20 May 2021
CEZ announces plan to slash coal by 2030, ahead of Czech government coal exit vote
PRAGUE, 20 May 2021 – Czech utility ČEZ has announced that it will cut the proportion of electricity it produces by burning coal from 39 percent to 12.5 percent by 2030. The company says it also intends to completely stop burning coal to produce heat and construct six GW of renewable energy capacity by the same date.
The announcement comes after the International Energy Agency showed that all coal must be phased out of the power sectors of OECD countries by 2030, if the world is to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, in a report published earlier this week . ČEZ ’s announcement  will likely catch the attention of Czech government ministers, who are expected to soon vote on the country’s proposed coal phase-out. The scenario recommended by the Czech coal commission is 2038, but half of the ministers indicated support for the 2033 date. Neither is compatible with the UN Paris Climate Agreement .
“ČEZ ’s decision to rid itself of almost all of its coal capacity by 2030 is a welcome step in the right direction, and places the spotlight firmly onto the Czech government’s coal phase-out vote,” said Zala Primc, campaigner at Europe Beyond Coal. “The UN Secretary General says that all EU countries should exit coal by 2030, the International Energy Agency has indicated the same, and now the biggest Czech coal utility has reached a similar conclusion. We expect the Czech Republic to join the fourteen other European countries that have either already left coal behind, or have committed to do so by 2030, which will require the Czech government to step up, adopt a 2030 coal exit, and fasttrack its transition to renewables.”
- International Energy Agency report: Net-zero by 2050 https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050
- ČEZ press release and presentation: https://www.ČEZ .cz/cs/pro-media/tiskove-zpravy/ČEZ -predstavuje-cistou-energii-zitrka-do-roku-2030-prebuduje-vyrobni-portfolio-na-nizkoemisni-144350
- Why Europe must phase-out coal by 2030 to respect the UN Paris climate agreement: https://climateanalytics.org/briefings/coal-phase-out/
- Overview of national coal phase-outs in Europe: https://beyond-coal.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Overview-of-national-coal-phase-out-announcements-Europe-Beyond-Coal-22-April-2021.docx.pdf
- UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls for EU and OECD countries to exit coal by 2030: https://www.politico.eu/article/no-new-coal-un-chief-tells-eu/
- The Czech power sector is the country’s biggest hurdle in meeting the EU’s increased 55 percent greenhouse emission reduction target by 2030, meaning that coal plants will be required to close before 2030.
Zala Primc, Campaigner, Europe Beyond Coal (English, Slovene)
[email protected], + 386 (0) 40 981 828
Alastair Clewer, Communications Officer, Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +49 176 433 07 185
Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to catalyse the closures of coal mines and power plants, prevent the building of any new coal projects and hasten the just transition to clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Our groups are devoting their time, energy and resources to this independent campaign to make Europe coal free by 2030 or sooner. www.beyond-coal.eu