Hundreds of people from all three countries took part in an international protest on the Czech-Polish-German border. Their goal was to send message to the Polish government that they disagree with the planned expansion and extension of mining in Turów coal mine. The Polish company PGE is operating a mine and is currently authorized to do so until 2020, but calls for a further extension until 2045.
The people on the spot formed a human chain linking all three countries, expressing their view that to stop climate change and make water available for everyone, all the people on the planet must unite, regardless of their nationality, age, gender or education. Participants from all three states wanted also to promote mutual communication and good relations between neighbors.
Šárka Soukupová from the local civic organisation We Protect Water speaking for the local residents says:
„Of course, people here are afraid of losing groundwater as a result of deepening the mine, because it would has led to negative impacts to the lives of everyone living in the region. That’s why we try to draw attention to this problem and solve it while it’s time. ”
The International Panel for Climate Change agrees that if mankind wants to prevent the utterly devastating effects of climate change, such as the drought that currently plagues the Czech Republic, Poland and part of Germany, the temperature rise has to be limited up to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This can only be achieved by a strong reduction of CO2 emissions. The Polish government’s energy strategy is going against these scientific recommendations.
„We are all experiencing drastic impacts of climate change at the moment. It is caused by the fossil industry, supporting it is complete madness and deliberate devastation of our environment. We must stop mining and burning fossil fuels and increase the water retention capacity of the landscape,” Jan Polášek from Limity jsme my explains.
Hundreds of people attending the activity have signed a public letter to the Polish government calling for a halt of the planned expansion of the Turów mine. Czech citizens also subscribed to get news about the transboundary EIA process in order to join and send comments on the transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The EIA needs to be approved for the mine to continue its plans of expansion before its license ends in 2020.
“As we did in the EIA process for the Czech mine Bílina, this time we will also prepare a website where citizens can get involved and send their comment to Polish authorities against the expansion of the mine. In the case of Bílina mine, 4 500 comments were sent, so this time we hope for even greater participation of citizens,” says Nikol Krejčová from Greenpeace Czech Republic.
The peaceful demonstration was organised by the Czech grassroot initiative Limity jsme my (We are the limits), the local movement Chráníme vodu (We protect water), Greenpeace Czech Republic, the Polish organisations “Rozwój TAK – Odkrywki NIE,” EKO-UNIA and German local group Greenpeace Oberlausitz.