The Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw, Poland, has ruled in favour of continued operations at the Turów coal mine, as reported by state news agency PAP.

This decision overturns a previous environmental ruling by the General Director of Environmental Protection, although the verdict is not yet final.

“The judgment regarding the environmental decision does not result in the suspension of the operation of the Turow mine. The state’s energy policy was not subject to the court’s assessment,” PAP cited the court as saying.

The Turów coal mine, owned by Polska Grupa Energetyczna, has been a subject of controversy, particularly due to its environmental impact and its location on the border with the Czech Republic and Germany.

The mine supplies lignite to an adjacent power plant, which contributes 8% of Poland’s energy.

The previous Law and Justice government resisted closure attempts by environmental campaigners.

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However, the main case regarding Turów is still pending in a Warsaw administrative court, which will decide on a government ruling from February 2023 that could permit mining activities until 2044.

Environmental groups have been vocal about the negative effects of the open-pit mine and have filed multiple lawsuits to stop its operations.

In April 2021, Poland extended the mine’s licence until 2044, a move that sparked concerns from neighbouring countries and environmentalists, who argue it violates EU laws and exacerbates the climate crisis.

In May 2021, the Court of Justice of the EU ordered an immediate cessation of lignite extraction at the mine.

Despite this, the then Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki deemed the court’s ruling on halting operations ‘illegal’ and insisted on continuing mining until the end of the coal deposit.