05 Jun 2024, 13:54
Edgar Meza

Dutch court stops gas development project in German North Sea

Clean Energy Wire

The highest Dutch court has put a halt to gas drilling off the German North Sea island of Borkum. The court on Tuesday granted an application by Environmental Action Germany (DUH) and its partner organisations and imposed a construction freeze until the hearing in the interim legal protection proceedings, DUH stated. The ruling has stopped the operations of Dutch drilling company One-Dyas, which had set up a platform off Borkum in the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site. The company in 2022 secured permits from the Dutch government as well as from the state government of Lower Saxony, which approved the plan in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “This is a big day for climate and marine protection: Only today, at dawn, One-Dyas had a huge gas platform towed directly off Borkum and the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site,” said DUH executive director Sascha Müller-Kraenner.

The court ruling follows legal action in April that stopped drilling in the area and resulted in parts of the permit being declared illegal. The most recent court decision has stopped efforts by One-Dyas and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs to circumvent the earlier ruling with a new permit, Müller-Kraenner said. “Now the highest court in the Netherlands has done the only right thing and put an end to the fossil company's legal games. The German state of Lower Saxony now had to instruct their responsible authorities to reject One-Dyas' application for a permit, DUH said. “Our nature and reefs worth protecting must not continue to fall victim to fossil projects.” The Lower Saxony state government initially estimated that gas from the site, known as the N05-A gas development project, would begin flowing by 2024 or 2025. The gas field contains an estimated 60 billion cubic metres of the fossil fuel.

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