Environmental lawyers file complaint to block Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

ClientEarth is concerned the project will have an impact on marine wildlife in the Baltic Sea

By Priyanka Shrestha

Environmental lawyers at ClientEarth have filed a complaint with a court in Sweden to halt the construction of a pipeline that will transport Russian gas to Germany.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was approved by the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation earlier this year, however, ClientEarth alleges the construction documents fail to consider the impact the pipeline will have on marine wildlife in the Baltic Sea.

The environmental lawyers add the gas pipeline, owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom, will run through the Swedish exclusive economic zone, an area of coastal water to which Sweden has exclusive rights for fishing, drilling and other economic activities.

Construction of the pipeline will also involve detonating World War Two bombs, which currently sit on the sea floor – ClientEarth is concerned this could cause “serious harm” to marine mammals.

It also believes the project would “threaten” the EU’s energy security as it would make the region more dependent on fossil fuels.

The Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation told ELN it does not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.

Nord Stream 2 said that while it can’t comment on ongoing legal procedures, it added all monitoring results from the first Nord Stream project over several years have confirmed the findings of the environmental impact assessments and verified that construction-related impacts from the project were “minor, locally limited and predominantly short term”.

A spokesperson said: “As with the first project, an extensive environmental impact assessment has been submitted by us to the authorities and forms the basis for the permit we received in Sweden. The impact on marine life has been thoroughly assessed and found that the project will not have any significant effect on marine life.”

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