A few days back, we reported how Tesla’s plan to build its next gigafactory in Germany was halted right in its tracks by a group of environmentalists. The argument was, that the US-HQed company had taken up permission to cut down a huge patch of forest land for the facility and posed a big threat to wildlife. However, Tesla has reported that it has started the cutting of trees again for its third gigafactory, set to come up in Germany.
Kathrin Schira said in a statement that there were no protesters holding down protests at the site. Tesla said that it has continued its work and “tree clearance is proceeding in an orderly manner.”
An environmental group called Gruene Liga Brandenburg (Green League of Brandenburg) brought up a motion to stop the clearance of almost 92 hectare of land that had been authorized by the state environmental office. Plans were to build the company’s third ever gigafactory in Gruenheide, Germany. But this petition stopped the company’s operations, effectively delaying the process by days. However, on Thursday a local court intervened and finally put the case to rest, giving Tesla the win and allowing it to operate on the land.
The court also added that its decision could not be appealed, thus shutting down the doors on any future protests.
The country has had mixed reaction to this news. Some, like lawmakers from pro-business Christian Democrat and Free Democrat parties will be a happier lot. Supporters of these parties had warned that such hindrances will stop companies from investing in Germany. On the contrary, there are those who have started calling themselves the “Tree pirates” with the motto “Up with trees, down with capitalism”. This group occupied the forests on Friday in their unsuccessful attempt to stop Tesla from further deforestation.
The country’s industry association BDI and economy minister Peter Altmaier seemed very happy about the decision, with Altmaier saying “It’s an important signal.”
The blatant disregard for environment, both by the ‘environmental friendly Tesla’ and Germany’s courts is a cause for worry. While advent of Tesla in the country will benefit the economy, and maybe even help promote the use of electric cars in the future, it’s still doubtful if the exchange is worth-while.