Title: Decoupling of GDP and air pollution in the Czech Republic: trend analysis and policy story behind
Authors: Petr Sauer; Alena Hadrabova; Jaroslav Kreuz
Addresses: Institute for Sustainable Business, University of Economics, Prague W. Churchilla 4, 130 67 Prague 3, Czech Republic ' Institute for Sustainable Business, University of Economics, Prague W. Churchilla 4, 130 67 Prague 3, Czech Republic ' Institute for Sustainable Business, University of Economics, Prague W. Churchilla 4, 130 67 Prague 3, Czech Republic
Abstract: What is now the Czech Republic was industrialised already when the territory was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire before 1918. The economic structure did not change much in the period between the two World Wars. Developing heavy industry was also a priority of the communist government's economic policy in 1948-1989. The economic structure changed during the transition process after 1990, but the pre-existing industries still dominate today. This structure together with the energy resource base, depending on low-quality coal, causes significant air pollution problems. Relatively recently elaborated long-term series of consolidated data on the GDP before 1990 offer an opportunity for using decoupling models to analyse major air pollutants - SO2, NOx and particulates with CO2 as one of the contributors to climate change. The results look unconventional as they show some turning points already since the 1980s, followed by major improvements since the 1990s, especially during the transition period. The paper also reviewed the air quality policies during the different historical periods. The discussion has shown that, despite significant social changes, some modes of environmental policy are 'path-dependent' in the country's overall history.
Keywords: economic development; air pollution; environmental policy history; decoupling; Czech Republic.
International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, 2018 Vol.21 No.5/6, pp.253 - 272
Received: 20 Aug 2018
Accepted: 09 Jan 2019
Published online: 04 Jul 2019 *