Now the endurance test for Nord Stream 2 will follow: Since the gas pipeline should be 95 percent ready, Russia apparently wants to check operations soon. But there is new resistance in Germany.
Russia is apparently planning to test the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as early as next week. The governor of Russia’s Leningrad Oblast, Alexander Drozdenko, told the Russian news agency Tass on Wednesday. The pipeline originated in the region around the city of Saint Petersburg.
According to Drodzenko, there were talks with participants from Germany on Wednesday: “We talked about the fact that the project is on the home straight.” The Gazprom group responsible for the pipeline did not confirm the tests to the Reuters news agency. Most recently, the company announced at the end of May that the pipeline was 95 percent complete.
Headwind from Deutsche Umwelthilfe
Nord Stream 2 is to significantly increase the capacities for Russian natural gas deliveries to Germany. The German government is sticking to the pipeline, although there has also been criticism from other EU countries. The US is also strictly against the construction and argue that Germany and Europe would become increasingly dependent on Russia and damage the gas transit country Ukraine.
Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) also applied on Wednesday to revoke the construction and operating permit for the pipeline for climate protection reasons. A corresponding application was made to the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH).
“Litmus test” for climate protection
“Although the pipeline is the largest fossil fuel project in Europe, the effects on the climate targets were not checked in the previous approval process,” said the DUH, justifying the move. In the alternative, it applied for the failure to complete the climate protection test and for the further construction of the pipeline to be suspended for this period.
“Nord Stream 2 is the litmus test for whether the federal government and the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency take climate protection seriously,” said DUH Federal Managing Director Sascha Müller-Kraenner. “Since the Federal Constitutional Court’s climate division at the latest, it has been obvious that further construction must be stopped,” he added.
Further proceedings are ongoing
At the end of April, the Federal Constitutional Court complained that the German Climate Protection Act passed at the end of 2019 lacked sufficient provisions for reducing CO2 emissions from 2031. According to the Karlsruhe judges, the law is partially unconstitutional because burdens are postponed until after 2030 and the younger generation’s freedom rights would be violated.
The DUH complains in particular that the pipeline has an immense impact on the climate, especially with regard to methane emissions. Umwelthilfe also wants to prevent the further construction and operation of Nord Stream 2 with two lawsuits before the Greifswald Higher Administrative Court and the Hamburg Administrative Court.