Prague, 7 January 2022 – The Czech Republic has announced it will exit coal by 2033. It’s the 22nd European country to announce a coal exit date, but overshoots the date that would be compatible with the UN Paris climate agreement by three years. The announcement is part of the new Czech government’s programme published today.
“It’s momentous that the Czech government understands that we are in the end game for European coal, but its 2033 coal phase out commitment means it’s getting off on the wrong foot. The Czech government knows all too well that climate science tells us that European countries need to phase out coal by 2030. It must accelerate the plan,” said Mahi Sideridou, Europe Beyond Coal’s Managing Director.
The previous Czech government launched a coal commission in 2020, which returned three coal phase-out scenarios: 2033, 2038 and 2043, before formally recommending 2038. All scenarios were modelled on an Emissions Trading System price of 30 euros per tonne in 2030 despite prices already being north of 80 euros per tonne today. They also assume an unnecessarily modest growth in renewable energy production, and do not foresee any coal plants closing before 2029.
“We see country-level coal exit plans accelerating across Europe and believe that the Czech Republic will phase out coal before 2030 in the end like the other responsible and developed European countries. But even the inadequate coal phase out date in 2033 sends a clear signal to Czech energy industry that the plans to expand Bílina mine or to retrofit old coal power plants have to be abandoned now,” said Lukáš Hrábek, Press Officer at Greenpeace Czech Republic.
Alongside the government’s coal phase-out pledge, the market is also beginning to move. Czech utility ČEZ has announced it will drastically cut coal from its power and heating operations, lowering the amount of electricity it produces from coal from 39 percent to 12.5 percent by 2030. Meanwhile, reports by BloombergNEF and UK think tank, Ember show that a 2030 coal exit can be achieved if economics are left to determine the energy mix, and investments in renewable energy production are made at a rate similar to other EU countries.
“Now that the Czech Republic finally has its coal phase out date, it is important to focus on managing the transition from fossil-based to renewable-based economy. Many precious years have been lost due to the indecisiveness of the previous governments. It is time to start taking just transition seriously and make sure the people in the coal mining regions are being heard and supported,” says Kateřina Davidová, Project Coordinator at the Centre for Transport and Energy.
4. Why Europe must phase-out coal by 2030 to respect the UN Paris climate agreement: https://climateanalytics.org/briefings/coal-phase-out/
5. Overview of national coal phase out commitments: https://beyond-coal.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Briefing-Overview-of-National-Coal-Phase-out-Commitments-28-October-2021-10.pdf
6. Details of new Czech government’s programme: https://www.vlada.cz/cz/jednani-vlady/programove-prohlaseni/programove-prohlaseni-vlady-193547/
Alastair Clewer, Senior Communications Manager, Europe Beyond Coal (English), firstname.lastname@example.org, +49 176 433 07 185
Mahi Sideridou, Managing Director, Europe Beyond Coal campaign, (Greek, English, French), Mahi@beyond-coal.eu, +45 93 602033
Lukas Hrabek, Press Officer, Greenpeace Czech Republic (English, Czech), email@example.com , +420 603 443 140
Kateřina Davidová, Project Coordinator, Centre for Transport and Energy (English, Czech), firstname.lastname@example.org, +420 734 670 514