ClientEarth files lawsuit against Flemish government over INEOS ethane cracker

The international environmental organisation ClientEarth and 13 other NGOs are taking the government of Flanders to court. ClientEarth wants to prevent petrochemicals manufacturer INEOS from building an ethane cracker in the port of Antwerp. The cracker would convert gas into ethylene, one of the components of plastic.

According to ClientEarth, INEOS has failed to adequately show how the ethane cracker would impact the climate, nature and surrounding air quality. The environmental organisations argue that the Flemish authorities have approved the project in violation of Belgian and European legislation.

According to Tatiana Luján, ClientEarth's lawyer, the ethane cracker is an alternative business model to keep the industry alive and to use fossil gas for plastic production. The planned ethane cracker is part of INEOS' plastics manufacturing project dubbed 'Project One'. "Projects like this have devastating effects on the environment and climate both locally and globally," Luján said. "The plastics produced in these plants emit CO2 at every stage of their life cycle." The environmental organisations also report that Project One's nitrogen emissions are still being grossly underestimated. 

For this lawsuit, ClientEarth is collaborating with NGO's Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL), BOS+, Climaxi, Fairfin, Gallifrey Foundation, Greenpeace Belgium, Grootouders voor het Klimaat, Klimaatzaak, Natuurbeschermingsvereniging De Steltkluut, Plastic Soup Foundation, Recycling Netwerk Benelux, WWF Belgium, and Zero Waste Europe.

A request to overrule the Project One permit has now been submitted to the Flemish Council for Permit Disputes against the Flemish Region.






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