On Thursday, a Berlin Brandenburg court passed the verdict that Elon Musk’s Tesla can resume the cutting of trees at the forest site for its Giga factory. The factory site is in the small town of Gruenheide. This verdict has come as a boon for the company as it now puts the US electric car manufacturer to work on the construction before the breeding period of the local wildlife begins in March.
Gruene Liga Brandenburg, an environmental group had claimed that the local authorities and Tesla had sidestepped the regulations in order to pursue the project with pace, but the court did not find any violation of the law on the part of the local authorities when they allowed Tesla to work for the factory.
The decision from the court will let Tesla get right back on track to have its plant ready to be operational by the mid of 2021. Tesla plans to build half a million or 5,00,000 cars from this factory every year and employ around 12,000 people which poses a threat to other car manufacturers such as BMW AG, Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG.
Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Elon Musk tried to comfort the concerns of the locals about the use of water in the plant, which may affect the wildlife as it is next to a nature reserve. If the forest area given to Tesla is not cleared by mid March then, as per the Local officials, the construction work of the Giga Factory may be delayed by 9 months.
This month, the Environment Ministry of Brandenburg gave a green flight to chop down the trees in the area of around 100 soccer grounds. On the 15th February, the court had halted the process of cutting down of trees but by Thursday, the court rules that all the legal requirements for the construction of the Giga Factory were met and ordered that the construction work can resume.
The environmental group, Gruene Lina raised concerns that the factory that is being set up by Tesla poses a potential threat to the water supply of the region and may also overburden the transport infrastructure of the local region.
The group argues that the green flag on building the factory should not have been given at least until the 5th of March, the deadline that was set by the environmental groups to comment on Tesla’s project.
Officials of the local authorities argues that the forest area which is being cut down is an inferior pine forest, and was planted to be harvest to begin with. Peter Altmaier, the Economy Minister told Funke Mediengruppe (a German Publisher) that the Tesla Factory holds “great significance” to the problem to climate change and is amongst the most important industrial investment in the Eastern Germany “in a long time”.
Last month Elon Musk replied to a tweet and said that the Giga factory will build “sustainable energy vehicles” as it will use “sustainable energy”.
For sure. Giga Berlin will build sustainable energy vehicles using sustainable energy, so net environmental impact will be extremely positive!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 25, 2020
Tesla’s CEO also confirmed that the company will plant 3 trees for every tree it will chop down for the construction of its Giga Factory in Germany.
Yes— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 25, 2020
The company is still waiting for the final approval from the authorities in Brandenburg for its project. Additionally, Tesla will have to relocate wildlife like bats, lizards, snakes, wolves, and ants as their natural habitat will no longer be there.
As per the German rules and regulations, a project must consider the breeding period of the local wildlife in spring and make sure it is not affected.