The exemption of the Czech coal power plant Chvaletice in north-east
Bohemia from EU norms would result in 196 premature deaths over a ten-year
period, suggests a report commissioned by the Czech branch of the
environmental organisation Greenpeace.
Under the new rules approved by EU member states, which will come into force in 2021, power plants in the EU will have to significantly cut the amount of pollutants. The company Sev.en Energy, which operates the Chvaletice power plant, has asked for an eight-year exemption from the norms, arguing that lowering emissions would require inadequate expenses.
On the eve of World Water Day, which falls on March 22, the Czech branch of the environmental organisation Greenpeace published an alarming report on the presence of micro-plastics in Czech rivers. According to the study, plastic fibres were found in all ten samples taken from the Vltava and Elbe Rivers. I asked Jan Freidinger of Greenpeace for more details:
Nine out of ten samples of water from the Vltava and Elbe rivers contain
micro-plastics, the environmental organisation Greenpeace said on Thursday.
The samples were taken last September in Prague, Ústí nad Labem and
Hřensko and sent for analysis in a Greenpeace lab in Britain’s Exeter.
The highest concentration of micro-plastics was recorded in the water released by the water treatment plant in Neštěmice on the Elbe River. The average concentration of micro-plastics, 3.7 particles per litre, corresponds with the results from similar studies abroad.
Greenpeace International has protested against a decision by a Slovak court
to hold a group of 12 Greenpeace activists, including two Czech nationals,
in pre-trial detention, as they await criminal charges for scaling a coal
mine tower to protest the use of "dirty coal".
The 12 protesters – from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Finland – were taken into custody in Slovakia on Wednesday, after climbing a tower of the brown coal mining company Horna Nitra Mines in the Slovak city of Nováky to fly a banner demanding an "end to the era of coal".
Greenpeace Slovakia says the activists are suspected of "threatening the operations of a public interest facility", a charge that could lead to a maximum jail sentence of five years.
The environmental organisation Greenpeace has taken samples from the Vltava
River in Prague to measure the level of micro-plastic pollution in the
water. The samples will be analysed in a Greenpeace lab in Britain’s
The testing is part of a campaign called ‘Plast je Past’ or ‘Plastics are a Trap’, which attempts to eradicate excess plastic packaging. It also appeals to outdoor clothing producers to tackle the problem of micro-fibres, which are released into the water during washing.
The Spolana chemical plant in Neratovice in central Bohemia tops the rankings of the biggest Czech polluters in 2015, presented by the environmental association Arnika on Wednesday. According to Arnika, the quantity of carcinogenic substances released by plants decreased year-on-year for a second time in a row, but the quantity of substances harming the ozone layer of the Earth and dioxins has increased. Other large polluters include Kovohutě Holding DZ and the Peter GFK laminate producer. Most polluters are located in the Moravia-Silesia, north Bohemia and Vysočina regions.
Greenpeace activists have ended their protest at the brown coal power plant in Chvaletice in north-east Bohemia. Nearly a dozen activists climbed to the top of the plant’s cooling tower on Monday morning to protest against a renovation of the plant which would enable it to remain in operation until the year 2030. The plant is currently shut down due to reconstruction work. A spokeswoman for Severní energetická, which owns the coal plant, said the company was currently assessing potential damages caused by the protest.