Alerts Coal Energy Infrastructure / Innovations 14 March, 2024 7:35 am   
COMMENTS: Marcin Karwowski

Court overturns the environmental decision on Turów, and environmentalists say it’s time for a transition

turów3 Turów lignite coal mine. Picture by Bartłomiej Sawicki/

The court overturned the environmental decision on the Turów mine. Environmental organisations say this is a good sign and the region should undergo an energy transition.

The Provincial Administrative Court (WSA) in Warsaw annulled the environmental decision for the Turów mine. The overturned decision allowed for the coal to be minded until 2044.

“The WSA judgment confirms what social organizations have been raising for years in the Turów case – the mine is harmful to the environment and people. Although it is known that it will have to be closed, there is still no clear and honest plan for this. It is becoming increasingly clear that there is a need for a serious conversation between stakeholders, including the government, local government and society,” comments Agnieszka Stupkiewicz, legal adviser at Frank Bold.

According to environmental organizations, it is necessary to carry out ecological transformations in Bogatynia. They argue that coal production is unprofitable.

“Experts talk about the loss of profitability of lignite around 2030. Today it is cheaper to generate power from renewables. Further delay in determining the timetable for the phase-out of coal will only cause losses for the region and its inhabitants. It put at risk the preparations for the inevitable transition, which other coal regions in Poland are already going through,” said Radosław Gawlik, president of the EKO-UNIA Ecological Association.

According to environmental activists, funds for the transformation of this region can be included in the EU budget for 2028-2034. The European Commission will begin planning it in 2025. This will coincide with the time when Poland will assume the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

“In previous years, Poland was the largest beneficiary of the Just Transition Fund. It guaranteed funds for the creation of new jobs in regions that in the coming years plan to move away from coal mining and burning. The turoszowski region had no chance to take advantage of it. Whether it gets a second chance depends on whether the government openly admits that mining in Turów by 2044 is a distant dream,” said Anna Meres of Greenpeace.

Frank Bold / Marcin Karwowski