Thursday, 17 April 2014

Environmentalists call for lower dependence on fossil fuels

ČTK |
22 February 2013

Prague, Feb 21 (CTK) - The state should start preparing the Czech economy for lowering its dependence on fossil fuels, environmentalists from the Friends of the Earth movement said Thursday, pointing to the rising prices of oil, gas and coal that burden the budgets of both households and firms.

In a new information brochure called More and More Expensive, the environmentalists sum up the risks of dependence on fossil fuels and propose first steps towards an improvement of the situation.

The activists support programmes aimed at house insulation, replacement of gas and coal boilers with house local heating, biomass municipal heating facilities and more investments in railways and cycle paths.

The brochure is part of a Great Challenge initiative within which the movement has proposed after a British model new legislation setting the pace of lowering the Czech Republic's dependence on expensive fossil fuels.

The activists say most parties in parliament want to cooperate in drafting the bill.

The movement's director Vojtech Kotecky said fossil fuels were perceived as an environmental problems in the past ten years, but their growing prices start to turn them into an economic burden for the national economy.

"Three quarters of our energy consumption are covered by coal, oil or gas, which becomes to be a big problem for Czech households now that the prices are growing up," Kotecky said.

The Czech economy spent 115 billion crowns on the imports of oil that costs between 80 and 100 dollars per barrel now compared with 20 dollars in the 1990s, Kotecky said.

Gas prices are also expected to go up in the years ahead and the price of coal on the global market has increased four times in the past ten year, Kotecky said.

He said this is due to that easily accessible deposits are being exhausted while demand is radically growing worldwide.

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