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17 Sep 2019, 13:31
Freja Eriksen

CDU politicians want to make lawsuits against new power lines more difficult

Spiegel Online / dpa

Five politicians from Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have proposed restricting the right of environmental organisations to take legal action against infrastructure expansions such as power lines, motorways and railways, reports Spiegel Online. In an 11-point plan, seen by news agency dpa, the politicians also call for more staff in relevant public authorities and a higher level of citizen involvement. "Environmental associations should only be allowed to sue if the interests of the relevant associations are directly affected or if the environmental associations were not properly involved in the approval procedure," reads the paper, according to Spiegel Online. Jürgen Resch, executive director of Environmental Action Germany (DUH), responded that DUH is "in favour of speeding up planning - but without excluding the rights of citizens and associations."

Public protests against power lines near residential areas have been a delaying factor in the German energy transition for years. The German wind industry warned in July that regulatory difficulties and lawsuits against new wind projects threaten not only the turbine manufacturers but also Germany's renewables expansion and emissions reduction targets as a whole.

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