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Press release: 22 February 2022
Reacting to the news today that notorious EU gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 has been suspended, Head of ClientEarth’s Germany office Prof. Dr. Hermann Ott said: “Europe is in energy crisis – we need a safe, cost-effective energy supply that isn’t at the mercy of international politics, and to slash carbon emissions. Nord Stream 2 fitted none of these criteria. In terms of Europe’s energy and climate crisis, suspending this pipeline was the only rational option.
“The fight to move beyond coal is proceeding at a rate of knots but we now need to work just as hard to bypass gas, which leaders and investors seem to be turning to as a ‘diet’ alternative to coal.
“This is just not the case. Over a 20-year period, extracting and burning gas is far more climate-intensive than coal and increasing gas infrastructure must be avoided at all costs to avert dangerous climate change impacts.
Head of ClientEarth’s Poland office Zuzanna Rudzinska-Bluszcz said: “We have repeatedly challenged Nord Stream 2 in court to fight the threat of a gas takeover in Europe in the wake of coal. People need affordable, reliable power that doesn’t threaten their health or the planet.
“Until EU countries take the law and the Green Deal seriously and invest in energy citizenship, smart management, retrofit and wind and solar, we won’t stop taking governments and companies to court over gas.”
Original figures suggested that annual emissions from burning gas from the pipeline would be the equivalent of the Czech Republic’s yearly CO2 output.
Concerns have been raised that the suspension could give rise to further action under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) – which the project’s backers have already used to challenge the EU.
ClientEarth is a non-profit organisation that uses the law to create systemic change that protects the Earth for – and with – its inhabitants. We are tackling climate change, protecting nature and stopping pollution, with partners and citizens around the globe. We hold industry and governments to account, and defend everyone’s right to a healthy world. From our offices in Europe, Asia and the USA we shape, implement and enforce the law, to build a future for our planet in which people and nature can thrive together.