Every year in December the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic issues a report on the state of our environment from the previous year. The 2016 report in brief states that the condition of the environment in the Czech Republic has not changed significantly year-on-year, despite the increasing burden caused by the growing economy and improving living standard of the population.
The Report on the Environment in the Czech Republic covers all components of the environment: air, water management, nature and landscape, forests, soil management, industry and energy, transport, material consumption and waste management.
In 2016, the state of the environment in the Czech Republic did not change significantly compared to 2015. Despite the increasing burden caused by the growing economy and improving living standard of the population, the air quality has stagnated (as in 2015), forest and grassland areas for water retention increased, there was an increase in the use of environmentally-friendly railway transport, less phosphorus entered rivers and less waste was produced. However, the climate continues to change (the average annual temperature of 8.7 °C was 1.2 °C higher than the standard in 1961–1990). The favourable development is also affected by the implementation of international and national legislative and strategic objectives.
Regarding the air quality, in 2016, the emission limit was repeatedly exceeded by PM10 and PM2.5 particles, carcinogenic benzo(a)pyrene and ground-level ozone, especially in the Moravian-Silesian and Ústí nad Labem regions. In Prague and Brno, the yearly emission limit for NO2 was exceeded in 4 traffic-intensive areas. Limits for SO2, NO, benzene, nickel, cadmium and lead were not exceeded in any of the monitored areas. Year-on-year, there was a decrease in the emissions of SO2 and NOx (mainly due to a gradual tightening of the emission limits for large industrial sources), emissions of VOCs, PM and CO stagnated and emissions of CO2 and NH3 increased. In the case of heavy metals, the largest decrease is in the emissions of nickel and lead from road transport, public energy and heat production.
What about 2018? In 2018, the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic will primarily work on improving the quality of the air, water and landscape. In the area of air, its quality should be increasingly improved, for example, by “boiler subsidies”, as household (local) heating is a key air pollutant that, in 2015, accounted for 36.4 % of PM10 emissions and 97.3 % of carcinogenic benzo(a)pyrene emissions (data for 2016 will be available in the 2017 report).
The full Report on the Environment in the Czech Republic 2016 is available here.