The coalition around the German Environmental Aid Agency is taking legal action against the controversial, planned natural gas production in the North Sea near the island of Borkum.
Together with the Dutch environmental organization Mobilization for the Environment (MOB) and the citizens’ initiative Clean Air East Friesland, the case had been submitted to the competent court, the Rechtbank in The Hague, environmental aid announced. The union fears that the dredging will have an environmental impact on the island of Borkum, the North Sea and the nearby Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park.
The coalition also criticizes long-term dependence on fossil gas. The financing plans of the Dutch company One-Dyas were “completely out of date”. “The plans have nothing to do with energy security: A small amount of fossil fuels should not be developed until 2024 at the earliest,” said Sascha Müller-Kraenner, federal director of German Environmental Aid. “In contrast, the construction of a new platform in the North Sea will create new infrastructure that will increase our long-term dependence on fossil fuels.”
The city wants to sue, too
Not only environmental organizations, but also the islands of the North Sea see the project seriously, especially Borkum. The city also wants to sue against natural gas production. The case is scheduled to be presented in court in the Netherlands today. A majority of the city’s management committee initially voted in favor of the lawsuit. The deadline for complaints ends this Friday.
In the case of the Netherlands, the authorities gave the green light for financing at the beginning of June. According to the relevant Ministry of Economy in The Hague, possible effects on the environment were investigated. The submitted plans met all the conditions. However, the situation had intensified due to the concerns of environmentalists, it was said at the time.
The approval of the funding on the part of Lower Saxony, which according to One-Dyas could start at the end of 2024 at the earliest, is still pending. The planning approval process is currently underway. Under the impression of the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, the government of the state of Lower Saxony recently reversed the previous decision against production.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220715-99-30740/3 (dpa)