FORMERLY THE western part of Czechoslovakia, in Central Europe, the Czech Republic has a land area of 30,450 sq. mi. (78,866 sq. km.), with a population of 10,306,709 (2006 est.), and a population density of 337 people per sq. mi. (130 people per sq. km.). Approximately 41 percent of the land is used for arable purposes, 11 percent for meadows and pasture, and 34 percent is forested. In 1992, the Czech Republic recorded per capita carbon dioxide emissions of
13.1 metric tons per person, which had fallen to 11.4 metric tons per person by 2003. Some 67 percent of the carbon dioxide emission comes from solid fuels, with coal providing much of the electricity production in the country.
About 77.8 percent of the electricity comes from the burning of fossil fuels, with 18.5 percent from nuclear power, and only 2.5 percent from hydropower. Most of that hydroelectricity comes from the Dalescie Dam, located on the Jihlava River, which was built 1970-78.
Liquid fuels account for 16 percent of the country's carbon dioxide emissions, with 15 percent from gaseous fuels. By sector, electricity production accounts for 54 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, with manufacturing and construction industries causing 23 percent, and transportation, 10 percent, despite a good public transport system, the use of electric trams, and also the heavy promotion of carpooling, cycling, and car-free parts of some towns and cities. The Czech government of Vaclav Klaus took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992, and the government of Vaclav Havel signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on November 23, 1998. It was approved by the Czech parliament on November 15, 2001, and took effect on February 16, 2005.
SEE ALSO: Coal; Slovakia; Transportation.
BIBLIOGRApHY. JoAnn Carmin, "Resources, Opportunities and Local Environmental Action in the Democratic Transition and Early Consolidation Periods in the Czech Republic," Environmental Politics (v.12/3, 2003); Petr Jehlicka and Tomas Kostelecky, "Czech Greens in the 2002 General Elections: A New Lease of Life?," Environmental Politics (v.12/2, 2003); Eva Kruzikova, "EU Accession and Legal Change: Accomplishments and Challenges in the Czech Case," Environmental Politics (v.13/1, 2004); World Resources Institute, "Czech Republic—Climate and Atmosphere," www.earthtrends.wri.org (cited October 2007).
JUSTIN CORFIELD Geelong Grammar School, Australia
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