution with the upgrading of hundreds of hospital and school buildings.
One-quarter of the total contribution between 2004 and 2009 – €275 million – was spent on environmental protection, environmental research and sustainable development projects. Most of the funding was targeted at measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Investments were also made to reduce water pollution, improve waste management, strengthen environmental management and protect biodiversity.
An additional €40 million was channelled to environmental projects supported under the research funds and NGO funds.
Energy efficiency and renewables
One of the most efficient and cost-effective ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is by making buildings more energy efficient. In this respect,
improvements to 300 public buildings in Poland, including nursery and primary schools, hospitals and other municipal buildings, proved to be one of the
most focused investments. Renovation works included insulating walls, ceilings and roofs, replacing windows and doors, as well as upgrading the heating systems, to include renewable energy sources. Estimated energy savings in these buildings are 50%, lowering not only the municipal energy bills but also annual CO2 emissions by 52 000 tonnes and coal consumption by 20 000 metric tonnes.
Projects targeted towards cutting CO2 emissions across all countries have reduced annual emissions by 173 000 tonnes overall and increased renewable energy production (heat and electricity) by 40 500 MWh/year5. The largest reductions in CO2 emissions are found in Estonia and Poland, followed by Latvia.
In addition to targeting measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gasses, investments were also made to reduce water pollution, improve waste management, strengthen environmental management and protect biodiversity. In total, projects within the fields of environmental protection, environmental research and sustainable development received €275 million from the Grants.