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Czech Republic Ambition gap

What is Czech Republicʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

How to citeLast update: February 2022

1.5°C compatible pathways

Czechia currently has a 2030 emissions target of a 30% reduction below 2005 levels (excl. LULUCF), which, under current policies, it is projected to narrowly miss.10 However, Czechia’s 2030 target is not compatible with limiting global warming to 1.5°C, which would require emissions reductions of 53-64% below 2005 levels.

Czechia is the worst performing country in the EU regarding the planned deployment of renewables by 2030. Fewer renewable energy sources are planned to be built in this decade than the previous one, meaning that Czechia would have the lowest share of renewable energy in the entire EU.11 Considering that energy supply is responsible for 69% of Czech emissions, such low ambition means Czechia is one of the bloc’s major climate laggards.

Long term pathway

Czechia has set a target of reducing total GHGs emissions by at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. In absolute terms, this corresponds to a maximum emissions level of 39 MtCO₂e/yr.9 1.5°C compatible pathways show that Czechia’s GHGs emissions in 2050 should be reduced to 0-19 MtCO₂e/yr or by around 87-100% below 2005 levels, excluding LULUCF.

Remaining GHGs emissions from agriculture will need to be balanced through carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches such as direct air capture, reforestation, or bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). The Czech government has shown interest in the use of hydrogen as part of its long-term strategy.9

Czechia released its Hydrogen Strategy in July 2021, indicating the government’s commitment to using hydrogen as part of its decarbonisation drive. However, it aims to produce hydrogen from fossil gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS), which still generates emissions, as well as through electrolysis using renewables and nuclear power.12 The strategy claims that producing sufficient hydrogen to meet future local demand can only be achieved with nuclear power or from fossil gas with CCS, however no justification was given to substantiate this assertion.

1 European Environment Agency. EEA greenhouse gases – data viewer. 2021.

2 Government of Czech Republic. National Energy and Climate Plan of the Czech Republic. 2019.

3 IEA. World Energy Balances 2020. 2020.

4 Government of Czechia. Czechia.2021 Common Reporting Format (CRF) Table. 2021.

5 Mahe, S. France, Czech Republic and others push for nuclear in EU’s green investment rules. Reuters. 2021.

6 International Energy Agency (IEA). Czech Republic 2021: Energy Policy Review. 2021.

7 Gilbert, A., Sovacool, B. K., Johnstone, P. & Stirling, A. Cost overruns and financial risk in the construction of nuclear power reactors: A critical appraisal. Energy Policy 102, 644–649. 2017.

8 Eash-Gates, P. et al. Sources of Cost Overrun in Nuclear Power Plant Construction Call for a New Approach to Engineering Design. Joule 4, 2348–2373. 2020.

9 Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. Climate Protection Policy of the Czech Republic: Executive Summary 2017. 2017.

10 European Commission. Assessment of the final national energy and climate plan of Czechia. 2020.

11 Ember. Vision or division?: what do National Energy and Climate Plans tell us about the EU power sector in 2030? 2020.

12 Government of Czech Republic. The Czech Republic’s Hydrogen Strategy. 2021.

13 McKinsey & Company. Pathways to decarbonize the Czech Republic: Carbon-neutral Czech Republic 2050. 2020.

14 Ponikelska, L. Czech Leader Demands Big Changes to EU Green Deal Over Cars. Bloomberg. 2021.


Czech Republicʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
Reference year
1.5°C emissions level
2030 Target - NECP2019
Ambition gap
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions
2030 emissions levels
Current policy projections
2030 Target - NECP2019
1.5°C emissions level
Ref. year 2005

Energy system transformation

The carbon intensity of the Czech economy is one of the highest among all IEA countries due to the dominance of coal in the energy mix.6 Thus, a key challenge of Czechia’s energy sector in the coming decade will be the phasing out of coal. For the power sector, in conjunction with a rapid coal phase-out there needs to be a ratcheting up of the share of renewables to 49-61% by 2030 and 80-100% by 2050.

The replacement of coal with renewables will significantly reduce the emissions intensity of electricity generation and, through the electrification of end-use sectors, support the decarbonisation of other sectors. The necessary infrastructure needs to be built in the current decade to prepare for broader deployment of renewables. For instance, the transport sector currently accounts for 14% of overall emissions.4 For renewables to penetrate this sector, the Czech government could ramp up the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations and provide financial incentives to stimulate electric vehicle adoption.


Czech Republicʼs primary energy mix

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
20192030204020502 0003 000
SSP1 High CDR reliance
20192030204020502 0003 000
Low energy demand
20192030204020502 0003 000
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
20192030204020502 0003 000
  • Renewables incl. biomass
  • Unabated fossil
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS

Czech Republicʼs total CO₂ emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂/yr

  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Historical emissions

1.5°C compatible emissions benchmarks

Key emissions benchmarks of Paris compatible Pathways for Czech Republic. The 1.5°C compatible range is based on the Paris Agreement compatible pathways from the IPCC SR1.5 filtered with sustainability criteria. The median (50th percentile) to 5th percentile and middle of the range are provided here. Relative reductions are provided based on the reference year.

Reference year
Reference year
Year of net zero
incl. BECCS excl. LULUCF and novel CDR
Total GHG
Megatonnes CO₂ equivalent per year
54 to 70
16 to 38
0 to 19
Relative to reference year in %
−64 to −53%
−90 to −74%
−100 to −87%
Total CO₂
41 to 61
5 to 32
−4 to 12
2045 to 2067
Relative to reference year in %
−68 to −52%
−96 to −75%
−103 to −90%