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Cablegate: Going Green in the Golden City: Embassy Prague Promotes

VZCZCXYZ0022
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPG #0592/01 2781529
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051529Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1808
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000592

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR OES/EGC: WMOORE, EUR: MBEH AND SPARKER-BURNS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BEXP ECON ENRG EUN KGHG KPAO OEXC PREL SENV SW EZ
SUBJECT: GOING GREEN IN THE GOLDEN CITY: EMBASSY PRAGUE PROMOTES
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

REF: A. STATE 64364
B. STOCKHOLM 202
C. STATE 40579

1. Summary: Embassy Prague works diligently to improve understanding
of U.S. environmental policies and accomplishments, promote
environmentally-responsible behavior, strengthen ties between Czechs
and Americans in this field, and create eco-friendly economic
opportunities. Management has implemented energy and
resource-saving measures on Embassy-owned properties; FCS promotes
trade supporting renewable energy and green technologies; and Public
Affairs creates opportunities to highlight U.S. accomplishments in
the field of environmental stewardship and to foster U.S.-Czech
collaboration in this field. End Summary.

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Background
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2. Beyond financial and moral imperatives, Embassy Prague has found
environmental stewardship to be a useful platform on which to
improve U.S.-Czech government-to-government cooperation, stimulate
investment and business relationships, increase scientific
collaboration, and improve the U.S. image in the Czech Republic
(CR). Although Czech dependence on coal creates one of Europe's
largest per-capita ecological footprints, Czech people and policy
makers are avidly working towards a greener future, particularly
with the Copenhagen climate negotiations in view. These conditions
provide fertile ground for our partnership to blossom.
3. In summer 2009, Embassy Prague established an interagency working
group including the Management Section, the Political-Economic
section, the Public Affairs Section, the Foreign Agricultural
Service, and the Foreign Commercial Service. The working group
provides a valuable forum for cross-sectional discussion, engagement
and cooperation, and ensures Mission-wide awareness of section
initiatives. Along the lines of Embassy Stockholm's "Next Big
Thing" Initiative and REFTELs, Embassy Prague wishes to share some
of its many successes and ongoing activities.
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Internal Operations
----------

4. The Management Section of Embassy Prague has:
- Installed an automatic sprinkler system, saving $3,000 and 2.2
million liters of water in one year, a sustainable best practice.
- Built a fully enclosed bicycle rack to provide covered parking for
bike commuters.
- Created an Earth Day online video outlining Embassy Prague's
sustainable practices.
- Installed CF lamps in select residences, saving each house $250
annually.
- Reduced volume of unsorted waste by 28 percent through paper and
plastic recycling.
In addition, they have led the Mission in:
- Completing Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) Sustainability
Survey for
Post (2007), reporting above average sustainability among overseas
posts.
- Joining the Department of State League of Green Embassies.

----------
Economic Cooperation and Investment Opportunities
----------

5. The Foreign Commercial Service of Embassy Prague:
- Regularly promotes trade supporting renewable energy and
environmental technologies through market research studies,
including:
-- Czech Renewable Energy Market, Industry Sector Analysis,
February 2009
-- Water and Waste Water Market in the Czech Republic, Industry
Sector Analysis, February 2009.
- Participates in U.S. and EU trade shows through the Energy, Green
Building, and Environmental Teams. Past and upcoming trade shows
include:
-- Power Gen Europe 2010 (Amsterdam, June 2010) co-located with
Renewable Energy World Europe
-- Aquatherm Prague, November 24 - 28, 2009
-- Envi Brno, May 2010
-- Building Fair in Brno, April 2009
-- ForArch Trade Show in Prague, September 2009
-- Will participate in the Big Green Pavilion green business fair
in coordination with the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Summit.

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Public Diplomacy
----------

6. The Public Affairs Section of Embassy Prague:

- Helped establish the Czech Republic Green Buildings Council to
promote environmentally friendly and sustainable building methods in
the Czech Republic and Central and Eastern Europe, and continues to
support its progress.
- Co-organized with the British Council seminars, including
"Sustainable Local Energy Self-sufficiency," "Architectural,
Technical and Social Aspects of Green Buildings," and "Economic
Aspects of Green Buildings." Over 150 experts in the environmental
field -- architects, engineers, academics, students, and business
and government leaders -- attended these seminars, which in part led
to the creation of the Czech Green Building Council.
- Organized a roundtable on climate change and environmental issues
with leading Czech environmental NGOs for a CODEL of six, an Under
Secretary of the Department of Energy and a White House
representative.
- Sponsored a lecture by Professor Robert Greenstreet, Director of
Planning and Design for the City of Milwaukee, on the sustainable
development of urban communities with Czech academics, government
officials and city planners.
- In cooperation with the Czech Partnership Foundation, facilitated
a workshop entitled "Social Bike Business for Prague" with Sue
Knaup, Executive Director of One Street, which promoted
bicycle-commuting and financially self sufficient certified social
bike shops owned and operated by disadvantaged communities.
- Organized the trip of Mike Van Abel, Executive Director of
US-based NGO International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), to
the Czech Republic to work on citizen-based nature conservation and
landscape stewardship with the Czech Mountain Biking Association.
- Partnered with the Galerie Jaroslava Fragnera to curate an
exhibition and conference on 'Green Architecture,' which featured
lectures and works by New York based architect Mitchell Joachim.
- In cooperation with the Czech Academy of Sciences, screened the
film "An Inconvenient Truth" at the American Center in Prague and
the Moravian Library in Brno as a part of the Academy's Science and
Technology Week.
- Supported the screening throughout the Czech Republic of the
American film "Garbage Warrior," a feature-length documentary which
tells the story of American eco-architect Michael Reynolds, his crew
of renegade house-builders from New Mexico, and their fight to
introduce radically different and sustainable ways of living.
- Launched the 'Low Carbon Speakers Bureau Series,' in which
officers make presentations to regional Czech high schools via the
State Department's new Adobe Acrobat webchat platform co.nx,
increasing Embassy outreach without increasing carbon emissions.
- Supported the "Road to Copenhagen" environmental conference in
Prague with a U.S. speaker.
- Produced the multimedia website
http://projects.citiesxborders.com/energy)dis cussing the development
of renewable energy projects in the U.S. and Czech Republic, and
emphasizing how the U.S. leads in renewable energy technology
development. The website will serve as a virtual forum bringing
together other environment-oriented PA programming in the months
ahead, and may be presented on other USG and participating
institutions' web sites.
- Continues to create strong institutional partnerships and speaker
opportunities with professional journalists who will train 24 U.S.
and Czech students during a three-week renewable energy reporting
project.
- Provides partnership and funding for the Environmental Law Service
to complete a study entitled "Alternative Energy Sources v.
Bureaucratic and Legislative Hurdles: Obstacles on the Way to Fight
Global Warming," which will identify and devise strategies for
overcoming administrative and legislative obstacles that limit the
development of renewable energy in the Czech Republic.
- Sent an influential Czech journalist to participate in the
USEU/Foreign Press Center-organized reporting tour on green
technology, as well as numerous International Visitor grantees in
this field.
- Is developing a set of interactive study materials (including
articles, work sheets, and case studies) through Czech partner
Ekowatt in order to raise public awareness on the environmental
impact of housing among secondary school students.
- Supports the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation's Tree of
Life program, whose annual 'Concert for Trees' raises funds for tree
planting activities. Over the past ten years, this project has
planted over 50,000 trees across the Czech countryside.
- Continues to organize environment-related speaker, exchange and
web-based public outreach programs.

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Multi-Sectional Collaboration
----------

7. Mission Prague organized the 2010 Energy Efficiency and
Sustainable Building Technology Group through the International
Visitors Program, with participants from national and local
governments; industry and professional associations for architects,
designers, developers and building product manufacturers; NGOs
promoting energy efficiency and sustainable building; and private

citizens. The program will help participants to identify best
practices and create possibilities for energy efficiency
improvements, while approaching policy approaches and strategies for
financially viable energy efficiency projects. Returned IVs are
collaborating with PAS on Brownfield regeneration, the Sustainable
Buildings Program and other environmental issues.

----------
Community Outreach
----------

8. Embassy Prague held a community service event, during which the
Embassy community planted 1050 trees in a Czech national park.

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Conclusion
----------

8. Embassy Prague is proud of its green efforts in recent years. We
join the chorus of embassies sharing their environmental
accomplishments, and will continue to investigate new ways to
advance eco-friendly programs and resource-efficient practices.

Thompson-Jones

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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