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German environmentalists sue to stop Nord Stream 2

July 3, 2018

The 1,200-kilometer undersea pipeline aims to deliver more than 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia to Germany. Environmentalists say construction work will harm underwater life in the Baltic Sea.

Nord Stream 2 pipes are loaded in the port of Mukran
Image: picture alliance/dpa/S. Sauer

German environmental group Nabu has filed a lawsuit with the country's highest constitutional court to try and block construction of a pipeline through the Baltic Sea to deliver Russian gas to Germany.

The move against Nord Stream 2, which includes a temporary restraining order, came after an earlier suit was denied by a lower-level court in the northern German city of Greifswald in early June.

Nabu said the construction of the 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) pipeline would harm underwater sea life and are unnecessary for meeting German natural gas demand.

In May, environmental group ClientEarth submitted a similar legal complaint in Finland over its concerns that Nord Stream 2 could harm Baltic porpoises, seals and birds. Construction work began shortly thereafter.

Read more: Can Germany broker a Russia-Ukraine deal on Nord Stream 2?

Scaring Eastern Europe

A consortium of Russian, German, Dutch and French companies are involved in the project, which aims to transport up to 55 billion cubic meters (2 trillion cubic feet) of gas to Germany starting in late 2019.

Ukraine fears the Nord Stream Pipeline

Nord Stream 2 supporters say the project would ensure Germany gains access to a relatively cheap energy source. Access would also give the country a greener form of energy that could help Germany wean itself off coal.

But opponents at home and abroad worry it could make Germany overly reliant on Russia at a time of heightened diplomatic tensions. Eastern European countries have also opposed the project because the pipeline bypasses their territory.

amp/kms (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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