Environment: Tesla protest camp is being extended

Environment: Tesla protest camp is being extended

The environmental activists in the forest continue their protest against US car manufacturer Tesla in Grünheide. The community representatives’ vote for an expansion of the factory site further motivates them.

The protest camp against the factory of US electric car manufacturer Tesla in Grünheide can stay longer. The police allowed the occupation in the state forest to continue beyond today (May 20). The gathering has been extended, a police spokesperson told the German Press Agency. The “Stop Tesla” alliance had requested this. “We are staying,” said a spokesperson for the alliance. “We are preparing to be here for the longer term.” The protest is legitimate.

The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) of Berlin-Brandenburg rejected a complaint from the Brandenburg police on Thursday. The complaint concerned the conditions for the protest camp, which included the dismantling of the tree houses. The Potsdam Administrative Court had previously ruled in favor of the protest camp and put the conditions on hold. The police lodged an appeal against this. The activists see environmental risks with the car factory, which Tesla rejects. They are also opposed to an expansion of the factory site.

Nature Conservation Association is examining a lawsuit against expansion

Opponents of the expansion are exploring legal means against the development plan. “A lawyer has been hired,” said state chairman Björn Ellner. “We will first check what points of attack we have.” It is unclear whether associations or initiatives will join the lawsuit. The only European factory owned by company boss Elon Musk has been met with sharp criticism from environmentalists and residents since its construction. Tesla rejects the concerns.

On Thursday, the community representatives of Grünheide decided by a majority on the controversial development plan for an expansion of the factory site to build a freight station and logistics areas. For this purpose, forests are to be cleared – but less than previously planned. Almost two thirds of Grünheide’s citizens rejected the car manufacturer’s original expansion plans in a survey in February. A compromise then called for clearing just under 50 hectares of forest instead of more than 100 hectares. The car manufacturer Tesla points out that more than 70 hectares of forest will now be preserved and the region will be relieved of truck traffic with the freight station.

Green League fears further deforestation

The environmental association Green League fears negative consequences for the environment. “The forest that should not be cleared is part of the development plan,” said the state manager of the Brandenburg Green League, Michael Ganschow. “Forest conversion would be possible at any time and could not be prevented.” He accuses the community representatives of ignoring the citizens’ decision in the survey. “This is a disservice to democracy – they bear sole responsibility for it.” Ganschow also pointed out that the freight station, which is intended to relieve truck traffic, was already planned in development plan 13 for the existing factory site.

Around 12,000 employees work at the Tesla factory in Grünheide near Berlin, which opened more than two years ago. Part of the site lies in the water protection area. Environmental activists have been protesting against Tesla near the factory in Grünheide since the end of February. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the Brandenburg state government see the settlement as a benefit for the state.

Protests have been going on for a long time

On March 5th, previously unknown perpetrators set fire to an electricity pylon that is part of the Tesla factory’s power supply. This led to a power outage and car production was put on hold for several days. More than a week ago, activists tried to storm the Tesla site. The police were able to prevent this.

Tesla has even more plans: The company wants to expand the factory on the existing site according to previous plans and double production from the targeted 500,000 cars per year to one million.

Source: Stern

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