Milan Frola, Deputy Head of Mission at the Czech Embassy to South Africa

Two European Union (EU) packages, Fit for 55 and REPowerEU, are aimed at helping the EU to enhance energy efficiency and speed up its transition to clean energy, said Milan Frola, Deputy Head of Mission at the Czech Embassy to South Africa.

The Czech Republic holds the Presidency of the EU Council, which it took up in July 2022, to the end of December 2022.

“Presiding over the EU Council, we are working on the finalisation of the Fit for 55 package [and are] fully committed to the EU joint climate goals – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, and to reach climate neutrality by 2050,” Frola said. These packages will also reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian gas.

Due to Russia’s unprecedented aggression against Ukraine, the EU Council is dealing with a food and energy crisis that has had “negative effects” on the environment and climate protection, Frola said.

“Our government plans to phase out coal, focusing on renewable and nuclear energy and on maximising energy efficiency and savings. To keep our people warm this winter, we are forced to temporarily use more fossil fuels than expected.”

It was necessary to assist other countries and regions in their bids to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Hence, the Czech Republic was “renewing” its €1-million contribution to the Green Climate Fund, Frola said.