Happening organized by the Fridays For Future movement called Publish the deal, stop Turów, March 13, 2023, Prague.
Prague – In front of the Polish embassy in Prague, over 20 mostly young people gathered for a demonstration, demanding the publication of details of the agreement between the Czech Republic and Poland on coal mining in the Turów mine. The mine is located in Poland near the Czech and German borders, according to ecologists, mining threatens the environment in all three countries, especially destroying the groundwater in the vicinity of the mine. The demonstration called Publish the agreement, stop Turów was organized by the Fridays For Future movement, and representatives of the Greenpeace movement also joined. The Czech Ministry of the Environment (MŽP) stated today that it provides the public with all available information it receives from Poland.
Photo gallery: Polish Mine and Turów Power Plant
“In its program statement, the government promised to be transparent, and that did not happen in this case. The Czech government must have data about the groundwater in the area of the Turów coal mine and it does not release it, or rather it does not publish all of it. For what reason, it we can probably ask, but many studies by non-governmental environmental organizations show that mining in the Turów lignite mine is not good for the surrounding landscape, whether on the Polish, German or Czech side, and the Czech government defends itself against these accusations or these analyzes by non-governmental organizations, saying that it's not like that,” Lukáš Skála from the Fridays for Future movement told ČTK.
The demonstrators first gathered in front of the Polish embassy. Their banners read slogans such as “You can't drink coal”, “Government, you don't protect the environment” or the crossed-out number 2044. The demonstrators then moved in a procession to Klárov, and then to the embankment, where one of the participants of the demonstration performed a dance performance about the loss of water in Turów. The parade subsequently ended in front of the government headquarters in the Straka Academy, along the way the demonstrators shouted slogans such as “Coal – oil – gas, belong to history”.
The Czech-Polish agreement on solving the impact of mining in the Turów mine was concluded on February 3 last year. Poland paid the Czech Republic 45 million euros (approximately 1.1 billion CZK) as compensation for the damages caused by the mining, and the Czech Republic withdrew the lawsuit against Poland that it had filed at the Court of Justice of the EU regarding the mine. However, environmental organizations criticize the agreement because, according to them, it does not protect Czech citizens from water loss.
At the end of February this year, Poland allowed the extension of mining in the Turów mine until 2044. Environmentalists do not agree with the decision because, according to them, it is based on an incorrect assessment impacts of mining on the environment in the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.
According to the MoE, the department provides the public with all available information it receives from the Polish side transparently and in accordance with the law, the ministry said in a press release today. “After a year of the existence of the intergovernmental Agreement on Turów, the Polish side is indeed fulfilling its obligations, there is very intensive communication. Thanks to this, we finally have the possibility to monitor the impact of mining on the environment almost online, we have data on the state of groundwater, noise and quality air,” said Michal Pastvinský, director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' foreign department and representative of the Czech Republic for the Agreement on cooperation to address the effects of mining activity in the surface lignite mine Turów.