Local activists protest German LNG infrastructure plans over environmental concerns
Local activists in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein are protesting the government’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure construction plans, newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. A pipeline stretching 55 kilometres is due to be built connecting the planned LNG terminal at the coastal town of Brunsbüttel with the gas grid network, but environmentalists say its construction will drain the surrounding moors. Peatlands function as an important carbon sink when wet, but can release greenhouse gases when damaged. "That we have an emergency, I'm totally on board with that," said Ralf Hübner of the Haseldorfer Marsch Environmental Protection Working Group, which has co-signed a letter to economy and climate minister Robert Habeck protesting the construction of the LNG terminal. "But please let's not manifest one for the future." He also complained that the public consultation for the construction was only open for two weeks, after the government has shortened deadlines for objections as part of the new legislation.
The laws around LNG infrastructure have been relaxed as Germany races to find alternatives to Russian gas supplies in the wake of the war on Ukraine. But as well as peatland damage, environmentalists are concerned that investing in LNG over renewables will make it harder for Germany to fully wean itself off fossil fuels.