Polish PM: Court ruling to close Turów coal mine is ‘illegal,’ government will not allow mine to be closed

A local MEP from the ruling conservatives said a decision by an administrative court in Warsaw threatens continued mining in the Turów lignite mine

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: dorzeczy.pl
Smoke rises from chimneys of the Turów power plant located by the Turów lignite coal mine near the town of Bogatynia, Poland. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Poland’s vital Turów coal mine is once again under threat due to a Warsaw administrative court. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, however, stated that the ruling was “illegal” and that the Polish government will resist attempts to keep the mine closed.

“This is lawlessness and a clear blow to Polish interests,” said Morawiecki. “There is no need to carry out this ruling because a court ruling that does not take into account the interests of Poles but takes into account the interests of foreigners is illegal.”

According to the Polish prime minister, the court’s verdict “does not take into account the supply of electricity to nurseries, hospitals and schools,” adding that the government will not “allow the mine to be closed.”

“We are the guardians, we are the protectors of the Polish mining industry,” Morawiecki said.

The case being adjudicated was brought to the court by environmentalists from Germany and Czechia, with the verdict resulting in the suspension of coal extraction in the Turów lignite coal mine

“They are trying to close Turów again. The Warsaw Court, together with the European Court of Justice, has decided to stop extraction in a mine that is vital to Polish energy security. The fight for Turów goes on!” wrote Zalewska, who is a member of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

This is not the first time the Turów coal mine has had its existence threatened. First, it was the Czechs who tried to close it, with Prague bringing the issue to Brussels. In 2021, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) punished Poland with a daily fine of €500,000 for its refusal to stop mining coal in Turów. 

When the Polish government reached an agreement with Prague over the functioning of the mine, another injunction was filed against Turów by a local government in Germany.

The latest injunction claims that the environmental audit required for production to continue has not been carried out.

They claim that as a result of continued mining in Turów, the town could sink by one meter. The German side also claims there will be issues with water pollution, emissions and noise. They additionally claim Poles have presented no plan for the re-cultivation of the terrain once coal mining operations come to an end.

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