Air is one of the environmental components most important to humans and absolutely essential for their existence. The air we breathe and all it contains penetrates the deep interior of our bodies, directly affecting our health. That is why such great care is given to air quality at the national, European and international levels.
Immense funds were invested in emission reductions (mainly from large power plants) in the Czech Republic during the 1990s, resulting in a marked improvement in the air quality, the levels of which in some regions had previously ranked among the worst in the world. Nevertheless, the growing industry and traffic after 2000 have caused the air quality in the Czech Republic to begin to deteriorate again. Irresponsible conduct of individuals who use low-quality fuels or even municipal waste in household heating systems, emitting hazardous chemicals to the air, is a contributing factor that cannot be neglected. Fine dust is the most serious problem at the moment. The Ministry of the Environment developed a National Emission Reduction Programme of the Czech Republic in 2007, and it has been approved by the Government. The paper comprises several key measures to contribute to an improvement in the current state of the environment and environmental and health protection.
The Ministry of the Environment is also participating in protecting the Earth’s ozone layer from damaging chemicals (such as CFCs). The diminishing of the ozone layer results in the dangerous ultraviolet radiation reaching the surface of the planet: it may cause serious illness. Reducing the emissions of such chemicals is one of the most successful global projects in the environmental protection area.