Czech commission: Coal power should phase-out in 2038

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On Friday, the Coal Commission recommended ending the use of coal in the Czech energy sector in 2038, with the Commission working on a variety of scenarios that would have seen coal end in 2033, 2038, or 2043.
The commission can only offer its recommendation, but the Czech government will have the final say on the date coal is phased out in the country.
Fifteen members of the commission voted for 2038, two were against and two abstained. Also opposed was the Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec, who supported the termination of mining in 2033.
In a statement published by the ministry’s press department, he stated that given that the fundamental transformation of the Czech energy sector would occur by 2030, the end of coal at an earlier date would, in his opinion, be possible.
The 19-member Czech Coal Commission was established last year and is an advisory body to the government. Members include miners, academics, and environmentalists. Among others, there are, for example, ČEZ CEO Daniel Beneš, Chairman of the Trade Union of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Industry Workers Rostislav Palička and the head of the Greenpeace Energy Campaign, Rostislav Palička.
The Commission is led by the Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček with the Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec.
Environmentalists criticize longer phase-out
Phasing out coal use in the Czech Republic in 2038 is absurdly late, stated ecologist and member of the coal commission Jan Rovenský. According to the ecologist, the necessary analysis of the impacts of this scenario on public health and the environment were missing from the decision-making process.
“We, not too surprisingly, disagreed with this not only because the year is absurdly late, but also because the commission did not finish most of the analyses that have the effects of coal decline,” said Rovenský.
According to him, when discussing the materials, it turned out that many things have not yet been resolved.
“The impacts on the regions concerned, the impacts on coal workers, the environmental impacts, the impacts on public health, the impacts on operators, and the impacts on public budgets and the heating industry have not yet been assessed at all. Neither the second nor the third working group has submitted any of this yet,“ said the ecologist.
Representatives of the environmental organizations Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion, who have been demonstrating in front of the Ministry of the Environment since November, also called the decision “scandalous“.
Almost 100 billion korunas will go to the three coal regions
In the coming years, almost 100 billion korunas (€3.8 billion) will go to the Moravian-Silesian, Ústí nad Labem, and Karlovy Vary regions to help them cope with the end of coal use. It is part of the Coal Commission’s resolution, said the first deputy governor of Moravia-Silesia Jakub Unucka, who is a member of the commission.
“During the final negotiations, it was possible to add a clear condition precedent to the resolution on the need to complete small and large nuclear power plants and heating plants,” said Unucka. According to him, it would not be possible without power plants and heating plants.
Title image: In this file photo taken on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 near the town of Most, Czech Republic, a huge excavator stands inside a giant open pit lignite mine. On Friday Dec. 4, 2020, a Czech government advisory committee has agreed on a proposal for the country to phase out coal as an energy source by 2038, a plan that environmental groups say isn’t ambitious enough. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek/File)

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