€500,000 for each day illegal mining continues at Turów
The Czech Government has brought an unprecedented lawsuit against Poland at the European Court of Justice, over the Polish state-owned coal company PGE’s illegal operation of its Turów coal mine, which pushes hard up against the Czech borders. The court has ruled that mining at Poland’s sprawling Turów coal mine must be paused to prevent irreversible environmental damage while the court hears the case., However: Poland has refused to do the right thing and halt PGE’s mining, which has led to the court handing it an unprecedented fine of €500,000 a day from 20 September 2021 onwards. Instead of being wasted on fines, this money would be better spent helping local communities around Turów transition fairly, away from uneconomic, polluting coal that has no future, to a modern, healthy economy this decade.
The case against Turów:
- Turów is damaging people’s houses and endangering access to drinking water for thousands of families on the Czech side of the border, as water levels fell by eight meters only in 2020, which is double what PGE said would happen by 2044.
- Turów's licence is based on a faulty and unfinished environmental impact assessment and has already been found to be in breach of EU laws by the European Commission.
- Independent studies show how Poland's electricity grid can function without Turów from 2027 onwards, with one showing it would be over EUR 14 billion cheaper to build a renewables-based alternative to the current Turów mine and plant complex, and would create more jobs.
- Poland is supposed to be the biggest beneficiary of the Just Transition Fund and get about 3.5 billion Euros to help with its energy transition, but unlike almost every other EU country it so far refuses to consider a managed coal phase out this decade, and wants to keep Turów open until the late 2044’s. This will mean coal regions like Bogatynia, where Turów is located, will lose much needed EU financial support to do the unavoidable transition away from coal.
“PGE’s destructive mining needs to pause while the underlying issues around Turow’s legality and impacts on water supplies are resolved, and after this it needs to put a plan for a fair closure of Turów and transition to renewable energy so everyone in the region can work together for a better future.”
Zala Primc, Europe Beyond Coal
“Further conflict benefits nobody. The failure by the Polish government and PGE to plan for the inevitable end to coal this decade means that not only is taxpayers money being wasted on fines, the Bogatynia region where Turow is located will also lose millions in EU’s support to transition from uneconomic, costly and polluting coal.”
Kuba Gogolewski, Fundacja “Rozwój TAK – Odkrywki NIE
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Check out how much 🇵🇱 taxpayer 💰 has been wasted by @MorawieckiM refusing to respect EU law & pause mining at #Turow: https://beyond-coal.eu/turow-counter
Coal has no future in the EU beyond 2030. Fighting this reality harms people, the climate, & 🇵🇱's economy. It's not worth it #BeyondCoal