In February, the Czech government decided to take Poland to the court in connection with the building out of the Turów opencast mine. The main justifications were the mine’s impact on cross-border regions, reduction of the level of groundwater, and as a result lack of drinking water in the region.
Poland has requested the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to reject a Czech motion to halt mining at the Turów lignite mine.
The Czech government had applied to the CJEU for the implementation of interim measures to stop the mining of lignite at the colliery, which is on the Polish-Czech border, citing environmental concerns.
Poland’s Ministry of Climate told PAP that Warsaw’s response to the Czech government’s request had been forwarded to the court on April 6. In its response, the Polish government argued that interim measures are disproportionate and do not ensure a proper balance of interests.
“The application (of interim measures – PAP) would expose the Republic of Poland and its citizens to significant and irreversible harm,” the Polish authorities argue. “Halting mining activities at the Turów colliery until the issuance of a verdict terminating the main proceedings would have severe economic, social and environmental effects for the Republic of Poland, including the country’s energy security.”
The climate ministry pointed out that Poland also believes that the Czech Republic’s request does not fulfil the necessary urgency criteria.
Poland argues that the Czech government’s position is unjustified as the Czech government analysis omits other significant factors.
The Turów mine and power station belong to the PGE Mining and Conventional Energy company (PGE GiEK). In 2020, the mine’s lignite mining licence was extended until 2026.
In the opinion of PGE GiEK President, Wioletta Czemiel-Grzybowska, on the EU court’s decision on Turów rests the future success of the ‘just energy transformation’ at the EU level.
“‘Wild’ energy transformation is extremely dangerous and stands in opposition to the planned, stable and just transformation foreseen by the EU within the framework of the Green Deal,” she said.
The Turów mine delivers 7 percent of electricity used in Poland. Closing the mine would also entail closing the Turów power plant that it supplies, threating up to 80,000 Polish citizens.