26 May 2011

Academic says FSM challenge to Czech power plant a chance to persuade decision makers

3:15 pm on 26 May 2011

An environmental law expert says the Federated State of Micronesia's challenge to the expansion of a Czech power plant suggests an avenue for states to participate in decisions, but offers no power of veto.

Last year the FSM submitted a transboundary environmental impact assessment to the Czech Environment Ministry, linking the coal-fired plant's emissions to the disappearance of it's low lying islands.

While the Czech Ministry allowed the plant's expansion, it also acknowledged the FSM's interest in protecting the climate.

Don Anton from the Australian National University says he believes it's the first time a state's submitted such an assessment to a country it does not share a common border with.

The associate international law professor says it gives states the chance to persuade decision makers, but not the power to stop them

"The decision maker will consider all the information made available and decide whether or not to allow the development even if the allowance is going to result in environmental harms."

Don Anton says the assessments are more procedural than substantive law.