Friday, 24 November 2017

ČEZ will help ČSSD in campaign in exchange for carbon credits

By Luboš Kreč | Hospodářské noviny |
30 July 2009

In their election campaign, the Social Democrats (ČSSD)will deploy, among other things, a tried and tested tool: ČEZ. They will boast that they prompted the company to spend CZK 25 billion to help municipalities build small environmental-friendly power stations. But what they will not say is that it was ČSSD deputies who passed some CZK 60 billion to the energy giant in June.

At the turn of June and July negotiations took place between the shadow environment minister for the ČSSD, Petr Petržílek, and ČEZ representatives sent out directly by the company's head, Martin Roman. They discussed the financing of local power stations.

"Yes, we were really addressed regarding this idea," ČEZ spokeswoman Eva Nováková told HN. Petržílek is even more specific. He confirmed the sum of money that the state-run company would release for the projects: "ČEZ could give CZK 25 billion for the project." The ČSSD are going to take advantage of their initiative in their election campaign. "We will definitely draw voters' attention to these talks," said Petržílek.

First, however, the ČSSD helped the state-owned giant get dozens of billions of crowns. Its MP Milan Urban along with his colleagues from the ODS pushed through in the lower house - as a clause attached to a completely different bill - an amendment to the law on trading in emission allowances. The move will enable ČEZ, to put it simply, to receive state finance to invest in environmental projects. Petržílek said he got to the negotiating table with ČEZ representatives thanks to Urban who spent part of his holidays last week with ČEZ lobbyist Vladimír Johanes.

"It seems to me as an illogical and unfair pre-election trick," said former environment minister Martin Bursík of the Green Party.