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Media alert: 10 December 2020
What: Lawyers at ClientEarth, together with 13 environmental organisations, are appealing the approval of woodland clearance needed for ‘Project One’ – the €3bn expansion of petrochemical giant Ineos’s plastics plant in Belgium.
When: Thursday, 10 December 2020.
Where: The judicial appeal is being made before the Council of Permit Disputes (Raad voor vergunningsbetwistingen) in Flanders, Belgium.
Who: ClientEarth and 13 environmental organisations: Natuurbeschermingsvereniging De Steltkluut, Klimaatzaak, Greenpeace Belgium, StRaten Generaal, Fairfin, BOS+, Recycling Network Benelux, Grootouders voor het Klimaat, Climaxi, Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL), WWF Belgium, Zero Waste Europe and Gallifrey Foundation.
Why: The appeal against the Flemish authorities’ decision comes following an emergency injunction filed by the environmental organisations in an urgent legal bid to prevent the felling of the forest. The organisations launched the injunction as an interim measure before submitting the appeal.
Last month, the injunction was approved by the Council of Permit Disputes in Flanders, Belgium. The suspension of the permit means Ineos is blocked from going ahead with the project until there is a ruling on the appeal launched today – meaning the project is set for another year of delays.
Ineos has been chasing this deforestation permit despite still lacking full approval for the project. Deforesting before the rest of the project is given the green light could result in the trees being cut down and wildlife and habitats being destroyed for nothing.
This the latest step in the groups’ campaign against the expansion of the Ineos plastics complex – known as ‘Project One’ – which they consider both environmentally destructive and legally fraught. ClientEarth’s initial legal case, which delayed the project, was based on the Flemish authorities’ failure to fully assess the environmental impacts of the expansion – a clear breach of EU and national laws.
Read more about the implications of Project One here.
More information/media enquiries and interviews: If you are interested in speaking with one of ClientEarth’s lawyers or with one of the other organisations, please contact Bianca Vergnaud: firstname.lastname@example.org; +32 471 88 70 95.