Czechia: Saving the Climate or the Czech Industry?

In their contribution to the edited book 'Climate Change and the Future of Europe', Petr Kratochvíl and Zdeněk Sychra shed light on the current policy action towards climate change in the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic, as with many other post-communist countries, has undergone a fundamental transformation in its relationship to the environment, moving from communist ignorance with its disastrous impact on nature, through the growing importance of environmental issues during the transition to democracy and eventually to the current perception of climate protection as a vitally important issue. Nonetheless, some members of the political elite, especially the older generation of politicians, both left and right, have yet to perceive the imperatives arising from climate change as forming a key priority, with some even arguing that the threat is exaggerated. This is matched by policy actions, which tend to be reactive, typically adopted in a reluctant manner under external pressure.