German court orders Tesla to stop cutting down trees for its latest Berlin Gigafactory

Humza

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Back in November, Tesla announced plans for its fourth Gigafactory that would be built in Germany, making it the US automaker's first European plant. While the decision was welcomed and celebrated by German officials, it seems that Berlin's populace, particularly environmentalists in the city's eastern municipality of Grünheide - where the factory will be built - aren't on-board with the idea.

Reuters reports that a local environmentalist group, called the Green League Brandenburg, recently won an injunction from a German high court, calling for a temporary halt to Tesla's preparatory work for its Gigafactory.

Following the decision, the court said that it ordered Tesla to stop cutting trees because the company would have completely cleared the site in three more days, after which hearing the complaint would have been futile. "It should not be assumed that the motion seeking legal protection brought by the Green League lacks any chance of succeeding," added the court statement.

The complaint, along with hundreds of anti-Tesla protestors voiced concerns regarding threats to the area's wildlife and water supply. Tesla, however, did announce countermeasures following the outcry and said that it would relocate "forest ants, reptiles and five bats" from the area, as well as hang 400 nesting boxes for birds, according to the German daily Tagesspiegel.

The court will also need to announce a final verdict soon and has sought a response from Tesla and local officials by tomorrow. The latter has warned of the wildlife's breeding season, which begins next month, and could potentially delay Tesla's Gigafactory construction by six to nine months if the company is unable to clear the site in time.

It's also worth noting that Tesla faces stiff competition from Germany's Big Three, who've been investing heavily in EV technology in recent years. The US automakers' facility is scheduled to begin production sometime in 2021, starting with the Model Y crossover, and an aim to produce 500,000 cars annually with a 12,000 strong workforce.

Permalink to story.

 
Greens - call for people to replace their combustion engine powered cars with EV, then block the construction of an EV plant.

It's the same issue with renewable energies. Greens call for a rapid expansion of renewable energies, but building wind powered plants inland an / or building power lines to transport energy from coastal areas to inland areas is also being blocked.

And no, this is definitely not about protectionism as the German big three would face exactly the same problems (as do new railroad tracks, bridges....anything).
 
Last edited:

yeeeeman

TS Maniac
Greens - call for people to replace their combustion engine powered cars with EV, then block the construction of an EV plant.

It's the same issue with renewable energies. Greens call for a rapid expansion of renewable energies, but building wind powered plants inland an / or building power lines to transport energy from coastal areas to inland areas is also being blocked.

And no, this is definitely not about protectionism as the German big three would face exactly the same problems (as do new railroad tracks, bridges....anything).
No. They just request them to built a plant in a place which is already good to go, not cut hundreds of hectares of good forest for it.
 

koblongata

TS Maniac
Er, isn't it the German gov's responsibility to make sure the land is good for sale; making sure residents are OK and everything BEFORE selling it? German is a very advanced country, there is no way they didn't know this could happen.

Tesla should sue the German gov, Tesla gonna suffer billions of dollars in loss. I really have a feeling it's a trap setup by the German automakers and the government.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
Greens - call for people to replace their combustion engine powered cars with EV, then block the construction of an EV plant.

It's the same issue with renewable energies. Greens call for a rapid expansion of renewable energies, but building wind powered plants inland an / or building power lines to transport energy from coastal areas to inland areas is also being blocked.

And no, this is definitely not about protectionism as the German big three would face exactly the same problems (as do new railroad tracks, bridges....anything).
Did Rush Limbaugh tell you this?
Er, isn't it the German gov's responsibility to make sure the land is good for sale; making sure residents are OK and everything BEFORE selling it? German is a very advanced country, there is no way they didn't know this could happen.

Tesla should sue the German gov, Tesla gonna suffer billions of dollars in loss. I really have a feeling it's a trap setup by the German automakers and the government.
It's partly Tesla's responsibility, too. They certainly are not being green if they are destroying forest for their green car. Tesla is not going to lose :poop: on this. I'm sure the rest of the Tesla sheep will be crying their eyes out. Maybe time to dump that Tesla stock if you own any?
 

jpuroila

TS Booster
Er, isn't it the German gov's responsibility to make sure the land is good for sale; making sure residents are OK and everything BEFORE selling it? German is a very advanced country, there is no way they didn't know this could happen.

Tesla should sue the German gov, Tesla gonna suffer billions of dollars in loss. I really have a feeling it's a trap setup by the German automakers and the government.
Sure, and the courts have the responsibility to not wrongly convict people, so wrongful convictions don't happen in very advanced countries, right? People make mistakes, that's why we need to have an appeal process for these kinds of situations.

If the complains are upheld, Tesla should've done their homework better and Tesla's investors should be suing them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wiyosaya
No. They just request them to built a plant in a place which is already good to go, not cut hundreds of hectares of good forest for it.
I am sure Tesla did not just pick a spot and say "let's build here". Zoning laws in Germany are actually pretty strict. Also, if you look at the picture, this looks like a mono-culture "industrial" (I.e. not natural old growth) pine forest.

Note that Tesla will re-plant trees across that state and they will actually plant trees (deciduous mixed forest) that were native to the area but replaced by Pine trees planted for commercial use. They are in neat straight rows. Very un natural

Note that this - replacing commercial type Pine forests with more natural mixed forests is actually a goal of the state of Brandenburg.

Did Rush Limbaugh tell you this?
No, I actually happen to live there - not where the plant is being built but in the country.

It's partly Tesla's responsibility, too. They certainly are not being green if they are destroying forest for their green car. Tesla is not going to lose :poop: on this. I'm sure the rest of the Tesla sheep will be crying their eyes out. Maybe time to dump that Tesla stock if you own any?
Don't have any and am not a big fan of their cars. Find them generic looking and am critical wrt EV.

Note: A power company wanted to cut down a large swath of old growth (primeval) forest to mine soft coal in another more industrialized part of the country.

I was very much against it, as primeval forest is rare, this would not have provided many jobs and soft coal should not be the way to go forward in the first place.

This is different as an actual factory that produces things and provides jobs is being built in an economically depressed area. The "forest" that is being cut down is an actual mono culture tree plantation and Tesla will replace this with mixed tree forest using trees that were native to the area.

Yes, trees will take years to grow but the ones that are cut down will be replaced with better ones, so for me this is win-win.
 
Sure, and the courts have the responsibility to not wrongly convict people, so wrongful convictions don't happen in very advanced countries, right? People make mistakes, that's why we need to have an appeal process for these kinds of situations.

If the complains are upheld, Tesla should've done their homework better and Tesla's investors should be suing them.
Even if the complaints are not upheld, the project will be delayed as the growing season will start soon and you are not supposed to clear cut during that time.

People suing for this and that have upheld other (public works) projects for ten, twenty years. Sure, things should be done properly and nature protected but we are an industrialized country, and that does not go without an ecological footprint. There is something in between reverting back to a stone age society and destroying nature.
 

PEnnn

TS Guru
Er, isn't it the German gov's responsibility to make sure the land is good for sale; making sure residents are OK and everything BEFORE selling it? German is a very advanced country, there is no way they didn't know this could happen.

Tesla should sue the German gov, Tesla gonna suffer billions of dollars in loss. I really have a feeling it's a trap setup by the German automakers and the government.
Does it say anywhere the land belongs to the German government?? If it did, I missed that.
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
Greens - call for people to replace their combustion engine powered cars with EV, then block the construction of an EV plant.

It's the same issue with renewable energies. Greens call for a rapid expansion of renewable energies, but building wind powered plants inland an / or building power lines to transport energy from coastal areas to inland areas is also being blocked.

And no, this is definitely not about protectionism as the German big three would face exactly the same problems (as do new railroad tracks, bridges....anything).
Because they are "green" for virtue signalling points. They are "green" while drinking Starbucks out of paper cups, gleefully using palm oil, and texting ont heir phone made of rare earth minerals by slave labor.

They dont actually CARE about the enviroment, if they did they wouldnt have stood in the way of nuclear power for the last 60 years because "the russians did a naughty".

1. It's an artificial pine forest.
2. Tesla will plant three trees for each one tore down, that's in the city's public records.
In enviromentalist circles, facts do not matter, only emotions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Impudicus and Irata

Impudicus

TS Maniac
When I see environmental complaints on the internet I can't help but think about all the resources needed to bring that complaint to the internet. The energy of all the networking equipment, the manufacturing of that equipment, the resources needed to manufacture that equipment. All the energy to move those resources and then the energy to deliver the final product. The phones and computers used to make those complaints. The servers that host and deliver those complaints across the internet. The land used to run the wires and build the towers used, the buildings that host the giant server farms. The resources used by the workers who support these systems, driving to work every day, maintaining equipment...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Irata
When I see environmental complaints on the internet I can't help but think about all the resources needed to bring that complaint to the internet. The energy of all the networking equipment, the manufacturing of that equipment, the resources needed to manufacture that equipment. All the energy to move those resources and then the energy to deliver the final product. The phones and computers used to make those complaints. The servers that host and deliver those complaints across the internet. The land used to run the wires and build the towers used, the buildings that host the giant server farms. The resources used by the workers who support these systems, driving to work every day, maintaining equipment...
It's a bit like people living in urban areas / big cities enjoying all its benefits and comforts but complaining about noise and emissions from traffic, trains, planes, people.

That is not to say that people should not be protected from excessive noise or pollution, or that you should try to limit new sources of it, but some things come with the territory.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Impudicus

jpuroila

TS Booster
Even if the complaints are not upheld, the project will be delayed as the growing season will start soon and you are not supposed to clear cut during that time.

People suing for this and that have upheld other (public works) projects for ten, twenty years. Sure, things should be done properly and nature protected but we are an industrialized country, and that does not go without an ecological footprint. There is something in between reverting back to a stone age society and destroying nature.
There's definitely merit to your arguments, but at the same time construction projects such as this are generally designed with the mindset of profit first, regulations second, and environment distant third(assuming it even makes it to top 10). So with that in mind, if a project pisses off enough environmentalists that they're willing to go into court over it for years, then maybe there was something worth protesting and delaying the construction for.

That's not to say that this is always the case, or even that it's the case here, but it's definitely something to consider when judging the people filing those complaints.