The Federated States of Micronesia has demanded that the Czech Republic allow an international audit of a planned upgrade of the largest coal-fired power plant in the Czech Republic . . . and the Czech Republic acceded to the demand.
Micronesia made the demand pursuant to recently adopted European Union regulations allowing any nation in the world to challenge construction or upgrades of industrial sites emitting carbon dioxide. Under EU law, transboundary environmental impact assessments are part of normal procedure.
The essence of Micronesia's claim is that the upgraded Czech power plant should be required to use the best available technology for the project. The Czech plant is the 18th-largest CO2 emitter in Europe, emitting 40 times more CO2 annually than the whole of Micronesia.
Why is a nation on the other side of the world complaining about a coal-fired power plant in the Czech Republic? Micronesia is a chain of more than 600 islands in the west Paciﬁc, and some of its land area has already been lost to rising ocean tides. It asserts that failure to control CO2 emissions in the Czech Republic will further contribute to the warming of the planet blamed for rising ocean water levels. It fears that climate change could also result in more intense and damaging storms.
“Climate change is real and it is happening on our shores. It’s a matter of survival for us,” Andrew Yatilman, the director of Micronesia’s Ofﬁce of Environment and Emergency Management, told Reuters.
The Czech utility that owns the plant, CEZ AS, asserts that it is using the most advanced technologies and that the refurbished power plant will emit less CO2 than it does now. The plant's efficiency will increase from a current level of 32.8% to 39.06%, a spokeswoman for CEZ AS said.