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ClientEarth lawyers launch court fight to block major new coal mine in Poland

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Coal,

Approval for a huge new coal mine is being challenged by ClientEarth’s lawyers in Poland.

According to ClientEarth, PGE’s Zloczew open-cast mine would be Poland’s deepest ever and, for the first time, use explosives to access the lignite beneath the surface.

A project of state-owned energy company PGE, the Zloczew mine would result in the displacement and destruction of 33 villages, including highly specialised modern farms, homes, schools, shops, chapels and fire stations.

The coal from the mine is destined for Belchatow, the largest lignite-fired coal plant in the world. It burns a t of lignite every second and emits over 37 million t of CO2 each year.

According to ClientEarth, while the pit itself is set to span an area of up to 14km2, the Zloczew mine’s impact on the ground structure would spread over up to 800km2.

PGE is trying to start construction of the Zloczew mine via a ‘leapfrogging’ mechanism that skips the vital step of securing a final and binding environmental permit.

ClientEarth’s court case challenges the authority’s decision to grant immediate effect to the environmental permit, even though an appeal against the environmental permit is pending and it is not final and binding. This immediate activation of the permit allows the investor to seek further permits and concessions required to excavate and operate the mine.

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