Environment

The top of Poland’s final new coal plant?

Three beige towers of a power plant


Main Polish vitality corporations Enea and Energa have introduced they are going to droop funding to, and development of, the nation’s final deliberate new coal plant, Ostroleka C, over financial considerations. This important growth confirms that within the midst of the local weather disaster, coal’s days are numbered.

Our authorized motion

Within the run-up to this landmark choice, our legal professionals had been taking motion towards the plant’s co-sponsor Enea. In August, we gained a novel shareholder lawsuit, introduced on the idea that the funding posed main monetary dangers to the corporate and its shareholders. The courts dominated that the choice to proceed with the initiatives had by no means been legitimate.

ClientEarth’s Head of Central and Jap Europe Marcin Stoczkiewicz mentioned: “It was clear from the beginning that this plant was a stranded asset within the making and would destroy worth for shareholders. This was the idea of our courtroom motion.”

In November, we gained a separate authorized case demanding the corporate publish paperwork that may clarify how the plant could be worthwhile. The corporate had not supplied these paperwork earlier than the discharge of the choice to place the undertaking on maintain.

The way forward for coal in Europe

Of their announcement, joint sponsors Enea and Energa mentioned that the billions of zlotys in promised funding could be pulled from the plant as a consequence of altering advertising and marketing circumstances triggered by local weather coverage and the continued flight of world capital away from coal.

Since 2016, when plans to construct Ostroleka C had been resuscitated, the worth of carbon has risen considerably whereas the price of renewables has plummeted. These altering market circumstances have led to rising considerations and questions from shareholders about how the undertaking may presumably be viable.

Stoczkiewicz mentioned: “That is transition threat in motion. Energa states that climate-related laws and altering market circumstances have compelled their hand. Firms and administrators should determine and handle climate-related monetary dangers and be instrumental within the web zero transition – or they threat irrelevance.

“In Poland, coal energy has been fiercely defended – however the economics are coming to bear and firms can now not deny it. It’s only honest to employees, communities and the planet to embrace this shift now, not when it’s too late.

“Operators of straggler crops in international locations with declared phase-outs – like Germany’s Datteln IV and Greece’s Ptolemaida V – must be eyeing this choice with unease. It’s wanting like the tip for brand spanking new coal in Europe.”

ClientEarth lawyer Peter Barnett mentioned: “All vitality suppliers should suppose terribly rigorously about their future funding selections. Regulation and market forces have hardly ever modified so quick and, as we’ve seen with Ostrołęka C, corporations can’t financial institution on finance for fossil fuels in right now’s local weather.”

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