Press Release March 14th 2018:
EU Parliament breaching its own SEA Directive by approving EU Energy Programme
of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) without any Environmental
Assessment or consideration of reasonable alternatives.
Directive states that All Projects on the PCI list must be "allocated
the status of highest national significance possible" and that
"authorisation should be given to projects which have an adverse impact
on the environment for reasons of overriding public interest"
opened for legal challenge
the EU parliament is taking part in a sleight of hand which will legally force
EU members to accept massive gas infrastructure projects (such as the proposed
Shannon LNG project in Ireland), where all adverse impacts on climate change
and impacts on the environment will have to be ignored for reasons of
overriding public interest. No environmental screening report of this plan is
being presented to Parliament before it votes on this plan - the first time
ever the EU Parliament gets to approve the Energy Programme of Projects
of Common Interest (PCI) - a clear breach of the EU SEA Directive.
We believe this is taking place to help the EU Commission avoid having to
live up to the Global Paris Climate Agreement that the EU ratified in 2016 by
not considering "reasonable alternatives" as obliged under the SEA
Article 2 of the SEA Directive clearly states that " 'plans and
programmes' shall mean plans and programmes, including those co-financed by the
European Community, as well as any modifications to them".
Article 4(1) of the SEA Directive states that "The environmental
assessment referred to in Article 3 shall be carried out during the preparation
of a plan or programme and before its adoption or submission to the legislative
Article 5 of the SEA Directive obliges the environmental assessment to consider
to the plan.
By not considering the overall environmental impact of the PCI plan in its
globality with all the combined projects in the plan (especially the gas
projects grouped together) environmental assessment of individual split
projects within the plan when they are going through the permitting process is
meaningless - especially since the PCI Directive forces national planning
authorities to ignore all these environmental concerns because the projects
must be considered to be in "the public interest".
The PCI Directive Article 7(3) clearly states "projects of common
interest shall be allocated the status of the highest national significance
possible and be treated as such in permit granting processes".
Article 7(8) goes on to state "With regard to the environmental impacts
addressed in Article 6(4) of Directive 92/43/EEC and Article 4(7) of Directive
2000/60/EC, projects of common interest shall be considered as being of public
interest from an energy policy perspective and may be considered as being of
overriding public interest, provided that all the conditions set out in these
Directives are fulfilled".
We believe that the first ever approval of the PCI list by the EU parliament
without any environmental report or consideration of reasonable alternatives has
left the door open for legal challenge.