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2040 Climate Target for Czechia: Current policy, ambition gap and sectoral analysis

Kristina Zindulková Kristina Zindulková / Ed. 27. 6. 2024
2040 Climate Target for Czechia: Current policy, ambition gap and sectoral analysis

The European Commission's recommendation in February 2024 for a 90% emissions reduction by 2040 has sparked an essential and challenging conversation about the path to EU climate neutrality by mid-century. This recommendation, based on impact assessments and advice from the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, aims to address the complex issue of deep decarbonization across all sectors. This entails moving beyond shutting down highly polluting power plants and addressing the significant structural changes needed in various sectors. The discussion encompasses potential policy changes, sectoral contributions, investment demands, and socioeconomic impacts, highlighting the transformative nature of this target for the EU's environmental and geopolitical landscape.

In Czechia, the discourse around the EU’s 2040 climate target emphasizes the necessity of moving away from a “business-as-usual plus” interpretation. Achieving a 90% reduction by 2040 would require an annual emissions reduction rate of 3.5%, significantly higher than the 1.1% achieved annually between 1990 and 2020. This necessitates an honest and open debate on the behavioral, socio-economic, regulatory, and technological transformations required. This report aims to contribute to this critical discussion, providing insights and recommendations to align national policies with the ambitious EU targets.

The Czech government’s reception of the 2040 target has been mixed, with the government calling for a more detailed impact assessment and questioning the feasibility of the 90% reduction goal. Concerns have been raised about the assumptions regarding carbon sinks and the role of hydrogen in achieving these targets. However, with the scheduled updates to the State Energy Policy, Climate Protection Policy, and National Energy and Climate Plan in 2024, significant changes are anticipated. These updates are expected to reflect increased climate ambition, including new targets for emissions reductions, renewable energy share, and the 2033 coal phase-out.

Sectoral contributions to the 2040 emissions reduction target in Czechia highlight significant challenges and opportunities. The SEEPIA WAM3 scenario projects substantial reductions in electricity production and industry emissions, driven by a rapid coal phase-out and increased renewable energy utilization. However, sectors like transport, which saw emissions rise by 62% from 1990 to 2021, face considerable challenges in reversing this trend. Moreover, the LULUCF sector, currently a significant emissions source due to forest degradation, is expected to revert to a net sink. Achieving these ambitious targets will require overcoming economic and non-economic barriers and ensuring equitable mitigation policies to avoid socio-political backlash.


Czech Republic 611
Europe 668
economy 162
environment 43
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