Opponents of Rügen LNG plans submit petition to Bundestag committee

After collecting tens of thousands of signatures on the petition, opponents of the planned LNG terminal off Rügen in Germany have presented their concerns to the Bundestag’s petitions committee regarding the inclusion of this location in the LNG Acceleration Act.

Courtesy of DUH

With support from the German Environmental Aid (Deutsche Umwelthilfe – DUH), petitioners, citizens’ initiatives and other organisations protested against the planned LNG terminal this morning in front of the German Chancellery.

The protests were organised prior to the Bundestag’s petitions committee public meeting which started today at 12 noon to deal with the demand not to include the planned LNG terminal off the coast of Rügen in the LNG Acceleration Act.

In the course of the public meeting, the petitioners are given the opportunity to briefly present their concerns and answer specific questions from the committee members.

Members of the federal government, who can be questioned by the deputies on the subject, also take part in the meeting. The committee will make a final vote at one of its later meetings, Bundestag informed.

DUH called for this project to be rejected, “which the federal government is sticking to despite the lack of necessity and against all odds”.

Sascha Müller-Kraenner, DUH Federal Managing Director, said: “By expanding the LNG Acceleration Act to include the Mukran site on the island of Rügen, the federal government is going against common sense in terms of climate policy and against the people on the island. Like Lützerath, Rügen is thus becoming another symbol of the Federal Government’s inadequate climate policy. Instead of always including new LNG locations in the law, the compatibility of the plans with the climate goals must finally be the focus.

“Numerous studies attest that the federal government is creating unnecessary and completely oversized overcapacities. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck can no longer ignore the massive protests of the local people. There is a risk of serious damage to the unique marine nature of the Baltic Sea and the destruction of the economic basis of sustainable tourism on the island. We expressly support the petitioners and demand that the voices of the people on Rügen are finally taken seriously and that the acceleration law for liquefied natural gas is finally buried.”

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Earlier this year, the environmentalist group voiced its concerns over the LNG terminal which involves the construction of a special offshore platform in the Baltic Sea, around 5–6 kilometres east of the island of Rügen. It will have a capacity of up to 38 billion cubic metres of gas per year and is to be connected to the gas network in Lubmin with a 38-kilometre offshore pipeline through the ecologically highly sensitive Bay of Greifswald. Opponents of the plans explained they fear for the environment and tourism, which is particularly important for the island.

RWE, which was contracted to implement the LNG project as a service provider on behalf of the German government, has meanwhile announced that it will withdraw its stake. The company noted it had no interest in operating infrastructure for importing LNG in the long run, responding to a report saying it wanted to pull out of a controversial LNG project in the Baltic Sea, Reuters reported at the end of April.

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