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ClientEarth challenges Belchatów coal plant

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World Coal,

Europe’s biggest coal power plant and two of its mines are facing an unprecedented legal challenge by environmental lawyers ClientEarth.

Central Poland’s Belchatów power plant burns lignite. With 5 GW capacity, the plant has emitted approximately 1 billion t of CO2 into the atmosphere over its lifetime – and is the largest single greenhouse gas emitter in Europe.

Owner PGE GiEK has not presented any official plan to reduce its climate impacts as of yet.

ClientEarth is demanding that the plant operators stop burning lignite in the plant – or take measures to eliminate its CO2 emissions – by 2035 at the latest.

The lawsuit leverages Polish civil law in a completely new way, focusing on the environment as a common good, which NGOs can go to court to protect. This includes demanding installations and their owners cease activities which are causing harm to the environment.

The coal mines that neighbour the plant are also subject to the challenge over other environmental impacts.

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