The Law and Justice party (PiS) of Poland on Wednesday indicated that it plans to unveil legislation to allow the government to expand coal mine operations.
PiS intends for half of Poland’s electricity to be generated by coal from its own mines by 2050.
This decision is juxtaposed with the EU’s goal of carbon neutrality, an essential component for plans to slow and reverse human contributions to climate change. Coal use currently accounts for nearly half of carbon dioxide emissions across the globe. This greenhouse gas absorbs heat and radiates it the Earth’s surface, resulting in atmospheric changes.
PiS’s legislation would bypass local authorities, who “are not interested in new mines being built in their areas.” Among the mines PiS plans to develop is the Złoczew mine, which would be the deepest-ever and would displace an estimated three thousand residents.
This legislation is expected to be reviewed after the national election in October.
In addition to legislative opposition by the Civic Coalition party, environmental organizations such as ClientEarth are also taking action to challenge Poland’s coal plants. On Thursday, a suit was filed to hold Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE) liable for environmental and climate harm under an environmental protection law.
PGE owns the Bełchatów coal plant, the largest polluter in Europe. It is also the plant that would benefit most from PiS’s proposed legislation.