Climate change mitigation - Drivers and pressures (Czech Republic)

SOER 2010 Common environmental theme (Deprecated)
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SOER Common environmental theme from Czech Republic
Climate change Climate change
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Czech Republic
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Last updated
26 Nov 2010
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Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 11 May 2020 Feed synced: 26 Nov 2010 original
Key message

Pressures on the environment in the Czech Republic are still higher per the unit of economical performance than it is usual in the EU. The development of GHG emissions is closely connected with the economical performance especially with the situation in energy, industry and transportation.


The state of the national economy in terms of pressures on the climate system has been markedly influenced by the situation in the past, in common with the other Visegrad countries. Until 1989, the Czech Republic’s economy was based on energy and material-intensive industrial production, in which heavy industry played an important part, including the production of basic metallurgical materials, cement and basic chemicals. This was associated with high consumption of primary energy sources (PES).

Nowadays, the position of industry in the Czech economy is still extraordinary. The share of Czech industry in GDP fluctuates around 32 %, while the average share in EU27 is approximately 20 % over a comparable time period. In the EU15 countries, the proportion is even lower (19.5 %) especially due to the gradual dematerialisation of the economy. Figures above 25 % are only seen in six EU countries.

The consumption of primary energy sources (PES) in the Czech Republic had been continuously growing since 2000. However, this trend was reversed in 2007 and the consumption of PES decreased – in 2007 and 2008 only slightly, but in 2009 markedly when the significant year-to-year decrease of PES accounted for 6.4 %. In the structure of PES, the share of solid fossil fuels decreased from 54.7 % in 2000 to 46.2 % in 2009, whereas the share of liquid and gas fuels slightly increased (see Fig.).

Energy intensity of the national economy was very unstable and greatly fluctuated between 2000 and 2003. However, since 2004, the situation has improved considerably and energy intensity has been rapidly decreasing. The highest decline by 6.4 % was recorded in 2008 but the situation in 2009 was affected by the decline of GDP due to the economic crisis. As a consequence, despite a very high year-to-year decline in the consumption of PES, energy intensity increased just slightly by 1.8 %.

Final energy consumption followed a similar trend as the consumption of PES. Within individual forms of energy, electricity consumption and fuel consumption increased after 2000 (mainly due to the development of transportation sector), while heat consumption decreased. In sectoral classifications, in 2009, the greatest proportion of energy (39.4 %) was consumed by industry. The second-greatest use of total energy consumption was households (decreasing trend, 22.2 % in 2009). Since 2007, the amount of energy consumed in households has been exceeded by the transportation sector (24.6 % of all consumption in 2009), whose energy consumption rapidly increased throughout the period 2000–2007 by 86 % (see Fig.).

By international comparison, the Czech Republic has an above average consumption of energy calculated per inhabitant compared to the EU15 and EU27 countries (2.5 TJ/capita compared to 2.3 and 2.1 TJ/capita in 2008, see Fig.). Regarding energy consumption distribution in national economic sectors, the Czech Republic has a higher rate of energy consumption in industry compared to the EU27 and EU15 countries. On the other hand, despite a strong increase in traffic over the past few years, energy consumption in this sector is still below the European average (see Fig.).

The share of renewable resources of total electricity generation and production is rather low, but increasing. The share of electricity production from renewable sources of final electricity consumption reached 6.89 % in 2009 (5.17% in 2008), which is below the target (8 %) for 2010 and which can hardly be achieved to date.

Additional information (in Czech):,

The traffic situation nowadays can be characterised by increasing volumes of passenger car transportation, stagnation of freight transportation and an increasing share of environmentally unfriendly modes of transport. In fact, transport figures are gradually getting closer to the situation in EU15. The share of performance of automobile transportation in the total passenger transport volumes reached 62.4 % in 2009, the share of freight road transport in total transport capacities of freight transportation accounted for 74.7 % in 2009 (see Fig.). However, within the EU-27 context, the Czech Republic is still slightly below average with its share of automobile transport in domestic passenger transport.

The Czech Republic’s vehicle fleet of passenger cars is one of the oldest in the EU (approximately 13.6 years on average). Vehicles older than ten years make up about 60 % of the total vehicle number (about 2 600 000 vehicles, see Fig.). In 2009, about 22 % of the passenger car fleet (approx. 1 million vehicles) did not comply with any of the EURO emission standards. However, the situation is getting better and significant improvements have been recorded in recent years as far as the elimination of old cars from the register is concerned. Regarding buses and trucks, the situation is slightly better and their vehicle fleet is younger with more dynamic turnover.


After a period of moderate growth and subsequent stagnation in the early 21st century, the trend in greenhouse gas emissions in the Czech Republic turned to a period of stronger decline after 2007 (see Fig. A and Fig. B). Annual decline in 2008 was 4.1%, which is the largest since 1998. Since 1990, emissions have decreased by 27.5 % to 141.4 Mt CO2eq. (excluding LULUCF emissions and sinks). The Kyoto Protocol commitment (emissions decrease of 8 % by the 2008–2012 control period) has been accomplished. The largest share of emissions is from the energy industry – approximately 42 %, followed by the manufacturing industry (17 %) and mobile sources (mostly transportation) – approximately 14 % (see Fig.). Emissions from mobile sources have almost doubled since 1990. However, the share has not yet reached the average of the share of mobile sources in EU27.

In 2008, the highest absolute decrease in emissions was recorded in the energy sector (4.5 Mt CO2eq. i.e. 4.8 %) and in the sectors industrial processes and use of solvents (1.2 Mt CO2eq. i.e. 7.4 %). After having been increasing since 1994, emissions from mobile sources decreased by 0.5 Mt CO2eq.

The share of CO2 emissions in total greenhouse gas emissions (excluding LULUCF) was 85.4 % in 2008, the share of CH4 emissions was 8.2 %, N2O emissions were 5.5 % and the share of fluorine containing gases (F-gases) was 0.9 %. The shares of emissions of individual greenhouse gases in total emissions have been relatively stable for some time, and only a proportion of F gases is increasing somewhat.

Emission intensity is still high but has been decreasing during recent years. Greenhouse gas emissions per capita reached 13.5 t CO2eq. per capita in 2008 (18.4 t CO2eq. per capita in 1990) and are above the average of EU15 (10.15 t CO2eq.). The emission intensity of GDP generation (specific emissions per GDP unit) has also been decreasing. In 2008, it accounted for 46.9 kg CO2eq. per CZK 1 000, which means an annual decrease of 6.2 % and a decrease from 1995 by 38 %. The long-term trends in emission intensity followed so-called relative decoupling when the growth rate of economic performance is faster than that of emissions and generally the pressure on the environment.

Additional information:

The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

Filed under: SOER2010, climate change
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