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Press release: 19 June 2019
Poland’s long-contested Polnoc power plant will never be built, the Polish Supreme Administrative Court ruled today. It is a major victory for local communities, climate and clean energy.
The decision, which concludes years of protest by local people and environmental organisations, is a major blow for Polish coal in a time of increasing uncertainty.
Company Polenergia had planned to construct the 1.6GW coal power plant in Pelplin, Pomerania – a fertile farming region in northern Poland, near Gdansk. The original permit for the plant was issued without input from local communities, and ignored glaring environmental issues with the project.
Prompted by a complaint by environmental lawyers ClientEarth, the Pomeranian regional authority cancelled the permit on that basis but the company appealed. This triggered a multi-year legal battle, escalating through Poland’s court system.
Local residents, with support from environmental organisations like Workshop for All Beings, had campaigned against the project for years. More than 60 farmers joined the case over its duration.
Today, Poland’s Supreme Administrative Court issued the final decision and blocked the project once and for all.
Ilona Jedrasik, Energy Lead at ClientEarth Poland, said: “This is a victory for all those who fought for their land and against this unjustifiable project. Coal power is harmful to nature, the climate and to people and there is no longer an economic argument in its favour.
“Rulings like this should be demonstrating to companies like Polenergia that the future of energy does not belong to coal.
“Private investors are cottoning on – now it’s time for state-owned companies to stop burning their money in coal investments like Ostroleka C.”
ClientEarth is a charity that uses the power of the law to protect people and the planet. We are international lawyers finding practical solutions for the world’s biggest environmental challenges. We are fighting climate change, protecting oceans and wildlife, making forest governance stronger, greening energy, making business more responsible and pushing for government transparency. We believe the law is a tool for positive change. From our offices in London, Brussels, Warsaw, Berlin and Beijing, we work on laws throughout their lifetime, from the earliest stages to implementation. And when those laws are broken, we go to court to enforce them.