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Walkers on the pier in Binz on the island of Rügen in front of an LNG ship


Jens Büttner / dpa

The Greens in the Bundestag are critical of the rapid expansion of German import terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG). She was "not convinced in terms of climate policy" by the need for new LNG terminals in Germany – as provided for in the planned LNG Acceleration Act for Rügen, said Lisa Badum, chairwoman of the Committee on Climate Protection and Energy. A correction of the German gas import strategy is needed. "Gas deals with other countries as well as the development of LNG infrastructure should be put to the test."

Two floating import terminals for liquefied natural gas are to be anchored in the port of Mukran on the island of Rügen and a pipeline to Lubmin is to be built from there. Environmentalists, local politicians on Rügen and the island's tourism sector are opposing the expansion plans because they fear effects on the ecosystem and increased shipping traffic. Climate activists also criticize the German government's LNG plans as oversized and incompatible with the Climate Protection Act. The SPD-led state government in Schwerin had recently asked to wait with a decision. There is still time needed "for talks and discussion of the plans with those involved" on site.

The Federal Cabinet did not comply with this request and decided last week to include the Mukran site in the LNG Acceleration Act. This is intended to pave the way for a faster approval process. If the German government has its way, the new plant in Mukran should go into operation before the end of the winter, if possible.

Both Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) defend the plans. Habeck refers to the security of supply, there is a need for a "safety buffer" for gas imports.

In her criticism, Badum referred to the projects in the West African country of Senegal. Scholz had already promised Senegal support in the development of a gas field off the coast during a trip to Africa in May last year. "We don't need gas from Senegal for our security of supply," Badum said. Scholz should "bury" the gas deal with the country. Instead of a gas deal, she proposed a partnership in the field of renewable energies. This Friday, Badum wants to present a study on the subject together with the environmental organization Germanwatch.

Habeck is also critical of the financial support for the development or use of gas fields in Senegal. The Federal Ministry of Economics referred the question to the Chancellery. A government spokesman said on request that there was no new status. In Germany, energy sources are generally procured by energy suppliers and traders, so only companies can make statements about deliveries.

"There is no involvement of the German government in the financial support for the development or use of natural gas fields in Senegal," the spokesman emphasized. "There are no concrete applications from the private sector for such funding."