The Polish Ministry of Climate and Environment expressed surprise at the decision of the Czech government to take Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union over the expansion of the Turów lignite opencast mine.
Climate ministry spokesman Aleksander Brzózka said that talks on the matter took place during the recent visit to Warsaw of the delegation of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“It was possible to conclude from their course that there was a chance for an amicable settlement to the dispute,” he stated.
The main cause of the complaint is, according to the Czech ministries of foreign affairs and the environment, the negative impact of the mine on the border regions where the groundwater level has decreased. The Czechs will demand that, as a precautionary measure, pending a final judgment, lignite mining should be suspended.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Tribunal will consider the application for interim measures within a few weeks. Until the ruling is given, the dispute may be resolved by mutual agreement of both parties. Poland will be able to comment on the complaint itself in writing. The advocate general of the CJEU should issue opinions after the oral part of the procedure. According to Prague, if the Court agrees to the Czech Republic’s request to prioritise the case, the ruling may take about a year.
The Turów mine and power plant are owned by PGE Górnictwo i Energetyka Konwencjonalna, part of PGE Polish Energy Group. In 2020, the Polish Minister of Climate, Michał Kurtyka, extended the licence for lignite mining in Turów for another six years, until 2026.