The Speech of the President of the Czech Republic at the Climate Ambition Summit
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful to be able to address this distinguished audience on such a pressing topic. I am convinced that climate change poses a fundamental threat to the people and our planet and that the window of opportunity for limiting the temperature increase to 1.5° C is closing fast.
The Climate Ambition Summit is an important occasion to foster our joint commitments ahead of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference and send clear political messages on the expectations for the outcome of the Global Stocktake of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The urgency for solving climate change is growing with every moment.
In order to keep the goal of 1.5° C within reach, countries - which are in a position to do so, need to rapidly scale up their ambition in mitigation, adaptation and climate finance.
Czechia is not standing aside from these efforts and is making the following pledges:
First, as I already mentioned at the SDG Summit, Czechia is committed to provide funding of USD 4 million between 2024 and 2027 to support the activities of the Green Climate Fund to assist developing countries in mitigating climate change and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Second, Czechia is committed to continue to create enabling conditions for phasing out the use of coal for electricity and heating by 2033. This will be facilitated in particular by increasing the rate and quality of renovations and accelerating the development of renewable energy sources, including solar and wind power plants, the promotion of bio-gas and bio-methane as well as other renewable energy sources in the energy mix of Czechia.
Third, Czechia supports the fulfilment of the goals and commitments under the Paris Agreement and, as a member of the European Union, subscribes to the common climate and energy goals. Czechia is ready to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the EU level by at least 55 % by 2030 and moving towards a climate-neutral economy in 2050.
As I already mentioned yesterday, it was under the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union last year that we negotiated most of the relevant legislation.
Although Czechia is the most industrialized country in the European Union, we have been working hard to do our homework.
By 2021, Czechia has reduced its total greenhouse gas emissions by 41 % compared to 1990, and between 2016 and 2021, total greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 9 %. Greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector decreased by 24.6 % between 2016 and 2021.
Czechia will also use the amount of over 40 billion US dollars by 2030 to modernize the national economy while transforming to a low-emission and climate-neutral economy. This record amount of funds will be used to finance the transformation of energy, industry, transport and other sectors.
This incentive will support massive private and public investments in decarbonising the economy in the horizon to 2030 and beyond.
There is no plausible denial of the link between the climate emergency and security issues. The Secretary-General’s report “Our Common Agenda” rightly calls for an increased focus on the effects of climate change on peace and security.
Let me conclude by stressing that no country can face the challenges of climate change alone. To build and sustain peace, to prevent conflicts in the face of the climate crisis, we must act together, and we must act now!
Thank you for your attention.
(the speech was sent in writing to the organizers of the Climate Ambition Summit)
Petr Pavel, the President of the Czech Republic, New York, 20th of September 2023