Elon Musk’s ‘unusual initiative’ surprises NGOs

Elon Musk’s ‘unusual initiative’ surprises NGOs
Elon Musk’s ‘unusual initiative’ surprises NGOs

“Obstacles in the authorization process are slowing down industrial transformation” and creating the “risk that Germany will miss its climate targets,” argues the Californian group in a letter which AFP obtained a copy on Thursday.

Saying “irritated” to be still awaiting the final green light for its work supposed to be completed by the summer, Tesla judges that in Germany “the legislative framework for the authorizations of industrial and infrastructure projects” is “in direct contradiction with the urgency of planning and carrying out these projects”.

Tesla is aiming for an annual production of 500,000 electric vehicles in the “gigafactory”, its first in Europe, which is due to start operations in July in the southwest of Berlin.

The American manufacturer benefits from an exceptional procedure, allowing it to carry out the work “at its own risk”, subject to the deposit of deposits.

The issuance of the building permit is subject to several procedures assessing in particular the environmental impact of the project, while environmental organizations are concerned about the consequences on the balance and water resources of this heavily forested area. Several appeals have been filed.

But Tesla boss Elon Musk doesn’t see it that way. He argues in the letter, dated April 7, that the plant contributes to the fight against global warming by encouraging electric mobility. And as such, it should benefit from more favorable legislation.

Tesla even goes so far as to make common cause with the German environmental association Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH): the manufacturer has sent his letter to the German justice in support of the action launched by DUH to obtain from the government more measures combating against climate change.

The letter suggests several avenues of “reform” such as a less complex as well as more digital and rapid procedure for projects recognized as “sustainable”.

For the director of the NGO DUH, this “unusual initiative” by Elon Musk’s company is a welcome “surprise”.

Tesla’s stance “gives impulses and outside ideas” to reduce bureaucracy, Jürgen Resch told AFP. The rights of appeal of associations and citizens must however be protected, he added.

DUH became known in Germany for its legal battle against the State and communities to drive very polluting diesels from city centers, obtaining several bans. The NGO is not associated with the procedures of environmentalists against the Tesla factory.

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