Prague, Jan 25 (CTK) – People in the Czech Republic may suffer from heavy smog repeatedly unless the government approves efficient strategic decisions and improves the legislation, Czech environmental nongovernmental organisations said in a joint statement issued yesterday.
At a cabinet meeting yesterday, Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO) was to submit a report on the smog situation and possible ways of its improvement.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said after the meeting that the government wants to use EU subsidies to fight smog and support electromobiles.
The environmentalists claim that the government does not deal with the causes of the pollution.
The NGOs recommended that municipalities have more duties to regulate smog, such as to limit coal burning and road traffic. They agreed with Sobotka’s view that municipalities did not use the present instruments to fight smog in the last several days.
They also said the government should stop subsidising the purchase of new boilers burning brown coal because this prolongs dependence on brown coal.
The parliament should pass the anti-fossil bill thanks to which the country would rely less on oil, gas and coal, the environmentalists said. They criticised the government for the planned postponement of the anti-fossil bill.
Brabec said last week that he would not present the bill to the government because its impacts on the country’s competitiveness and the social situation have not been discussed yet.
The environmentalists said the government does not meet the tasks set in the national energy concept, which should limit the operation of coal-fired power plants.
Smog regulation was declared in Prague and several other regions of the country last week.
The regulation is declared if the average daily concentrations of dust particles exceeds 150 micrograms per cubic metre at a half of monitoring stations for three days in a row. Then some plants, such as heating plants, incinerators, cement factories and ironworks, must limit their operation. The current air pollution was due to strong frosts, inversion and no winds.