Germany is shocked to see how the ambitious plan of the American car manufacturer Tesla for a large factory in Brandenburg clashes with the tough German reality at an early stage. Environmentalists have ugly set foot on the manufacturer of electric cars. Politicians, investors and other entrepreneurs are doubtful: can nothing be done in Germany?
And the joy was still so great in Brandenburg and Berlin, when Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in November that the first large Tesla plant in Europe would be built just southeast of the German capital. Eastern Germany can use employment well. And all the way from a company that is at the forefront of automotive technology, which is also climate friendly.
Tesla set to work with flying speed to make the purchased site of 300 hectares ready for construction. Because in the summer of 2021, electric cars and batteries are already rolling off the road. As a first step, 90 hectares of pine forest were started. There was not yet a building permit, but the state government thought that Tesla could already start harvesting trees.
Two small environmental organizations, one from Brandenburg and one from Bavaria, thought it was all going too fast and went to court. He decided on Saturday that the felling with immediate effect had to be stopped for the time being, pending a judgment.
“We have nothing against Tesla,” said a spokesman for the Grüne Liga Brandenburg (700 members), but the logging permit would “create a dangerous precedent.” Normally, logging and building permits would only be granted if a few months had been investigated to see whether there might be protected animal species on the land.
Politicians of the Greens spoke out against the environmental club and in front of Tesla in recent days
But time is running out for Tesla. The breeding season starts at the end of February, and so as not to disturb the birds, they cannot be harvested for six months. That would seriously delay Tesla’s tight schedule.
The German employer organization BDI and the association of German start-ups immediately reacted indignantly to the suspension of logging. They see the issue as yet another proof that investing in Germany is made unnecessarily difficult by over-regulation and lawsuits. The construction of wind turbines has also almost stopped in Germany due to protracted objection procedures.
Pine wood plantation
In recent days, politicians from the Greens have actually spoken out against the environmental club and in front of Tesla. “You don’t always have to be against everything,” said the (Green) Berlin alderman for Economic Affairs, Ramona Pop. She called it incorrect to “declare a pine plantation forest”. It is indeed a forest with pure pines, planted for wood production.
Two activists briefly occupy a few trees with an improvised treehouse on Sunday. After they had expressed their aversion to journalists about “always the same capitalist Kackscheisse”, They soon left again.
The fact that there are strict environmental regulations in Germany was no surprise to Tesla and his supporters in Germany. The company had already agreed to plant three times more forest elsewhere than would be harvested at Grünheide. Tesla would also arrange for 400 alternative nesting places for birds and bats and its specialists according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung started moving ant heaps.
The court has meanwhile stated that it will speed up and possibly make a ruling this week.