In a landmark intervention, in 2010, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) requested a transboundary environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the Prunéřov II brown coal-fired power plant in the Czech Republic. FSM asserted its right to be heard as a sovereign state because the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions may contribute to climate change impacts. We provided FSM with legal support throughout the legal proceedings in the Czech Republic.
It was the first ever ‘transregional’ use of a Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment, meaning that the FSM are not located in geographical proximity to the Czech Republic. FSM’s involvement in the EIA process for the Prunéřov II Power Plant is a unique example under international law.
After a lengthy process, the Czech Ministry of Environment issued an affirmative EIA decision for the project. Although FSM concerns were officially rejected in the final decision, an assessment of the climate impacts was carried out. The plant developer is also obligated to reduce the CO2 emissions of its other projects by over five million tons over the next 25 years. The concept was presented at a conference organized by the Columbia School of Law in New York, which discussed the legal consequences of climate change and rising seas for island nations.