Climate change communication and education

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1. Context

2. Climate change education and training in the country

3. Climate change communication in the country

4. Monitoring and evaluation


  1. Context

i. Climate change context

The Czech Republic is part of the European Union, with a growing population of 10.5 million people as of 2021, according to the World Bank. The Czech Republic shares borders with Austria, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia.

The World Bank has stated that the country faces climate vulnerabilities, including flooding (over 45% of natural hazards occurring annually in the country) and storms (28%).

The Global Carbon Atlas reported that the Czech Republic emitted over 9.2 tCO₂ per person in 2021. The Eighth National Communication (2023) reported that the industry with the most emissions is the energy industry (67%), which also includes the manufacturing and construction industries. Industrial processes emit 12.3% of total national emissions, and the agricultural sector about 6.2%.

The Czech Republic became an Annex I member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in October 1993. The Czech Republic signed the Kyoto Protocol in November 1998 and ratified it in November 2001. The country signed the Paris Agreement in April 2016 and ratified it in October 2017. The Czech Republic accepted the Doha Amendment in December 2012.

The national government of the Czech Republic has not yet declared a climate emergency. However, the country was a member state of the European Union when the Union declared a climate emergency on 28 November 2019. Local jurisdictions such as Prague 6 and Prague 7 have declared climate emergencies.

According to the Eurobarometer survey on climate change (2021), 70% of people in the Czech Republic believed that the government is responsible for tackling climate change, an increase of 14 percentage points from the results of the same survey in 2019.

ii. Relevant government agencies 

Climate change

The Ministry of Environment acts as the central executive body of the state administration for the environment in the Czech Republic. Adaptation to climate change and protection of the environment are also priority areas for the Ministry. The Ministry funds projects related to climate change and the environment. The Ministry coordinates the Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic for 2021-2030 (2021) and the National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan for 2021-2025 in collaboration with several other ministries and scientific institutions, such as the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry for Regional Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Department of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Environment also cooperates with various state agencies and communicates with the European Commission and the UNFCCC secretariat.

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute completes official greenhouse gas inventory outputs and submits them to the Ministry of Environment for approval.

The Ministry of Transport regularly cooperates with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment concerning environmental impacts. The Ministry of Transport drafted the State Action Plan on CO2 Emissions Reduction (2021), which provides general data about transportation and systematic ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions contributed by the civil aviation industry.

The Ministry of Agriculture was responsible for implementing the Biomass Action Plan for the Czech Republic for 2012-2020 (2012) and the Czech Action Plan for Development of Organic Farming for 2016-2020 (2015). The Biomass Action Plan supported the sustainable use of biomass in the country, and the other Action Plan supported the development and growth of organic farming. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture provides grants for projects and programs related to research on the development and observation of the climate system.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade coordinates the implementation of energy-related strategies and policies issued by the government of the Czech Republic. The Ministry oversees the State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic (2015), the primary policy for the energy sector. In addition, the Ministry evaluates the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (2010; updated 2015) every two years, and then reports to the government and the European Commission.

The Ministry of Regional Development, plays a role in the Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic for 2021-2030 (2021), by supporting energy transition in the country to achieve of the goals of the European Union.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs analyzes the country’s resilience to climate impacts in the context of international relations and its association with climate change. To assist in applying its analyses, the Ministry developed a research project titled Geopolitical Impacts of Climate Change in 2021-2022 that aimed to explore geopolitical influences in climate change.

Education and communication

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is the lead government agency for education at the primary and secondary levels. The Ministry drafted the Framework Education Programme for Secondary General Education (Grammar Schools) (2007) and the Framework Education Programme for Basic Education (2007). The first includes environmental education and references climate change as an integral part of the curriculum.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports operates the National Teacher-Training Institute, which fosters the development of general, vocational, art, and linguistic education and supports continuing education for teachers. Lifelong education is a central focus of the Institute. The Institute participates in the national task force on the integration of climate change in education, as outlined in Bridging European and Local Climate Action.

The State Environmental Fund administers the National Environment Programme, a funding body that focuses on objectives related to environmental protection, climate change adaptation, and environmental education for the country’s citizens.

The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic supports projects connected to climate education and public awareness. The Agency has also supported two surveys that measured environmental attitudes and environmental literacy and has funded over 39 projects related to climate education and public awareness.

iii. Relevant laws, policies, and plans 

Climate change

The Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change in the Czech Republic (2015) assessed the economic and environmental impacts of climate change in the country and proposed adaptation measures. The Strategy highlighted the importance of focusing on monitoring and evaluating such adaptation measures, especially the impacts of adaptation on the environment and on public health.

The goal of the State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic (2015), developed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, is to ensure the achievement of the Czech Republic’s long-term goal of providing the country with reliable, secure, affordable, and sustainable supplies of energy to ensure the functioning of the state and the quality of life of the population .

The National Action Plan for Clean Mobility (2015) supports the development of appropriate infrastructure for alternative fuels in the transport sector. According to the Action Plan, climate change is one of the most serious environmental issues caused by anthropogenic gas emissions, and transport is one of the sectors that emits the most gases. In the Czech Republic, emissions from transport have almost tripled since 1990, which has led the country to reduce CO2 emissions.

The National Biodiversity Strategy of the Czech Republic: 2016-2025 (2016), developed by the Ministry of Environment, focuses on the country’s conservation frameworks and sustainable use of biodiversity. Environmental education, awareness, and training are critical areas for fostering conservation of biodiversity.

The Ministry also developed the Climate Protection Policy of the Czech Republic (2017), which focuses on transitioning to a low-emission economy by 2050. The Policy, which includes measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation measures to combat climate change was to be updated by the end of 2023.

The National Energy and Climate Plan (2019) was a result of the European Union’s requirement that each of its member states meet the Union’s overall greenhouse gas emissions targets. The Plan sets the country’s contributions to European climate and energy targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The Plan also focuses on increasing the proportion of renewable energy sources and efficiency.

The Recovery and Resilience Plan (2021) was submitted to the European Commission to access the support provided by the Recovery and Resilience Facility of the European Union, which had the goal of easing the economic crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Plan, which aligns with the National Energy and Climate Plan (2019), the Czech Republic outlined a series of reforms and investment plans that should be implemented by 2026. The Plan aims to protect the climate through 1) large-scale energy efficiency in residential and public buildings, renovations to child-care facilities and long-term care centres, renewable energy, railway infrastructure and sustainable mobility and 2) key reforms in the areas of education, health and business environment. As mandated by the European Commission, the Plan also seeks to advance green and digital transitions in the country and to enhance resilience. At the time of this review, the European Commission had already approved the Czech Republic’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, and the country was to receive USD $7.6 billion (EUR 7 billion) in funding.

The Ministry of Environment drafted the National Program to Abate the Climate Change Impacts in the Czech Republic (2021) to provide a technical report on climate adaptation, that contains adaptation measures. The report lists targets and priorities for climate change prevention, such as improving education for adaptation, increasing awareness and knowledge about climate change in the education sector, and promoting energy saving in sectors such as tourism and education.

The State Environmental Policy 2030 of the Czech Republic with Outlook to 2050 (2021) provides goals for environmental protection and prioritizes environmental issues until 2030 with a view to 2050. The Policy takes into account strategic documents at the national, European and international levels as well as the results of the evaluation of the State Environmental Policy 2012-2020. The thematic areas covered in the Policy are related to climate, circular economy, biodiversity conservation and nature and landscape.

The national Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic for 2021-2030 (2021) summarizes climate change risks, vulnerabilities, and impacts, along with adaptation measures for priority areas for climate change. The Strategy elaborates on the significance of environmental education and awareness raising and environmental consulting, outlining the measures the government has taken to highlight these areas.

The National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (2021-2025) implemented the Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic’s (2021) adaptation measures by outlining associated objectives and tasks, including duties assigned to and funds allocated by the implementing entity. As mentioned earlier, the two documents heavily stress climate change education and awareness, addressing themes such as mitigation, adaptation, and civic action. According to the Strategy, climate change education seeks to provide learners not only with knowledge and competencies but also opportunities for problem-based learning and acquisition of action-oriented skills.

Education and communication

Act No. 123/1998 Coll. Free Access to Environmental Information (1998; amended in 2009) allows the public to access any level of documents concerning climate change and the environment, after due process.

The National Programme for the Development of Education in the Czech Republic, or White Paper, (2001) promotes environmental education, mainly through the protection and provision of sustainable societal development. The document contains no direct reference to climate.

The Framework Education Programme for Secondary General Education (2007) is a national-level document that outlines the country’s educational curricula and themes. Environmental education is highlighted as a minor theme in the context of climate change.

The State Program of Environmental Education, Education, Awareness, and Environmental Consulting for 2016-2025 (2016) is a key national strategy for ensuring the delivery of environmental education and awareness raising and environmental consulting at the national and local levels. The State Program, which functions as an action plan, outlines measures, functions, and funding required to achieve objectives. The Program discusses climate change communication and education in the context of their integration into Czech institutional frameworks . For instance, the Ministry of Environment, as part of its public relations activities, has the task of popularizing climate change awareness.

The Strategy for the Education Policy of the Czech Republic up to 2030+ (2020), published by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, states that the country had undergone several changes that were affecting the population, and that the education system should address them and adapt accordingly. The Strategy also mentions that the creation of a system that monitors the problems faced by the education system would allow people to adapt. Furthermore, the Strategy addresses climate change as one of the many changes faced by the country, proposing that sustainable development, including topics such as climate change, human rights, gender equality, and more, should be incorporated into the educational principles of the country.

iv. Terminology used for Climate Change Education and Communication

Environmental education and awareness raising and environmental consulting is a well-defined concept in legislation (Act No. 123/1998 Coll. on Free Access to Environmental Information, 1998; amended in 2009) and is integrated into the country’s environmental policy structure. Article 13 of the law obligates state- and local-level authorities to support environmental education. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has responsibility for integrating environmental education and awareness raising and environmental consulting (EVVO) in sustainable-development education by including EVVO in national curriculum documents and by supporting education pertaining to environmental protection and sustainable development.

In February 2020, the Government Council for Sustainable Development established the Climate Education Working Group as part of the Ministry of the Environment. The Working Group prepared recommendations for the development and integration of climate education within the educational system. In the publication, The Climate Is Changing — And What about Us? (2021), the Working Group provided educators with methodological recommendations and examples of good practices for climate education. Climate education is defined as “an understanding of ongoing climate change, its natural and social causes, and possible consequences at local, national, and global levels. It helps people engage in climate protection and the overall transformation of society into a climate-just society with zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050” (p. 7).

In 2015, the Ministry of Environment released a publication titled Environment Education: We Love Nature and Want a Healthy Environment, a summary of the country’s approach to environmental education and a guide to objectives for teachers, educators, and public administration. The report defines environmental education by quoting the UNESCO definition: “Environmental education allows people to predict, recognize and address the issues that threaten life on our planet” (n.p.) Environmental education aims to develop competencies that include the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for fostering environmentally responsible behaviour in the present and for the future. The publication addresses the importance of developing a relationship with nature, as well as the need for conservation.

The National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (2021-2025) defines the Czech Republic’s approach to climate change education or climate education as focusing on a “complex set of knowledge and competences, which at the same time encourages greater interdisciplinarity, problem-based teaching, a focus on action skills, etc.” (p. 147).

The State Programme of Environmental Education and Eco-counselling for 2016-2025 is a national strategy focusing on environmental education and awareness raising and environmental consulting.  In the long-term development in these domains, climate change is regarded as a “new topic that has gradually emerged only in recent years” (p. 47), and its integration into the educational system still needs improvement. The State Program contains action plans with specific objectives and measures. The State Program also outlines the negative impacts of climate change in the Czech Republic, Europe, and the world through

“awareness and knowledge of international negotiations on climate protection and the competence to adopt and implement mitigation (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, especially by moving away from the use of fossil fuels) and adaptation measures (adapting to the effects of climate change, especially responding to extreme weather events).”

State Programme of Environmental Education and Eco-counselling for 2016-2025, p. 46

v. Budget for climate change education and communication

The State Environmental Fund administers the National Environment Programme, which functions as a funding body that focuses on objectives related to environmental protection, climate change adaptation, and environmental education for the country’s citizens.

The Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic for 2021-2030 (2021) reported that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports was increasingly offering financial and methodological support to educational programs on climate change. In particular, the Ministry provides annual support for non-profit organizations associated with climate change awareness. At the time of this review, the Ministry had allocated an estimated US$ 405,443 (CZK 9 million) annually for this grant scheme. Moreover, from 2015 to 2019, the Ministry allocated about US$ 1.3 million (CZK 30 million) to climate change education and awareness-raising projects.

The second major financial source for the country’s projects in environmental protection is the National Environment Programme. The Programme has six priority environment-related areas, including air, water quality, waste, environmental risks, and others. The Ministry of Environment coordinates the Programme and the State Environmental Fund, from which environmental education and awareness receive an estimated US$ 2.2 million (CZK 50 million) annually. Climate change is an emerging topic in environmental education and awareness for the Programme.

The Czech Republic’s government and international actors provide various funding mechanisms and grants for projects focusing on climate change and energy. Charles University coordinates the project Global Excellence in Modelling Climate and Energy Policies, which is exploring an economic modelling framework for transition to a zero-carbon economy. Studying the environmental and health impacts and facilitating  knowledge transfer of the effects and response to climate change comprise the project’s primary goals.

The National Energy and Climate Plan (2019), which set national priorities for research, development, and innovation states that 10% of the total funding should be allocated to the priority of sustainable energy and material resources. In the same document, it is mentioned that the state would keep supporting the THÉTA programme, which is part of the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic and supports research in the energy sector. For the year 2022, the total expenditure was US$ 41.59 million (CZK 917 million).

The Czech Republic’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (2021) stated that financial support for the green transition represented 41.6% of the Plan’s total allocation. The Plan also stipulatef that the education and labour market would receive 22.7% of the financial resources. The total investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport, and the circular economy accounted for a total of US$ 7.19 billion (EUR 6.6 billion).

  1. Climate change education and training in the country

i. Climate change in pre-primary, primary, and secondary education 

Various consultants and actors, including the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, developed the Framework Education Programme for Secondary General Education (Grammar Schools) (2007). The Framework stresses the anthropocentric nature of climate change by having students learn about problems created by humans. Environmental education is cross-curricular, meaning that it is integrated into various subjects and is interdisciplinary. Moreover, by developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the context of environmental education, students learn to be environmentally responsible and develop interrelationships with nature.

After a decision of the Ministry of Environment, the State Environmental Fund co-financed a climate communication project that CI2, a non-profit organization focused on sustainable development and climate protection, implemented. The project, titled The Climate is Changing: From Information to Action, focuses on promoting climate communication and education to the general public and to school students. The aim of the project is to enlighten the younger generation by organizing travelling exhibitions and hosting competitions that engage them in climate action.

In March 2022, as part of the project Ecoalphabet for Climate (Ekoabeceda pro klima), the Let’s Clean Up the World (Recyklohrání) program was established to foster climate change education. The target audience includes kindergarteners, primary school students, secondary school students, and their teachers. The project involves the development of teacher guidelines and teaching scenarios for students from kindergarten to upper secondary level. Young children in kindergarten and primary schools learn in the form of stories, games, creation, and observation about the importance of climate change and how to tackle it. Older pupils learn through practical examples and experiments, with emphasis on the development of critical thinking.

The German ministry for the environment, along with 11 organizations across Europe, established the Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON), a funded project promoting climate action that various countries across Europe implemented. The project publication, From Action to Impact: Supporting Municipalities, Schools, and National Governments in the Transition to Climate (2021) outlined the measures that BEACON had taken to promote climate action. Gymnázium Milevsko, a renowned school in the Czech Republic, participated in the project and was able to integrate climate action into the school’s educational activities. BEACON endorsed interactive climate-action days, and the school was able to perform experiments to showcase how climate change was affecting the town of Milevsko by focusing on changes in precipitation and on water scarcity. BEACON materials, such as measuring devices and publications, were used. Over 500 students from Grades 1 to 9 participated in the event.

At Liberec Elementary School, (Základní škola 5. Května), Bridging European and Local Climate Action supported a Climate Action Day focusing on water in 2021. Over 420 students from Grades 1 to 9 viewed a travelling exhibition from the observatory in a nearby town, Valašské Meziříčí, that centred on the water cycle, weather, and meteorology. Each class engaged in interactive ways of learning, like performing experiments, lectures, and games, on topics related to humans, nature, and climate systems in the context of water protection at home and in school.

The State Programme of Environmental Education and Eco-counselling for 2016-2025 supports the creation and delivery of educational programs on climate change impacts and causes. Given the urgency and the developing nature of climate change in education, Action 5.5.1 states that relevant experts must cooperate in the preparation of educational programs. All populations are to be targeted — children, pupils and students, teachers and educators — and all public actors should be able to understand and accept climate change as a reality and as an “existing fact” (p. 47). In addition, Adaptation Measure 5.3.4 supports a participatory approach, ranging from kindergartens through primary and secondary schools to universities and vocational schools. This approach would be developed within the frameworks of caring for the environment and its surroundings and topics related to the development of the surrounding community.

The TEREZA Education Centre, a Czech-based non-profit organization connected to environmental education, plays a major role in the GLOBE network in the Czech Republic. Using GLOBE methodology, the Centre organized the Autumn Climate Challenge, whereby schools explored nature and observed phenomena that could connect to climate change. Over 15 schools participated in other initiatives organized by the Centre and reported data regularly.

ii. Climate change in teacher training and teaching resources

In 2020, the Ministry of Environment issued a publication for people who teach elementary school students titled The Frog Is Not to Blame. The publication promotes storytelling as a method for explaining the effects of climate change to children by encouraging “good questions.” Good questions “promote curiosity, creativity, cooperation and the desire to learn in students” (p. 9). The material guides teachers on biodiversity, the effects of climate change on the Earth, and, more importantly, how to increase its appeal to students. The publication most heavily covers the climate change effect of drought or water scarcity. The guide assists teachers in helping students develop creative solutions and prepare for climate change.

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection finances projects through the European Climate Initiative, including Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON). The Initiative has worked with various municipalities, schools, and national governments across Europe to fulfill the objectives outlined in the Paris Agreement (2016), with the Czech Republic being one of the target countries. In 2021, BEACON published the final project report, titled From Ideas To Action: Supporting Municipalities, Schools, And National Governments in the Transition to Climate Neutrality), which reported on its project development in assisting municipalities and schools with promoting climate action. Schools received support in developing pedagogical concepts focusing on climate change education in their school curricula. In addition, interested teachers could receive training on topics related to climate change and how to take measures toward climate action. A relevant example of a project is a local elementary school with three teachers and 17 pupils in the village of Kněžice that received extensive teacher training related to energy saving. The report states that the school was able to develop an action plan based on the concepts from the teacher training focusing on saving and reducing energy consumption through agricultural biomass.

In March 2022, the City of Prague hosted the 11th World Environmental Education Congress, which allowed various climate experts worldwide to gather and discuss climate action and solutions. The component related to climate change education welcomed proposals to provide educators with effective climate change education methodology and techniques for better delivery. Various themes tackled the role of educators in influencing environmental education pedagogies.

The State Programme of Environmental Education and Eco-counselling for 2016-2025 has supported the expansion of the education for pre-service and in-service teachers in environmental education and awareness raising and environmental consulting (EVVO), as well as for other workers in formal and informal education. Topics related to sustainable development and “adaptation to global changes” (n.p.) have been the main focus of the proposed professional development for teachers. Another proposal advocates for increased training in facilities specializing in EVVO.

The Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic for 2021-2030 (2021) reported that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports was planning to promote available teaching materials and methodologies for climate change. No information about the role of the Ministry and its contributions to this aspect was available at the time of this review.

The Ministry of Environment provides support to projects and programs that foster climate communication and education in the country. The Ministry oversees the State Environmental Fund, which co-finances the projects. In late 2022, a new portal titled I Teach about Climate was released that contains 30 lessons on teaching and methodical support on climate education. Over seven non-governmental organizations that work in climate education, including People in Need and Teachers for the Climate, coordinated the development of the portal. Experts in climate education and environmental topics have created free lessons for teachers and educators to access in the form of interactive ready-made materials. The teaching materials are categorized by grade level and subject. Materials for subjects like Geography, History, Education for Citizenship, Natural History/Biology, and Physics/Chemistry that include the analysis and study of solutions to climate change cater mainly to Grade 8 and above. High school students learn how to propose climate solutions like how the country can reduce emissions, and elementary school students focus on learning through practical experiments. The methodological support section of the portal provides active learning methods for climate education and lists four principles: 1) develop critical thinking and media literacy; 2) learn about the role of the collective and individual efforts; 3) include social and emotional dimensions to overcome “environmental anxiety,” and 4) encourage active involvement through “participatory, exploratory, experiential and critical” methods (n.p.).

People in Need, a non-governmental organization with a humanitarian focus on development, published a  manual for secondary school teachers and for Grade 2 elementary school teachers to inspire and establish project-based teaching in climate change education. Leading students to environmentally responsible behaviour, organizing field trips, and allowing students to initiate projects in climate change are some of the main components of the manual for teachers. The European Commission, Czech Development Agency, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic financed the materials development.

The Eighth National Communication (2023) emphasizes the significance of teacher training by echoing the recommendations of the State Programme of Environmental Education and Eco-counselling for 2016-2015 to support teachers in the field of climate education.

iii. Climate change in higher education

The National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (2021-2025) contains a measure to ensure cooperation with research professionals, universities, and ecological education centres on events related to climate change adaptation. Institutions like the Czech Academy of Sciences and universities can be sought after to implement public events such as earth days and tree days. The Ministry of Environment is the entity responsible for managing implementation.

The Centre for Climate Law and Sustainability Studies, which is part of the Czech Academy of Sciences, is a research unit launched in 2020. The aims of the Centre are to focus on climate law in a systematic way, to communicate evidence to the public and to the legal sector, and to cooperate with other climate law teams across Europe. For this, they have developed the project Climate Change Law in Europe, which held three workshops in 2022 on topics such as greenwashing and climate change, human rights and climate change, and technology and climate neutrality in Europe, all workshops from a legal perspective.

In 2019, Czech Republic university students and members of academia created the Universities for the Climate, a joint movement to protest against the “passive” stance toward combatting climate change of universities in the Czech Republic (n.p.). In November 2022, a climate strike by the Prague branch of Universities for the Climate spearheaded the University of Stàvsky's plan to occupy campuses in various cities and organize a program of climate change activities, lectures, and workshops. Topics covered through workshops and lectures included deep insight into the global approach to climate change communication and education, the origins of the Czech climate movement, and addressing climate denial and how to combat climate change itself.

Universities in the Czech Republic have spearheaded research and development on climate change and on responsive measures and their nature. Universities conducting detailed research on climate change include Charles University in Prague, Masaryk University, University of South Bohemia, and Mendel University.

Masaryk University in Brno coordinated the EVVO International Congress in Prague 2021 with the Ministry of the Interior and other partners, which is reported to have covered climate education in detail. Furthermore, the University is a part of the European Digital UniverCity alliance, in which eight European universities participate. Under the auspices of the alliance, in 2022, Masaryk University offered a summer course in Climate Change Communication and Policy. Students received practical advice on and experience of climate change and worked alongside experts on climate change communication. A secondary topic in the curricula for the summer school was climate policymaking. The University regularly sends its scientists to Antarctica to conduct long-term research on climate change. The 15th expedition in 2021 focused on studying birds and animals inhabiting the continent, as well as continuing the study of glaciers, rivers, and permafrost of the region.

Charles University in Prague is a coordinating institution for the Global Excellence in Modeling Climate and Energy Policies project, with an estimated budget of US$ 2.4 million (EUR 2.2 million). World-class universities and think tanks are a part of the ongoing project. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Staff Exchange, the project explores four research areas, two of which focus on integrated hybrid modelling of climate change and the health and environmental impacts of climate change. Project participants facilitate global knowledge transfer about studies related to the effects of climate change and adaptation and mitigation actions.

The Institute for Environmental Studies at Charles University offers bachelor, master’s, and doctoral degrees in different research areas, such as air quality, ecotoxicology, water treatment, water quality and limnology, conservation biology, and applied ecology.

CzechGlobe, a public research institution that is part of the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, focuses on global climate change and environmental sciences through project management and publications. The research aims of CZECOS 2023, a project that was to run from 2023 to 2026, were to enable open access to the scientific community and to provide research to external users about the long-term effects of global climate change on the ecosystems of the Czech Republic. Secondary aims were to facilitate knowledge transfer in the aforementioned field, especially for doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, and to assist in the training and education of students.

Twelve university students from The Academy of Performing Arts and the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and Film Academy of Miroslav Ondříček in Písek submitted six short films on climate change to the Film for Climate Project. The movies centred on the reality of the climate crisis and the fight for climate justice. The subjects covered also included the importance of biodiversity and of international political negotiations on climate change.

The Eighth National Communication (2023) lists support for research, development, and innovation in climate change and adaptation as a cross-cutting action under Adaptation Measures for the years 2021-2025.

iv. Climate change in training and adult learning 

Czech Republic’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training Profile was published in 2022. The Profile has no references to environmental education or climate change.

In the context of international development, the Czech Republic assists developing countries through direct financial support and offers capacity building, mainly in the form of training courses. The Global Change Research Institute (CzechGlobe), part of the Czech Academy of Sciences, provides training to doctoral students and to experts in research and development in the study of climate change. Furthermore, CzechGlobe offers lectures and training at universities in Bolivia and Colombia on biodiversity research and climate change protection. On the international level, CzechGlobe collaborates with countries like Vietnam and Ghana on climate protection. CzechGlobe’s 2020 newsletter reported on the development of two carbon-flux measuring stations and the education and training of staff in the two countries on technical knowledge about carbon measuring.

The European Climate Initiative funds the project, Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON). The project functioned in countries such as the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Portugal, and Germany between 2019 and 2021. The project’s main aim was to explore and analyze pre-existing educational curricula and the potential integration of climate change into educational materials. According to the project publication, From Action to Impact: Supporting Municipalities, Schools, and National Governments in the Transition to Climate Neutrality (2021), one municipality appointed a communication officer responsible for integrating climate change and action into their work. They received training and built capacity from BEACON coaching, ensuring the integration of these into the municipality’s administration. BEACON partner organization, SEVEn, the Energy Efficiency Center, prepared a communication strategy that reflected the needs of the communities in the Přeštice region. No further information on the communication strategy was available at the time of this review.

According to BEACON’s final project report, From Ideas to Action: Supporting Municipalities, Schools, and National Governments in the Transition to Climate Neutrality (2021), the government of the Czech Republic decided to establish a national task force to integrate climate education and education for sustainable development further into national and school curricula. The participating actors included the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and the National Pedagogical Institute.

The European Commission adopted the national Rural Development Programme (2014-2022), which focused on ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and promoting climate-friendly farming practices. The Programme also aimed to achieve competitiveness in agriculture and forestry by providing funds to farms. There were six Rural Development Priorities, and the Programme stressed Priority 4, which seeks to preserve ecosystems related to agriculture and forestry. Farmers were to make voluntary agri-environmental and climate-related commitments regarding 870,000 ha of farmland. Farmers were also to receive training related to environmental and climate-related benefits. At the time of this review, no further report regarding these activities was found.

The Eighth National Communication (2023) lists the growth of ongoing education, training, and awareness raising about climate change and adaptation as an adaptation measure and as a cross-cutting action to focus on.

  1. Climate change communication in the country

i. Climate change and public awareness 

The National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (2021-2025) emphasized its aim of increasing awareness and involvement of actors in the climate adaptation process and the intention of raising public awareness of climate change and its impacts at the state level and in public institutions, the private sector, and the general public. Adaptation measures range from organizing awareness campaigns to increasing public knowledge of climatic impacts on domains such as natural resources, water management, and forests. The awareness extends to climate adaptation by understanding measures to combat climate change. One adaptation measure in the Action Plan is an information campaign on climate change impacts and possible responses.

The European Climate Initiative, led by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature, Conservation and Nuclear Safety, financed the Climate Heroes: Youth Voices for Sustainable Living project. The project conducted a multinational survey in 2022 to track the level of youth awareness and engagement regarding climate change, sustainable development, and wildlife preservation in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic reported the highest percentage of self-reported awareness of the consequences of climate change. Moreover, over 51% of proactive young people in the Czech Republic were said to be taking steps to prevent climate change, the highest of the countries concerned. The survey also referenced the Czech Republic’s population making conscious consumption choices and taking personal responsibility for combatting climate change. Choices such as eating less meat, buying locally, and purchasing second-hand products were some examples of Czech population practices.

The State Programme of Environmental Education and Eco-counselling for 2016-2025 provides measures, with tasks and indicators, to ensure the achievement of objectives. The Ministry of Environment is responsible for coordinating and implementing Measure 5.5.3, which supports the involvement of target groups in national and international awareness-raising events and campaigns about the threat of global climate change. According to the Programme, target groups include children, students, teachers, and educators; the general public; and public administration, media workers, and political representatives. The Programme states that awareness of climate change can be raised at events such as Earth Hour. The following measure, Measure 5.5,4, supports educational programs and awareness raising about climate change mitigation measures. Both measures state that cooperating partners in implementation would be educational institutions such as schools and universities.

The Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic for 2021-2030 (2021) reported growing public interest in the subject of climate change and increased development of media-approved activities and programs that increase cultural awareness. For instance, the Strategy references a four-part series of television programs titled The Climate Is Changing in the Czech Republic and the Czech Republic Solves the Climate produced between 2010 and 2020 with the support of the Ministry of Environment. Films that focus on soil ecology, like The Living Mantle of the Planet Earth were broadcast on TV and connected with projections and discussions in schools.

The Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON) supported climate communication in the country by collaborating on a communication strategy that allowed the creation of a communication-officer role with climate change communication among their tasks. Through BEACON, the Czech Republic and Germany fostered sustainable mobility by developing a guidebook that shows how cycling, walking, and public transport contribute to a safer environment. The guidebook is targeted at teachers, local government representatives, and parents.

ii. Climate change and public access to information 

The Czech Republic has supported public access to environment-related and climate change-related documents by passing Act No. 123/1998 Coll. on free access to environmental information (1998; amended in 2009) with due process, depending on the case and the request made to the target organization.

Climate Facts (Fakta o klimatu) is an independent organization of analysts and experts that releases public information, facts, infographics, and articles on climate change. The information is fact-checked and ranges from causes of climate change to international legislation and agreements on climate change. The organization assists in coordinating the project, I Teach about Climate, along with other organizations such as People in Need.

The Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic (2021) includes the development of an online database that summarizes information on climate change impacts, risks, vulnerability, and adaptation measures for the country. A system was created to ensure the exchange of information on climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation measures in the Czech Republic. Furthermore, a follow-up system was developed to provide integrated monitoring and early warnings for situations of severe climatic conditions in a given season and to supplement existing systems (e.g., flood-warning system). The Strategy reported that a targeted information campaign on the online database followed its development. The members of the Czech Republic parliament used information from the database during ratification of the Paris Agreement.

There is a regular exchange of scientific and technological information between foreign institutions and the Czech Republic. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute is responsible for the national greenhouse gas inventory and database. The Institute allows public access to the country’s data about hydrology, weather forecasting, radar, air quality, meteorology, and climatology

One objective of the State Programme of Environmental Education and Eco-counselling for 2016-2025 is to allow public access to documents on all levels (national, regional, and local), ranging from political negotiations to translated publications on climate protection.

iii. Climate change and public participation 

In September 2022, Climate Week 2022 promoted local and community-level climate action in the Czech Republic. Any individual, school, team, or group of friends could connect to the coordinators of the event and join and initiate an organization that would be a part of Climate Week. Exhibitions, Climate Day at schools, and activities like painting and cycling for the climate were publicized as a part of Climate Week, for which public participation was highly encouraged and promoted.

The State Programme of Environmental Education and Eco-counselling for 2016-2015 states that decision-making on educational strategies and policies is open to participants at all levels, specifically in environmental consulting and early childhood education and care. In addition, the Strategy advocates for the principles of openness, equality, and participation enshrined in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention, 1998) in the environmental field. The Strategy also calls for the application of a participatory approach and the involvement of the public at all levels of planning and decision-making processes. The creation of local- and regional-level partner networks that focus on informal and formal education is mentioned under “taking care of the built environment” (p. 42).

Furthermore, the State Programme of Environmental Education and Eco-counselling for 2016-2025 raises the importance of international cooperation and networking in environmental education and awareness raising and environmental consulting. The measure with regard to developing international relationships encourages the country’s participation in important international negotiations in environmental education and awareness and environmental consulting. In particular, the Programme advocates for active participation in the World Environmental Education Congress).

The first update of both the Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic (2021) and the National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (2021-2025) involved public input and consultation with actors ranging from the general public to scientific and non-profit institutions.

  1. Monitoring and evaluation

i. Country monitoring 

In 2015, the Czech Republic participated in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). A detailed report, How Much Are Students Aware of Environmental Issues? Is This Awareness Related to Their Socioeconomic Status? A Look from PISA 2006 and 2015 (2022), states that over 50% of participating students were aware of the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and being aware of the consequences of clearing forests.

The profile developed by Climate Adapt states that the Czech Republic has published a document on monitoring, reporting, and evaluation methodologies and on indicators titled Complex Study on Impacts, Vulnerability, and Sources of Risk Related to Climate Change in the Czech Republic, which includes projects on modelling climate change impacts. This document was not available at the time of this review.

The Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Czech Republic (2021) reported on the collaboration between the Ministry of Environment and the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic from 2019 to 2021. The main aim of the project Methodological Framework for Environmental Literacy in Schools was to study the evaluation of eco-literacy in schools. Environmental literacy was investigated in Grade 2 of elementary schools by examining environmental behaviour and attitudes and knowledge of climate change. Almost 30,000 students and teachers took part in the survey. The Czech School Inspectorate and experts from Masaryk University and J. E. Purkyně University cooperated to carry out the project. Results were not available at the time of this review.

In 2022, the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic launched a call for a survey of children and youth in 2024 concerning climate education and awareness tools. The aim would be to capture what kinds of sub-tools could be designed and developed for the concerned target groups based on the survey’s results.

A research team from the Department of Environmental Studies at Masaryk University, in cooperation with Green Dock, a non-profit organization, launched the Czech Climate 2021 survey, delving into perceptions of climate change, knowledge, attitudes, skills, and experiences of Czech students aged 15 to 20 years old. The majority of responses demonstrated that the target groups were aware of the impacts of climate change. Their engagement with climate change through social media and their political leanings were also explored.

The State Programme of Environmental Education and Eco-counselling for 2016-2025 supports the creation of evaluation tools to observe the quality of environmental education and awareness, encouraging the evaluation of relevant programs and projects within primary and secondary education. The evaluations are not publicly available.

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute gathers and analyses current weather conditions and issues alerts for severe hydrological and meteorological events. The Institute also communicates scientific data related to climate change and their effects, offering an overview of the consequences and data created by modelling analysis. Other institutions also provide support for monitoring information about climate change and its effects, such as the Committee on the Environment, which is part of the Ministry of Environment, and the Czech Academy of Sciences, among others.

Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment is an international program whereby scientists create an interactive system that enables students to monitor trends of different environmental issues. Students perform measurements and observations in meteorology, hydrology, biometry, pedology, and remote sensing of the planet. Students also monitor the carbon cycle, with 400 students many schools active participating.

The European Commission conducts the Eurobarometer survey annually, and the 2021 results showed increasing concern aboutclimate change. The Czech Republic’s Eurobarometer report showed that half of the Czech Republic’s population stated that they take climate action seriously, and more than half agreed that climate action is critical to improving public health.

ii. MECCE Project Monitoring

The Monitoring and Evaluation of Climate Change Communication and Education (MECCE) Project examined the Framework Education Programme for Secondary General Education (Grammar Schools) (2007) for references to ‘climate change,’ ‘biodiversity,’ ‘sustainability,’ and ‘environment.’

The Framework Education Programme for Secondary General Education (Grammar Schools) (2007) refers to ‘climate change’ only once. ‘Environment’ is mentioned 53 times, while ‘sustainability’ is mentioned 20 times. The Framework references ‘biodiversity’ 3 times.This section will be updated as the MECCE project develops.



This profile was reviewed by Miroslav Novak, Ministry of Environment - Environmental Education, Czech Republic.

Last modified:

Wed, 29/11/2023 - 10:12