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.

Share this...
Share on Facebook! Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn! Email!

Skitterphoto

Related articles

More from or

  • Two orca fins in black water

    Can eco-labels really save our marine life?

    The EU and the UK have introduced new measures to stop the growing amount of plastics ending up in our oceans. But how much will this help the growing crisis affecting our marine life?

  • running in autumn forest for story saying interim fines requested in legal fight over Bialowieza Forest

    Commission calls for fines as European Court of Justice hears case over illegal logging in Bialowieza Forest

    The Commission has today called on the EU’s most senior judges to impose fines on the Polish side for illegal logging in Bialowieza Forest, as the European Court of Justice was deliberating whether an emergency ban on logging in should be upheld.

  • swans in the evening light

    Polish new Water Law remains detrimental for environment

    A new Water Law was signed this month by the Polish president. It is a response to the 2016 Court of Justice ruling that Poland had failed to implement Water Framework Directive. Although this new piece of legislation was meant to fully implement the EU law, it contains provisions that are likely to have a largely negative impact on the environment.

  • children playing on Welsh beach for story saying Welsh marine life threatened by lack of funding and political will - new report

    Welsh marine life threatened by lack of funding and political will – new report

    Vulnerable marine life in Welsh waters is at risk from lack of funding and political will in the Welsh government, according to a new report by a government body.

  • Follow us

    Newsletters

    Get our regular email newsletters, they contain the latest updates on our work as well as features and articles about environmental issues, science and politics.