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Prime Minister Supports Tesla Giga 4 Berlin, Asked Critics to Patience

by Eva Fox February 01, 2020

Prime Minister Supports Tesla Giga 4 Berlin, Asked Critics to Patience

The planned Tesla factory in Gruenheide near Berlin has already met with concern and protests. Brandenburg Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke asked Tesla's critics for patience.

“Questions about expanding infrastructure, water supply and many other things have already been answered, but it also takes some time,” said Woidke. “I ask for your understanding.” The head of government emphasized: “Tesla’s decision is only eleven weeks old. If you see what has already happened during this time, that’s good. ”

The Prime Minister is confident that open problems can be solved, but he understands that this is a challenge for all parties. “Good progress has been made, but there is still a lot of work ahead of everyone,” Woidke said. He also emphasized: “We have good discussions with Tesla.” The state government is constantly in dialogue with the target group, the working group, and those who protest.

Dietmar Woidke, Prime Minister of Brandenburg (SPD) at his office in Potsdam
Source: Amin Akhtar

“We're all at a good pace,” said the head of government. He suggests that the Tesla factory could have a positive effect on the entire federal state: “If everything works, a story will appear in Grünheide that will benefit all of Brandenburg.” According to him, the project will also give an impetus to the issue of climate-neutral production, due to renewable energy sources.Woidke is very interested in the industry for the production of products that do not affect the climate, which will consume local eco-energy.

Last week, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted a number of details that clarified the situation with the plant’s water supply and the deforestation in the factory site.

He explained that the factory was designed with sustainability and environmental requirements in mind. The Prime Minister praised these statements. "It is quite unusual for Tesla-Chief Elon Musk to comment on Twitter about a debate that is ongoing in the state of Brandenburg," Woidke said, “That was an important clarification.”

Tesla plans to build a factory in Grünheide near Berlin, where from the second half of 2021 up to 500,000 cars will roll off the assembly line every year. The environmental approval process is ongoing. Tesla has high environmental requirements, which the company strives to fully implement.

At the same time, Joachim Pfeiffer (CDU), economic policy spokesman for the Allied Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag, wants to prevent excessive environmental requirements so as not to jeopardize the planned creation of a factory of an American electric vehicle manufacturer in Grünheide. “This case clearly shows that the approval and planning process in Germany is overly bureaucratic, too long and too cumbersome,” Pfeiffer told to Handelsblatt.

Therefore, it is important not only to speed up approval procedures and shorten legal processes, but also to weigh investment projects. “For example, in the case of investments that make an important contribution to climate protection, such as electric mobility, it is necessary to conduct a differentiated assessment of compensation areas that serve to protect nature and species,” the politician demanded.

The Union’s proposal to expand wind energy can serve as an example for this. “In it, we propose the further development of the Federal Law on Nature Conservation in such a way that climate protection measures are completely exempted from compensation obligations,” Pfeiffer said.

Follow me on Twitter  Eva Fox 🦊

Featured image: @gigafactory_4 / Twitter

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