German Court Again Orders Tesla to Stop Clearing Trees at Giga Berlin

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In spite of earlier reports that Tesla would have “every assistance” from the German government in its construction goals, the California-based company has been stopped up three times by German courts in the past several weeks. And in the newest blow to the company’s morale, it has been asked to stop cutting down trees at its Gigafactory Berlin construction site altogether.

A German court ordered Tesla to cease deforestation at Giga Berlin on Friday, related to previous concerns lodged in court by environmental groups, as reported by DPA International (via Yahoo).

The news comes after two separate events that completely stopped construction for Tesla’s German operations: one in which hibernating snakes were preventing forest clearing, and one in which Tesla failed to pay a €100 million security deposit on a new construction endeavor.

The latest ruling specifically states that Tesla cannot clear trees on the outer areas of the construction site’s forested region. Tesla had originally planned to use the area to run pipelines and store equipment. While Tesla agreed in an earlier court hearing that it would simply relocate the snakes, the court has come back to say that even that wouldn’t be sufficient to save the snakes and sand lizards–both protected species.

Tesla said it would relocate the species but the court disagreed. Thus, the Friday ruling says cutting down trees in certain areas of the size where lizards are located would be banned for now.

While Tesla has certainly faced criticism for its environmental and resource-use practices in Germany in the past, the current cry from environmentalists is the first time we’ve seen Tesla lose its way in these court battles. It’s unclear how Tesla will now re-work the land area to make use of the forested region, but now, the company will have to, one way or another.

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