CCB position on the Sweden approval for the Nord Stream II

On 7 June 2018, the Swedish Government has granted a permit to the Nord Stream 2 AG for laying two natural gas pipelines on the continental shelf within the Swedish economic zone in the Baltic Sea. The permit contains number of conditions that the company has to comply with, as outlined in the attached unofficial translation (see full version of the permit in Swedish here)

At the same time, the Government has made it clear that Sweden has a critical attitude towards the Nord Stream 2 project, as it poses risks i.a. against the objectives of the EU Energy Union and does not comply with current EU legislation. Read more in the press-release by the Swedish Government

Despite the released permit that only applies to the construction works within Swedish EEZ, the Coalition Clean Baltic maintains its position (being repeatedly brought to the attention of EC and HELCOM)  that the Nord Stream 2 is highly controversial from environmental point of view project as it failed to:

  • provide fair and transparent public consultations on environmental impact assessment in line with internationally accepted standards (e.g. of Espoo and Aarhus Conventions);
  • ensure minimisation of impacts on nature values, including protected species and habitats and respective protected areas at sea and on land along the whole route of the proposed pipeline, e.g. Marine Protected Areas and Natura 2000 areas  in Sweden (for harbour porpoise) and Germany (for seabirds and bottom habitats) and HELCOM and Ramsar sites in Russian landfall (for protection of numerous IUCN/HELCOM red-listed species and unique habitats);

i.a. construction/pipe-laying/sound generating activities should only occur outside of the harbour porpoise breeding and critical nursing period (May-October). (the permit states “avoid June – August”)

  • apply Best Available Technique to minimise environmental risks associated with the project, especially in terms of pipe-laying process at Russian landfall (micro-tunnelling);
  • set strict guarantees that international and national environmental and nature conservation provisions, e.g. changes of the limits and status of Nature Protected Areas, are not neglected or watered down in favour of economic interests (in Russia the construction works in the unique nature area have started even before getting the official permit – cf. here
  • establish clear mechanism for compensation of environmental damage caused on Union’s natural capital and nature protection sites of the Community importance (in Germany the construction works have started with a spill of lubricant oil, cf. here;
  • maintain clear financial securities for after-life decommissioning of the pipeline.

In addition, the Nord Stream 2 Project simply contradicts with EU goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% when compared to 1990 levels by 2050, by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency.

Read more about the Coalition Clean Baltic’s position and the follow-up of the Nord Stream 2 project development at the dedicated webpage.