Raising Czech coal mining limits to double emissions
Scores of Greenpeace activists today formed a huge inscription Climate Change Starts Here at the Cernice coal mine near Most to protest against raising the official Czech limits for brown coal mining.
Jan Rovensky, head of the Czech Greenpeace climate campaign, said that if the limits are broken, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions will double. He added that breaking the limits would also strengthen a non-sustainable structure of Czech energy industry.
The Czech government has to preserve the limits agreed on in 1991 and accept the country’s responsibility for climate change and for the improvement of the environment in northern Bohemia, he said.
Rovensky said that the Most Coal Company (MUS) wants to exceed the limits and mine more coal, thus avoiding the responsibility for global consequences of its activity.
Radek Stavel, spokesman for Czech Coal that owns the MUS, said that Greenpeace overestimates the effect of coal mining on the formation of CO2 emissions.
According to Greenpeace, annual Czech carbon dioxide emissions are at the level of 12.5 tonnes per capita, which is the fourth highest amount in the European Union.
“However, in brown coal mining and burning the Czechs follow second immediately after Greece. If we mine and burn all coal according to the limits, 1.45 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions will be formed. But if the MUS and the neighbouring North Bohemian Mines (SD) succeed in realising their mining plans regardless the limits, further 1.39 billion tonnes will be created,” Rovensky said.
“The figures about emissions caused by brown coal given by Greenpeace are absolute nonsense. Brown coal will be processed using so-called clean coal technologies in the next 100 years,” Stavel said.
“A new generation of power stations in the Czech Republic will not have chimneys anymore and it will produce substantially lower emissions than now,” he said.
Greenpeace activists today protested in Britain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine and the United States to commemorate the second anniversary of the date when Kyoto Protocol officially entered into force. The protocol’s aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.