EURACOAL notes the decision taken by the Vice-President of the Court of Justice of the European Union to order, as an interim measure, the suspension of lignite extraction at Turów mine in Poland – a surface mine established in 1904 which today lies close to the Czech and German borders. Continue reading On the order of the Court of Justice to suspend lignite mining at Turów opencast mine
The EU Methane Strategy, published by the European Commission in October 2020, covers several areas of human activity.
For the energy sector, the focus is on fugitive emissions from oil and gas production, supply infrastructure and end use, rather than from coal mining. In light of the international nature of emissions from EU energy-supply chains, this is the right approach and the strategy should be used as a tool in climate diplomacy. In the case of methane from coal mines, EURACOAL highlights in a new position paper several actions at the EU level that would further encourage the mitigation of this methane, turning an environmental issue into a clean energy resource.
EURACOAL submitted its position paper with a letter to the European Commission in which we warn against measures that risk slowing new investment in clean technologies. Current proposals to revise the “Aarhus Regulation” would delay transformation of the EU energy sector as interest groups seek to challenge new developments of all types. Why? Because every project could be argued to have a climate impact, and any NGO could claim to represent the environment.
EURACOAL supports equal access to justice. However, access should only be granted to those directly affected. Extending justice to all under climate law risks opening a Pandora’s box whereby literally anyone can claim harm caused by others.
Secure planning procedures
To transform the EU energy sector and economy, we need faster investment procedures, not slower ones. EURACOAL has urged the European Commission to begin a process to renegotiate the UNECE Aarhus Convention at the international level, so that a better balance can be found between access to justice and a secure planning framework for clean-tech investments.
photo: Isbjerget as seen from the high speed ferry Århus-Sjællands Odde on the way out of the harbour in Århus, Denmark (© Slaunger / Wikimedia Commons/ CC-BY-SA-3.0)