German environmental NGO sues in effort to stop Nord Stream 2
Clean Energy Wire
NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH) has filed a lawsuit against the continued construction of the Baltic Sea gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. The non-profit organisation said it was directing the lawsuit filed with the Hamburg Administrative Court against the approval of the construction work in German waters, particularly during birds’ sensitive resting periods, by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), which oversees the process. The BSH previously rejected an objection by the DUH against the approval of further construction and dismissed its environmental and climate policy arguments, the group stated.
DUH maintains that the BSH's approval of further construction in January was unlawful. “The need for Nord Stream 2 is not being questioned, the consequences for the climate targets are being ignored, effects on seabirds and harbor porpoises are denied due to the fact that data is not up-to-date,” the group states. “The responsible federal office is trying to create facts for the further construction of Nord Stream 2 as quickly as possible, and regardless of nature and climate protection and the needs of the energy industry,” DUH executive director Sascha Müller-Kraenner added. The BSH rejected the objections of the DUH and fellow environmental group Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) on 1 April. BSH President Karin Kammann-Klippstein said the environmental impact assessment and tests required by the Federal Nature Conservation Act were carried out properly and their results showed no significant effects on the marine environment or the protection objectives of a bird sanctuary in the region.
While opponents want to stop Nord Stream 2 on environmental, geopolitical and security grounds, proponents of the pipeline say it is key to Europe's gas supply security. The US government has remained steadfastly opposed to the venture under successive administrations and has introduced sanctions on companies involved in the construction.