miercuri, 4 februarie 2009

Energy security, but at what cost?

Pipelines, such as the Nord Stream Baltic pipeline, must overcome environmental concerns if they are to help meet Europe's energy needs.

Building the 1,220 kilometre Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea is controversial politically, but might it also be an environmental disaster?
Big pipelines are not necessarily bad for the environment. The UN Economic Commission for Europe says that “pipelines can be safe and environmentally sound”. Conservation groups, including WWF and Birdlife International, say that they are not against pipelines in principle, as long as there is open and transparent analysis of the environmental risks.
Impact report

The European Parliament said last year that a positive environmental report should be required before the Nord Stream project is allowed to go ahead. MEPs voted by 542 votes to 60 to back an own-initiative report by Marcin Libicki, a Polish conservative (UEN) MEP. His report concluded that Nord Stream “would help to meet the EU's future energy needs” but raised environmental concerns. The MEPs said that disturbing 80,000 tonnes of old munitions that litter the sea-bed would pose a hazard to health and the marine environment. They also noted that the pipeline would stray into EU-recognised habitats (Natura 2000 territories).

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