Photo: KK for Brno Daily

Czech Environmental Indicators Among Worst in EU

Like in the previous year, the Czech Republic scored the worst result in the measure of the damage to soil from drought. Photo credit: KK / Brno Daily.

Prague, April 4 (CTK) – The natural environment in the Czech Republic remains one of the worst in the European Union, with the country ranking 22nd out of 27 EU members according to the annual Index of prosperity and financial health, released today.

However, the Czech Republic has improved its position by one place since last year. The proportion of waste recycled in the Czech Republic has improved slightly, but the country is still lagging behind in the reduction of emissions.

Like in the previous year, the Czech Republic scored the worst result in the measure of the damage to soil from drought.

The Index, which is a joint project of the Europe in Data group and Ceska sporitelna (CS) bank, examined the state of the environment in different EU countries according to 14 indicators.

In the overall evaluation, the Czech Republic was one of the worst countries, only ahead of the Netherlands, Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg and Cyprus.

Sweden, followed by Portugal and France, rank as the best, the same as in last year’s report.

The Czech Republic is still below the EU average in the rate of reduction of greenhouse gases. Czech industry produces 1,932 kilograms of greenhouse gases per capita per year, an increase of roughly 11%.

The Czech Republic therefore dropped from 17th to 19th place according to this indicator.

“The increase in the emissions in the industry is mainly due to the return of the level of manufacturing to the time before the coronavirus pandemic,” said Environment Ministry spokeswoman Lucie Jesatkova. “The biggest annual increase occurred in the chemical industry and metal processing. However, coal burning accounts for roughly 40% of the emissions of greenhouse gases.” 

The rapid decarbonisation of energy in harmony with the target of ending the use of coal by 2033 is the biggest opportunity to lower emissions, she added.

Some 3,200 people die annually in the Czech Republic due to the high levels of carbon emissions.

Compared with the previous year, the country’s position worsened in the production of waste, but improved in recycling.

The proportion of reusable waste rose from 40 to 43%. In this indicator, the Czech Republic improved its position by six places to 13th place. The shift was apparently due to the more efficient collection of biowaste.

However, recycling on its own is not a real solution, as reducing the amount of waste produced in the first place is more efficient, experts say.

In this respect, the situation of the Czech Republic has deteriorated. There are now 570 kilograms of waste produced annually per person, 12% more than a year ago.

However, when it comes to the production of e-waste, the Czech Republic is doing better than many EU countries which have much better environmental indicators overall.

The Index report says that, as was the case a year ago, the Czech Republic has the largest proportion of the soil affected by drought, now around 16%. The lack of moisture, combined with waves of extreme heat, has affected the state of the forests and their ability to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, the analysis said.

Top stories in your mailbox every morning.

Brno Daily Subscribe
Sign up for morning news in your mail