ISSaR

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

Last update
19.08.2014

 


Key question

Is the development of greenhouse gas emissions in the Czech Republic heading to meet national objectives and international commitments?


Key message

The total emissions of greenhouse gases are decreasing in the Czech Republic; in 20121 they decreased by 2.8% and were lowest since 1990. There is a significant drop in emissions from fuel combustion in manufacturing industry and construction, and since 2007, a decline in emissions from transport has been recorded. In comparison with the year 1990, the emission intensity of the Czech Republic’s economy is less than a half and it is constantly declining; however, it is still above the average level in the European context.

In the fuel and energy mix of the Czech Republic, there is dominance of fossil fuels, especially coal. That is why emissions from public electricity and heat production, which have the largest share in the total aggregate GHG emissions of the Czech Republic, do not decline but only vary according to electricity and heat generation in a given year. Greenhouse gas emissions from waste, specifically from landfilling of waste, are growing.

Overall assessment

Change since 1990

Change since 2000

Last year-to-year change


References to current conceptual and strategic documents and their targets

The Czech Republic is a signatory to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. For the first control period (2008–2012), the Kyoto Protocol binds the Czech Republic to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% compared to the base year 1990. In December 2012, a change in the Kyoto Protocol was concluded in Doha, which binds the EU to reduce aggregate emissions of greenhouse gases for the second control period (2013–2020) by 20% compared to the year 1990. At the end of 2013, the process to ratify the changes in the Kyoto Protocol was launched at the level of both the Czech Republic and the EU.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the negative impacts of climate change is also one of the priorities of the currently valid State Environmental Policy of the Czech Republic 2012–2020 and of other national strategic documents such as the National Programme to Reduce the Impacts of Climate Change in the Czech Republic.

The EU's objectives in the areas of energy and climate change by 2020, and the tools to achieve them are specified in the set of legislation called "climate-energy package", approved in December 2008. There is a commitment resulting from the climate-energy package for the Czech Republic, i.e. to reduce emissions in the sectors falling within the EU ETS by 21% till 2020 compared to 2005, and in the sectors outside the EU ETS not to increase the emissions by more than 9% over the same period. In 2013, the European Commission published the Green Paper "A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies" on the basis of which negotiations on new objectives in the area of energy and climate change for the period up to 2030 were launched.


Indicator assessment – graphic part

Chart 1: Greenhouse gas emission trends in selected inventory categories, the Czech Republic [Mt CO2 eq.]
Source: The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute

GHG emissions in selected inventory categories, the Czech Republic

 
Data:
 

Chart 2: Greenhouse gas emissions per capita, the Czech Republic [t CO2 eq. per capita, t CO2 per capita]
Source: The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, The Czech Statistical Office

Greenhouse gas emissions per capita, the Czech Republic

 
Data:
 

Chart 3: Shares of inventory categories on the total greenhouse gas emissions (for the last available year, see data), the Czech Republic [%]
Source: The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute

Shares of inventory categories on the total GHG emissions, the Czech Republic

 
Note:
Without F-gases emissions. The proportion of F-gases in the total greenhouse gas emissions in the Czech Republic is about 1 %.
 
 
Data:

Chart 4: Greenhouse gas emissions in individual inventory categories related to the reference year of the Kyoto protocol (1990), the Czech Republic [% of the reference year]
Source: The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute

GHG emissions in individual inventory categories related to the reference year|of the Kyoto protocol (1990), the Czech Republic

 
Data:
 

Chart 5: Development of the total greenhouse gas emissions and contribution of the individual inventory categories, the Czech Republic [%]
Source: The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute

Development of the total GHG emissions and contribution of the individual|inventory categories, the Czech Republic

 
Data:
 

Chart 6: Specific greenhouse gas emissions per capita (for the last available year, see data), an international comparison [t CO2 eq. per capita]
Source: EEA, The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute

Specific greenhouse gas emissions per capita, an international comparison

 
Data:
 

Indicator assessment – text part

The total aggregated greenhouse gases emissions continue declining in the Czech Republic; in 2007–2012 they dropped by 10.7%, and in 2012 interannually by 2.8% (3.8 Mt CO2 eq.) to 131.5 Mt CO2 eq. (without LULUCF) and they were by 33.0% lower than in the reference year of the Kyoto Protocol, i.e. 1990. If emissions and drops of the LULUCF sector are included in the calculation, the Czech Republic’s emissions were lower by 35.5% in comparison with the reference year. In the aggregated emissions’ structure by the single greenhouse gases, in 2012 the share of CO2 was 84.5%, the share of CH4 was 7.8% and that of N2O amounted to 5.9%. The shares of the gases in the total emissions are relatively stable in time, only the share of F-gases is growing and in 2007–2012 it increased by about 1 percentage point to 1.7%.

In 2012, emission of greenhouse gases from the energy sector (CRF sector 1) comprised 81.5% of the total aggregate emissions, of which 96.2% were from the combustion of fuels. CO2 emissions from coal combustion in stationary sources comprised 42.8% of the total emissions. Development of emissions from the energy industry, which occupies the largest share in the total emissions (43.7% in 2012), was influenced by the composition of the fuel-energy base of the Czech Republic, with a significant proportion of coal and still high, although slowly declining share of steam power plants in electricity generation (59.0% in 2012), where about 75% of the generated electricity comes from brown coal. The long-term trend in emissions from this sector was therefore stagnant in 1990–2012, being accompanied only by fluctuations related to variations in electricity and heat generation. In 2012, the emissions from the energy sector were lower by only 0.9% compared to the year 1990. In 2007–2012 they decreased by 10.6% (6.8 Mt CO2 eq.) and the interannual decline (2011/2012) amounted to 1.7% (980 kt CO2 eq.).

Emissions from fuel combustion in manufacturing industries and construction have been decreasing constantly; in 2012, they declined by a significant amount – 11.8% (2.2 Mt CO2 eq.) and they contributed substantially to the overall decline in the aggregate emissions during that year. Since 1990, emissions from this sector decreased by 64.5%, in the period 2007–2012 by 11.1%. The positive development of emissions was influenced by gradual reduction in energy intensity of industrial processes, by restructuring in the industrial sectors and also by technological development. Decline in industrial production by 1.2% manifested itself in 2012; this was particularly significant in the sector of basic metals manufacture. Emissions from transport were growing significantly in the period 1990–2007 but the trend reversed and the emissions decreased by 12.1% in 2007–2012. Declining energy consumption was reflected in development of the emissions, especially in relation to individual car transport. However, the emissions from transport were by 118% higher in 2012 than in 1990. After a sharp drop in early 1990s, emissions from heating of households and commercial buildings vary depending on temperature conditions of the heating seasons. In 2007–2012, emissions from this sector were stagnating (decrease by 0.1%) and in 2012 they grew interannually by 3.5% (0.4 Mt CO2 eq.) due to lower temperatures in the winter.

Emissions from industrial processes also decreased substantially in 1990s; after 2000, they have been varying according to development of the industrial production. In 2012, emissions from this sector decreased interannually by 3.2% (0.4 Mt CO2 eq.) and by 17.4% in the period 2007–2012. F-gases comprise a significant proportion of emissions from industrial processes (18%); their production increased interannually by 8.1% in 2012 and since 2007, emissions of F-gases from industrial processes almost doubled (increase by 78%).

Emissions from agriculture have been declining gradually; in 2012 they were roughly at half the level of the year 1990. Agriculture is the biggest source of N2O emission and the second biggest source of CH4 emission. On the other hand, emissions from waste are growing (their proportion in the total emissions being 2.9%); in 2012 they were by 33.4% higher than in 1990. This trend has caused especially the growth of emissions from landfilling which amounted to 66.6% in 1990–2012. Over the past 5 years, the emissions from landfilling increased by 14.9%, even though there is a decrease of the amount of landfilled waste2. In the LULUCF sector, carbon storage in biomass prevailed over the emissions throughout the period 1990–2012 and in 2012 the emission’s removals amounted to – 7.3 Mt CO2 eq. and it increased by 3.4% in comparison with the previous year.

The CO2 emissions from installations involved in the emission trading system (EU ETS) declined interannually by 6.6% in 2012 (4.9 Mt of CO2) and they comprised 62.3% of the total CO2 emissions recorded in the national inventory (without LULUCF). In 2013, the decline of emissions in the EU ETS continued in a slower pace, i.e. by 2.3% (1.6 Mt CO2); in the period 2005–2013, emissions in the EU ETS decreased by 17.9%. Therefore the Czech Republic is successfully directed at fulfilment of the objectives of the climate-energy package. Development of the emissions in the EU ETS shows that major stationary combustion sources, from which 87.7% of the EU ETS emission originated in 2013, are the main driving force behind the decline in the total GHG emissions after 2005.

The emission intensity of the Czech Republic’s economy has been declining considerably, however, it is still higher than the average of the EU28. The specific emissions per unit of GDP decreased in 1990–2012 to less than a half (by 55.4%); since 2007 by 12.2% and in 2012 interannually by 1.8% to 36.7 kg CO2 eq./thous.CZK at constant 2005 prices.

An international comparison
The total aggregate greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 19.2% (1,082 Mt CO2 eq.) in the EU28 countries in 1990–2012. The EU as a whole is therefore approaching fulfilment of the objectives of the climate-energy package, which provides for a reduction of the emissions by 20% compared to the reference year 1990. From the perspective of absolute numbers, Germany and the United Kingdom contributed most to this decline as they together reduced the emissions by about 500 Mt CO2 eq. in this period. The biggest relative declines were registered in Latvia, Estonia and Romania, where the emissions fell to less than a half in comparison with the year 2012. The decline in the Czech Republic was also bigger (64.7 Mt CO2 eq., 33.0%) than in the whole of the EU. Interannually, the emissions declined by 1.3% in the EU28 and by 2.8% in the Czech Republic in 2012.

Emission intensities of the economy differ significantly in the individual EU28 countries; in average it amounted to 0.35 t CO2 eq./EUR 1,000 in current prices in 2012. Most emissions per unit of GDP are produced in the new EU member states, especially Bulgaria, Estonia and Poland. Within the EU, the Czech Republic’s emission intensity is also significantly above-average; it is 2.5 times higher than that in the EU28 and 2.8 times higher than that in the EU15. The high value of specific emissions in the Czech Republic, as well as for example in Poland and Estonia, is caused by energy generation based on fossil fuels and a by a significant position of the industry within the economy. The Czech Republic’s per capita emissions of greenhouse gases are the third highest in the EU28 (12.5 t CO2 eq./inhab.), which is 39.4% above the European average.

1Data for year 2013 are not, due to the methodology of their reporting, available at the time of publication.
2The cause consists in the methodology used to calculate the emission, i.e. First Order Decay Model (FOD), which is based on a dynamic estimation by means of data about landfilling in the previous years. The methodology presumes gradual decay of waste stored in landfills and it calculates apportionments to the annual emission of methane based on decay of the waste’s single components in the given years and the composition of landfilled waste influences the amount of emission (different emission factors and proportion of degradable carbon).


Data sources

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The Czech Statistical Office
The Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic


Links to additional information

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute’s Department of Climate Change
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
The European Environment Agency
The EEA Central Data Repository

 

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