Climate activists appeal decision on shale oil plant's building permit

Enefit Power.
Enefit Power. Source: ERR

Environmental nonprofit MTÜ Loodusvõlu has submitted an appeal to the Tartu Circuit Court of Appeal pursuing a review of the decision made by the Tartu Administrative Court last month and concerning the construction permit of a shale oil plant.

At the start of June, the administrative court did not proceed with the nonprofit's complaint which sought the annulment of the building permit granted to state-owned energy group Eesti Energia for the construction of a shale oil plant in East-Viru County. The circuit court must now decide whether or not to start handling the complaint within a reasonable time.

The decision to appeal against the first-tier court's judgement seemed like the only possible course of action, climate activist Kertu Birgit Anton said.

"The establishment of an oil plant would not support Ida-Viru County in the long run and neither would it support the development of Estonia as a whole; instead, it would damage our shared living environment. We're already clearly seeing extreme weather conditions caused by climate change occur in many places around the world this summer and rapid shrinkage of the Earth's cold areas is being reported on the news. In the light of these developments and warnings by thousands of scientists, establishing an oil plant would be an extremely regressive step," Anton added.

MTU Loodusvõlu turned to court in April last year, seeking the annulment of the building permit issued by the city government of Narva-Jõesuu to Eesti Energia, and filed an action for interim injunction. The latter was granted by the Tartu Circuit Court on May 7 and the validity of the building permit has been suspended until the end of court proceedings.

In its decision concerning the main part of the complaint, the administrative court dismissed the complaint seeking the annulment of the building permit granted by the Narva-Jõesuu city government. With Loodusvõlu having appealed against the decision, the administrative court's decision does not enter into force at this time and the interim injunction remains in effect.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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