On Friday, the Czech Coal Commission recommended ending the use of coal in 2038.
NGOs warned that any coal exit later than 2030 would inevitably have to be accelerated anyway to secure a robust EU climate target to which Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš recently committed.
“When deciding on the date of the end of coal, the coal commission did not take into account the potential of renewable energy sources that we have in the Czech Republic,” says Alexander Ač, a climatologist and member of the Shadow Coal Commission.
Activists and youth organization members have been occupying the Czech Ministry of the Environment since November 16, demanding a coal phaseout by 2030 at the latest.
Currently, coal plants generate around 50% of electricity in the Czech Republic.
However, according to Czech environmental NGO Hnutí Duha, it is possible to shut down all coal plants by 2030. This is feasible and necessary due to the EU’s ambitious climate goals for 2030, but also because of the expected significant rise in price of allowances under the EU’s emission trading system, the NGO argues.
EMBER, BloombergNEF, Energynautics, and McKinsey all recently published studies presenting different possible phaseout scenarios for the Czech Republic, demonstrating an earlier phaseout date is feasible.
Only 15 percent of Czechs say coal is their preferred energy source, while 75 percent support renewable solutions like solar and wind.
Even 52 percent of Czechs from lignite-mining regions (Ústecký, Karlovarský) are supportive of an end to coal mining and burning sooner than by 2035.