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2.79 billion euros investment powers environmental progress in the Czech Republic

The Czech Ministry of the Environment, in cooperation with the State Environmental Fund and the Nature and Landscape Protection Agency, has successfully utilised all financial resources provided by European funds for the Environmental Operational Program for the 2014–2020 program period. The program had an allocation of 2.79 billion euros to support environmental projects, with a deadline for expenditure eligibility set for 31 December 2023.

“The financial support from the Environmental Operational Program has significantly contributed to better water retention in the landscape, biodiversity development, waste management, cleaner air and improved water purification,” said the Minister of Environment, Petr Hladík.” It has also helped municipalities and individuals save on energy costs, such as in schools, hospitals, municipal offices and tens of thousands of households through the replacement of outdated boilers. It is commendable that we have managed to fully utilise all available European funds to transition to a modern and economical economy.”

The Environmental Operational Program 2014-2020 was approved by the European Commission in April 2015, with the first calls for applications launched on August 2015. Nearly 10,000 projects were supported throughout the entire program period. This year, the program was financially closed.

“The support aimed to improve water quality and reduce flood risks, as well as enhance air quality, waste management, nature and landscape protection, energy saving, and, towards the end of the program, support vulnerable households affected by rising energy prices,” said Petr Valdman, Director of the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic. “By the end of the program period, we managed to build over two thousand kilometres of sewers and connect more than 180,000 residents to improved wastewater treatment systems. Almost 500 kilometres of water mains were also constructed.”

The replacement of over 90,000 outdated solid fuel boilers in households with modern, environmentally friendly alternatives has improved air quality not only in cities and towns but also on a national level. Moreover, investments in waste management have increased the capacity for waste recycling by 314,000 tons per year. Landscape and nature care have also improved, with over 70 kilometres of watercourses revitalised and measures taken to support specially protected areas and sites of the Natura 2000 system across 1.5 million hectares.

Funds from the Environmental Operational Program have also helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption through better efficiency. This includes a reduction in final energy consumption of approximately 1 PJ per year for supported public buildings and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of over 650,000 tons of CO2 per year.

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