Friday, 18 April 2014

Environmental activists protest against energy concept

13 September 2012

Prague, Sept 12 (CTK) - About 100 environmental activists protested against the raw material and energy policy of Industry and Trade Minister Martin Kuba (Civic Democrats, ODS) that reckons with the expansion of coal and uranium mines outside the Government Office Wednesday.

Activists and the mayors of the towns and villages threatened by Kuba's energy concept announced their protest meeting last week so the guards of the Government Office took security measures. The police closed nearby streets along the Vltava (Moldau) River over the demonstration.

According to activists, Kuba's concept will in the future enable to lift the brown coal mining limits in north Bohemia and increase the mining of uranium and other raw materials.

The organisers wanted to pass on their petition to the ministers who came to the government meeting this morning. The petition calls on them not to approve Kuba's concept and assign him to complete and rewrite it thoroughly.

Moreover, minimally two variants of the energy concept should be assessed and one of them should be close to the sustainable development of the Czech energy industry at least in its basic parameters, Jan Pinos, spokesman of the Friends of the Earth movement, told CTK.

Critics of Kuba's proposal expressed fears that the concept would not secure a long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the Czech energy industry.

Kuba's proposal originally included the possibility of test coal mining in the Frenstat mine in Beskydy mountains, north Moravia, but the ministry withdrew it later, Pinos told CTK, adding that some other plans concerning brown coal limits and uranium mines were also softened in favour of the environmentalists

They have therefore a chance of reaching further concessions during the talks with the ministry.

The new state energy concept is to set the course of the Czech energy industry for next 20-30 years. The document was being prepared for several years and it was considerably changed during the process.

Kuba says the concept is to primarily modernise the Czech energy industry and secure power supplies for reasonable prices to household and industrial premises.

The concept reckons with a bigger share of nuclear energy and gradual shutdowns of ageing coal-fuelled power plants.

The government is expected to take notice of Kuba's concept only Wednesday, despite the activists' opinions.

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