natural gas field

Nord Stream 2 “useless and illegal”, say environment experts

Europe’s newest gas pipeline is a threat to people and wildlife, environment charities have warned. The experts say the dangers the project poses to the environment make it illegal under European climate and environment laws – and it should under no circumstances go ahead.

In comments on the Environmental Impact Assessment for Nord Stream 2, which will transport natural gas from Russia to Germany, ClientEarth and Greenpeace point out that the work violates EU laws on air quality, climate and habitat conservation.

The planned pipeline will pass near Natura 2000 conservation sites in eight EU countries, including two in Poland: Zatoka Pomorska and Ostoja na Zatoce Pomorskiej.

ClientEarth’s Marcin Stoczkiewicz explained: “According to the EU’s Habitats Directive, every new investment in the vicinity of a Natura 2000 site, which may have a significant impact on that site, must be subjected to adequate assessment.

“The Environmental Impact Assessment for the Nord Stream 2 project doesn’t provide for a reliable impact assessment on Baltic Sea flora and fauna. For that reason we are calling on the Finnish authorities to refuse to issue an environmental permit. All other EU member states should do likewise.”

Natural gas – a sensible investment?

The charities also questioned the economic sense of the investment.

Robert Cyglicki, director of Greenpeace Poland, said: “Nord Stream 2 is a useless and harmful investment by companies that want to force dependency on fossil fuels at any cost.

“Law has been amended at the behest of these companies and a blind eye has been turned to the reliability of the Environmental Impact Assessment. That’s why we are demanding a full assessment of the social and environmental costs of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.”

Estimates show that by adopting a 40% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, the EU will reduce its natural gas import by 13% to 2030 and by 27% to 2050. Adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency targets would lead to further reduction of gas imports – down by up to 54% by 2050.

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