EU flag and climate warnings beamed on Prague

Feature story - 7 January, 2009
As the Czech Republic takes the helm of the EU for six months, President Václav Klaus, a well-known sceptic on climate change and the European Union, refused to fly the EU flag on Prague Castle (a seat of the Czech president). So, our Czech activists beamed the flag onto the castle instead and illuminated the urgent need for the EU to act on climate change.

They projected the flag and a series of slogans onto Prague Castle and the iconic Charles Bridge as members of European Commission visited the historic capital. The slogans pointed to the forthcoming international climate conference in Copenhagen later this year and read: "Copenhagen -333 days" and "Time to lead".

Later on, Greenpeace climbers began asending the flag mast at Prague Castle to physically hang an EU flag on it but were stopped by police. Watch the video.

Despite the evidence to the contrary, Klaus believes climate change is a dangerous myth. Thankfully he is mainly a ceremonial figure and the Czech government is determined to keep him as far away as possible from the EU Presidency, which it recently took over from France.

Europe must lead on clean energy and forest protection

We are reminding Czech politicians that they need to make the best use of the Czech Presidency of the European Union to improve the EU position in favour of radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The Czech Presidency must play its part to secure an ambitious successor to the Kyoto climate treaty in Copenhagen later this year. There is no time for dilly-dallying since climate change is happening much faster than we previously expected.

We have drawn up a list of five key tests that we will use to judge the success or failure of the Czech EU Presidency in six months' time. These include funding for clean energy and forest protection in developing countries. At a time when a number of European countries are concerned with unreliable gas supplies from Russia, we're also calling on the Czech EU Presidency to ensure the implementation of measures under the EU's recently adopted climate and energy package.

Renewables will fuel the economy and provide energy security

The recent spat between Russia and Ukraine over gas supplies reinforces the need for the Czech EU Presidency to make climate protection, along with energy security, the highest priorities of its Presidency. Fighting climate change is the best way to reduce dependency on expensive fossil fuels, create millions of new jobs and ensure a stable and efficient economy to counter the economic recession.

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