Micronesia has successfully forced an independent review of plans for a power plant in the Czech Republic, many thousands of kilometres away from its own borders.
The Czech Republic bowed to demands from the Federated States of Micronesia for an international audit of plans to upgrade a coal-fired power plant in the city of Prunerov. Micronesia launched its challenge last year on the grounds that the Prunerov plant is already a huge emitter of carbon dioxide and thus is part of the cause of increased sea level rise that threatens its islands.
Czech Environment Minister Jan Dusik yesterday announced an independent review will make up part of the environmental impact assessment on which a decision on the plant’s future will be based.
“I want to liberate the environmental impact assessment process from political and economic pressures,” he said (Reuters). “I believe that the assessment by an independent international team will help make the whole process more objective.”
Utility company CEZ, which own the Prunerov plant, says that its plans to modernize the plant will actually cut carbon emissions and use the latest available technology. Micronesia argues that CEZ AS has not taken all possible steps to potentially minimise the impact of any modernization.
The Wall Street Journal notes:
The Czech bow to Micronesia’s pressure may serve as precedent for similar claims against other power plant operators in the EU seeking to refurbish their existing coal-fired power plants, including those currently in use in Poland and Germany, some industry analysts and insiders have said.
Image: Prunerov Power Station photo by ‘sludgegulper’ via Flickr under creative commons.