The environment in the Czech Republic remained unchanged in 2016, despite continuous economic and industrial growth, suggests the annual report on the state of Czech environment, which was debated by the government this week. The report also points out that despite growing public funding on environment protection, there have been no significant improvements.
A seemingly innocuous memorandum with an Australian mining company about exploitation and processing of some of the Czech Republic’s biggest lithium reserves is now in the spotlight on the eve of parliamentary elections. Some parties are calling for a special session of parliament to be called so that accusations can be aired.
After months of delays, the Czech Republic’s lower house of parliament took a first step towards approving the Paris climate change agreement. The Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of the deal in its first reading on Tuesday, sending it for further assessment to lower house committees. The Czech Republic is the last remaining EU member state not to have ratified the landmark agreement.
Over two hundred people gathered in the town of Horní Jiřetín in north Bohemia to protest against the lifting of limits on lignite mining in the region. The protesters marched to the edge of the mine, forming a human chain along its border. Several dozen activists have also broken into the premises of the Bílina mine. According to one of the organizers, Michal Černík, the protest aims is to highlight the problems connected with climate change. Horní Jiřetín is a village that could be destroyed if limits on mining in the area are eased or lifted completely.
The Ministry of Environment has announced a new programme of grants to encourage households to save water. The ministry has earmarked 100 million crowns for the programme, which takes off on May 29. The grants will be used for example to buy containers for rain water, to build ponds, or for water efficient equipment. The programme, called Dešťovka, is part of the government’s strategy to deal with increased likeliness of drought.