The Process of Discussing Objections to Giga Berlin Will Be Conducted Online, as Recommended by Tesla to Government

by Eva Fox August 26, 2021

The Process of Discussing Objections to Giga Berlin Will Be Conducted Online, as Recommended by Tesla to Government

Photo: Tobias Lindh/Twitter

The process of discussing objections to Giga Berlin will be conducted online. This government decision is consistent with Tesla's earlier proposals on how to speed up the approval process for large projects.

Tesla faced a protracted approval process for the construction of its Giga Berlin in Germany, which delayed the start of production. In April, the manufacturer issued a statement to the Supreme Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg criticizing the German approval system for industrial projects, explaining that its process impedes the goal of urgently combating climate change. “The German approval framework for industrial and infrastructure projects as well as spatial planning directly contradicts the urgency to plan and realize such projects that are necessary to battle climate change,” Tesla wrote.

In a statement, Tesla proposed ten steps to improve approval processes, some of which have already been adopted by the government and used for a new objection discussion process. Tesla suggested to Brandenburg the following improvements to the legal process based on its own experience with approval procedures in Germany:

  1. Differentiation between permits for sustainable and non-sustainable projects (e.g. through the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities)
  2. Creation of "fast track" approval and spatial planning procedures for sustainable projects
  3. Creation of a coordination and leadership role: a dedicated project manager with legal authority
  4. Inclusion of indirect environmental impacts of projects in the approval
  5. Further improvement of the preliminary permits (e.g. through a "provisional" procedure)
  6. Flexibility for minor changes that improve the overall environmental impact
  7. Establishment of a national resource pool of subject matter experts
  8. Digitization of the approval process
  9. Implement standards and requirements for documentation
  10. Re-focus the important process of public participation

In a new stage of document review, nearly 400 new objections have been filed against the change in Tesla's construction plans. The State Environment Agency has announced that a new discussion process is to take place in September. However, this time it will be different, namely in digital format.

An "online consultation" is planned, during which the objectors, the authorities and Tesla will discuss the relevant objections, said spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Environment, Frauke Zelt. According to information from RBB, all objections are planned to be considered via e-mail and there should be no virtual conversations.

However, the Brandenburg government must act within the framework of the current legislation, which means that during the discussion, all objections that were submitted in the first and second public participation events will be re-discussed. This is fraught with even greater delays in the approval process, which is expected to take several weeks.

© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.


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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter

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