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14 grudnia 2020

Turów is a threat to our cultural heritage

Greenpeace takes actions in defense of a former health resort, Opolno-Zdrój, from Turów mine expansion. The action is supported by a famous writer and reporter. At the same time, during the European Green Party Council, a resolution regarding the mine was passed. It's a next decisive international voice regarding the activity of a controversial mine.

1. Greens’ resolution

On December, 6, during the European Green Party Council, a resolution regarding Turów open-pit lignite mine was subject to a vote. In the resolution we read that all the Green Parties in Europe support the activists who protest in the region in favor of the environment protection. “Replacing lignite mine in Turów with a mix of renewable energy sources is, without a doubt, beneficial not only to the environment, but also to the inhabitants of the Lower Silesia region. The advantages will be even bigger assuming that a common transition is planned for all three regions impacted by the mine.”

The greens formulated strong demands regarding Turów. In the first one, they call on the European Commission to take legal steps against Poland in case that a compromise with the Czech side in the ongoing mediations can't be reached.

As per the Greens, mining the deposits in Turów should be stopped as soon as possible, until all the legal issues are investigated. In the resolution, a necessity of providing adequate conditions in order to create a transborder euroregion of Poland, Germany and Czechia has been emphasized.

It’s also been stressed that Europe needs to phase-out coal and “a decision of the governments to back out of coal shouldn't be questioned by outdated investments protection agreements, such as The Energy Charter Treaty, allowing the fossil fuels investors to sue the governments for damages when their profits are at risk. If the ongoing negotiations don’t produce any relevant reform of the treaty, the EU should depart from it.”

  1. https://rozwojtak-odkrywkinie.pl/wiadomosci/item/543-rezolucja-zielonych-ws-turowa
  2. https://biznesalert.pl/zieloni-rezolucja-kopalnia-turow-wegiel-brunatny/
  3. https://zielonewiadomosci.pl/tematy/energetyka/europejscy-zieloni-przyjeli-rezolucje-w-sprawie-kopalni-turow/

2. Turów is a threat to our cultural heritage


The activity of Turów open-pit mine is a risk to climate, environment, people and nature, but also to our cultural heritage!

“The one-time health − resort - Opolno Zdrój − is threated by a spectrum of destruction. The nearby Turów open-pit mine may absorb a significant part of the town, irreversibly destroying historic land-mark houses. Greenpeace is acting in order to stop the process of mine extension and is appealing to the Minister of Culture to put the precious buildings on the list of monuments. The cause of saving Opolna-Zdrój was also joined by a famous writer, Filip Springer − we read on Greenpeace website.

−  In the history of architecture there is a story written, of people who lived in a given place. In Opolna-Zdrój this history goes back to the XV century. It’s difficult to imagine that it will end in the XXI century, when the mine has decided to extract coal, which we will have to stop mining just right now anyway. It is absurd that, on account of short-sightedness, short-term profits, we are deciding to wipe out history that reaches a couple of centuries back − Filip Springer says.

You may sign the appeal here: https://act.greenpeace.org/page/72411/action/1


  1. https://www.greenpeace.org/poland/aktualnosci/29635/greenpeace-w-obronie-dawnego-uzdrowiska-opolno-zdroj-przed-ekspansja-odkrywki-turow-apeluje-do-ministra-kultury/

3. More and more difficult to insure Turów

On December, 2, a ranking of insurance and reinsurance companies was published, established by an international coalition − Insure Our Future. The report indicates a progressive Insurers’ withdrawal from coal. Coal projects underwriting is becoming more and more expensive and difficult.

– Insurers’ retreat from fossil fuels is a positive action, but in the face of deepening climate crisis, it should be accelerated – says Peter Bosshard, campaign coordinator from Insure Our Future.

Most of European Insurers don't provide new coal projects with insurance protection anymore, meanwhile other worldwide market players are becoming much more careful and are limiting the volume of the insured contracts. That is why the cost of insurance and reinsurance for such controversial projects as lignite extraction in Turów open-pit mine is getting higher and higher every year.


  1. https://rozwojtak-odkrywkinie.pl/wiadomosci/item/540-insure-our-future-2020-ucieczka-ubezpieczycieli-z-wegla-podbija-skladki-brak-jednak-dzialan-obejmujacych-ubezpieczanie-sektora-ropy-i-gazu
  2. https://insurance-scorecard.com/

4. Petitions Committee meeting

On December, 2, a meeting of the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament took place, during which a petition sent by the defenders of Turów mine was discussed. The MEPs sent a clear message regarding the controversial open-pit mine: Just Transition requires EU law obedience. The miners, instead of writing to the Petitions Committee, should appeal to the Polish government and regional authorities to changes the policy that is blocking them access to the funds from Just Transition Fund.

5. The Polish side promised a quick and clear response to Czech demands 

Last week, a bilateral debate took place between Czechia and Poland, regarding the Czech complaint on the Turów operations. Among the participants, were the representatives of Czech Ministry of Environment, including Vice-minister of Environment ,Vladislav Smrž, Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Martin Smolek and Liberec region Mayor, Martin Puta, as well as representatives of Polish Ministry of Climate and Environment and PGE company, owner of the Turów mine and power plant.

– We are defending and still will be defending the interests of our citizens. Today, during the meeting, we have repeated it to our Polish partners. The Polish side has promised specific answers to our postulates, including dates, as soon as next week. On their basis we will decide on how our communication will continue − says Valdislac Smrž, Vice-minister of Environment, cited by the Czech media.

More here:

  1. http://www.libereckenovinky.cz/zpravy/regiony/polska-strana-slibila-brzkou-a-jasnou-odpoved-na-ceske-pozadavky/
  2. http://www.enviweb.cz/117822
  3. https://www.prumyslovaekologie.cz/info/kauza-turow-polska-strana-slibila-brzkou-jasnou-odpoved-na-ceske-pozadavky
  4. https://www.frydlantsko.eu/2020/11/30/kauza-turow-polska-strana-slibila-brzkou-a-jasnou-odpoved-na-ceske-pozadavky/

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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