On Monday 15th May, Sandbag and The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) hosted an event in Prague to invite discussion on how climate and energy policy can, and will, affect the future of the Czech economy.
The event brought together central and local government officials, businesses representatives, and policy experts to discuss EU climate policies and their economic impact. They explored how business and policy makers can seize upon green growth opportunities and how to optimise EU climate policies to promote new low-carbon investment in Central and Eastern Europe.
A year on from ratification of the Paris Agreement, the event offered an opportunity to understand how this new ambitious direction of travel can translate into business and economic opportunities on the national and regional level. Pavel Zámyslický, from the Czech Ministry of Environment opened with a keynote speech on the country’s ambitious 2050 low-carbon agenda, highlighting the commitments to meet the 2020 and 2030 European targets and follow the indicative 2050 trajectory.

Watch Pavel Zámyslický, Director, Energy and Climate Protection, Ministry of Environment keynote speech about the Czech 2050 low-carbon development strategy – opportunities and risks.

The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group shared their experience of working with progressive business to seize the economic opportunities of the low-carbon transition. Participants heard how creative thinking and innovation will be key for businesses to harness these opportunities and generally prosper in a fast-moving world. Regulation can help this process but strong engagement between the private sector and policy makers will be crucial to ensure this is effective. An example was provided through the recent CLG publication ‘21st century energy: Business reflections on renewables in Europe which highlights that a clearer and more ambitious policy landscape would provide much-needed confidence to enable business investment and take EU renewable energy supply to greater levels.

Watch Jill Duggan, Director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group give her welcome address – reasons for business to lead on climate mitigation and cooperate with policy makers.

During two panel debates contributors drew attention to successes in low-carbon investment that are already being achieved within the current, often challenging, political environment. The speakers explored what more can be done on a policy level so that business can grasp opportunities in energy and industrial sectors, as well as in cities, with a focus on buildings efficiency and electrification of transport.

Panel on low-carbon investment in energy and industrial sectors. Chaired by Rachel Solomon Williams, Sandbag MD

Listen to the podcast on low carbon investment in energy and industrial sectors. Chaired by Rachel Solomon Williams, Sandbag’s Managing Director

Listen to the podcast on Low hanging fruit – investment in mitigation in cities. Chaired by Jill Duggan, Director of the Corporate Leaders Group

The event also aimed to address some of the practical questions that arise around the technological side of the low-carbon economic transition together with the need for additional funding. This was achieved through two showcase presentations.
SITRA, the Finnish Innovation Fund, presented some key insights from the ‘Green to Scale’ project that they have been part of. This project illustrates the emissions savings potential of scaling up existing and proven low-carbon solutions with the goal of inspiring countries to reach and exceed their emission reduction targets. The presentation covered solutions developed in the Nordic countries, which ranged from combined heat and power (CHP) in industry and buildings, to residential heat pumps and electric vehicles. These, together with transport biofuels, could be of interest in the national discussions in the Czech Republic.
View the presentation from Janne Peljo at SITRA Finnish Innovation Fund. SITRA is looking for local partners in Central and Eastern Europe to explore potential for their tested solutions in other countries.

Aleksandra Mirowicz from Sandbag discusses how the Czech Republic can obtain more financial support for low-carbon investment from the EU ETS and the Effort Sharing Regulation.

A presentation on Sandbag’s analysis on how the flagship EU climate policies can help to facilitate greater investment in low carbon projects closed the discussions. Sandbag has carried out analysis on how to optimise the EU climate policies (specifically the Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR)) to support low carbon investment. There are nearly one billion ETS carbon allowances available to Central and Eastern Europe for investments in modernising the energy sector. Reform of the EU ETS would increase their value and similar support can be given to other sectors under the Effort Sharing Regulation. This combined with new projects under the European Project Based Mechanism could direct a significant flow of finance towards the Central and Eastern European region.
EPM briefing

Read the briefing explaining the European Project-based Mechanism (EPM)

View the presentation from Aleksandra Mirowicz from Sandbag discussing how the Czech Republic can obtain more financial support for low-carbon investment from the EU ETS and the Effort Sharing Regulation.