Czech Coal Commission recommends phasing-out coal by 2038

Coal-fired power plant in the Czech Republic, photo: archive of Radio Prague International

The Czech Republic’s Coal Commission, an advisory body to the government, recommended phasing-out coal in the country by 2038, the Czech News Agency reported on Friday. The decision still has to be approved by the government.

The commission worked with scenarios for the end of coal use in 2033, 2038 and 2043. One of the commission's chairmen, Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček, presented the results of the online meeting at a press conference on Friday.

The Czech Coal Commission was established last year as an advisory body to the government. The 19-member advisory board is co-chaired by the minister of Environment, Jiří Brabec and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček.

It also includes experts appointed by relevant stakeholders, including industry, labour unions, NGOs and local communities.

They include, among others, ČEZ CEO Daniel Beneš, Chairman of the Trade Union of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Industry Workers Rostislav Palička and Jan Rovenský, Head of the Greenpeace CR Energy Campaign.

Karel Havlíček,  photo: Michaela Danelová / Czech Radio

Speaking at a press conference on Friday following the commission’s meeting, Industry and Trade Minister Havlíček confirmed that its members recommended phasing-out coal in the Czech Republic by 2038.

Minister Havlíček described the decision as a compromise, adding that the commission adopted “the so-called conceptual scenario." According to Mr Havlíček, two people from the 19-member commission abstained from the vote and two voted against, while the others were in favour.

In its resolution, the commission stipulated conditions for the gradual phase-out of coal, which include the replacement of coal resources by other sources and the securing of the Czech Republic’s energy security.

The Commission also mentioned the completion of new nuclear energy sources according to the current timetable and the successful transformation of the heating industry.

The final decision will be made by the government. According to Mr. Havlíček, thecommission's recommendation should be reviewed at least every five years.

The Czech Republic is one of the biggest polluters in Europe in terms of CO2 emissions and the key reason is coal-fired power plants.