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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: NABU – Naturschutzbund DeutschlandA26 Ost motorway project is “Dinosaur of the Year”

Missing transport policy and antiquated infrastructure planning: the A26 East fulfills both. NABU has therefore selected the planned ten-kilometer cross-connection of the A1 and A7 in the south of Hamburg for the negative “Dinosaur of the Year 2020” award.

The “Dinosaur of the Year” in front of the existing Köhlbrand Bridge. – Photo: NABU / Jonas Voss

December 29, 2020 – For the first time since 1993, NABU has awarded the negative “Dinosaur of the Year” award to a specific project rather than a person as environmental sin of the year. The planned A26 East meets all the criteria: extremely harmful to the climate, incredibly expensive and destructive to nature. Originally, the A26 East was ordered from the federal government by the city of Hamburg as a commuter motorway for the port and the nearby Airbus site. At that time under Mayor Ole von Beust and with the participation of the Greens – 20 years ago. Now, two decades later, the funds have been approved. Stopping the A26 East makes economic, ecological and social sense. The city motorway, known as the “Hafenpassage”, is linked to extremely high growth in the port – only these figures are based on completely exaggerated handling expectations for the Port of Hamburg. Instead of the 25 million container handling forecast for 2025, a current report by the Hamburg economic authorities assumes that there will be at most eleven to 14 million containers by 2035. Useless and extremely harmful to the climate: the A26 East

The A26 West is already being built and is destroying large natural areas and thus important habitats for endangered animals and plants. The construction of both motorway sections from the A26 west and east leads to the loss of several hundred hectares of living space – especially valuable fen soils. The expansion of the superfluous A26 east must therefore be avoided at all costs in order to secure the remaining bog areas. Moors not only make an important contribution to the preservation of biodiversity, but also serve as gigantic carbon stores. They store more carbon than any other ecosystem in the world. Contrary to all climate protection goals The construction of the A26 East runs counter to the climate goals of the federal and state governments in several ways: It promotes (individual) traffic, which should be avoided with the turnaround. It destroys the valuable carbon storage moor and is also particularly harmful to the climate due to the cement-intensive construction method. Because: A large part of the route must be elevated so that a 50 meter high bridge can cross the Süderelbe. It is only planned so high that gigantic coal ships can reach the Moorburg power plant behind it. This, in turn, will be switched off as early as 2021. The construction of the A26 East will also have significant consequences for the residents of Hamburg’s southeast. To the east of the A1, the planned motorway will pass the Kirchdorf-Süd large housing estate, for whose residents the quality of life will continue to decline. The city of Hamburg wants to finance a tunnel here, which leads through 16 hectares of landscape protection area and is intended to protect residents from car exhaust fumes and noise. This would also mean that the little green in the area would be lost.

“This planned motorway is a perfect symbol of a failed transport policy and antiquated infrastructure planning throughout Germany. She is a planning dinosaur and must be prevented. Here, nature is once again to be built in, although the demand forecasts have changed dramatically and more sensible alternatives exist. The city of Hamburg and the federal government should stop this planning now. The A26 East makes it clear: We need a fundamental revision of the federal traffic route plan in order to stop such planning dinosaurs. The infrastructure of the future must also help to achieve the Paris climate goals and to avoid natural loss. New construction of trunk roads should be completely suspended until this inspection. ”NABU President Jörg-Andreas Krüger

Extremely expensive and unbelievably useless The construction of the superfluous A26 East is also extremely costly: It will cost around 1.5 billion euros, also because of the elevation and the planned bridge. That is around 150 million euros per kilometer, ten to 15 times more than is usually spent on other motorways. The A26 East thus plays in the top league of overpriced road construction projects, together with the Berlin city motorway A100 or the Freiburg city tunnel.

Protest graffiti in the moor south of Hamburg. – Photo: NABU / Jonas Voss

We call for the planning madness to be stopped. Especially since a sensible alternative route already exists: The existing main port route on Veddeler Damm should be expanded as required. That would also correspond to the express goal of the federal transport route plan: preservation before new construction. In the course of this, the new crossing of the Köhlbrand, which was necessary for the port anyway (cost estimate: 3.2 billion euros), should be paid for by the federal government. This would avoid a duplicate infrastructure that is nonsensical in terms of traffic and climate policy and the money would be used sensibly. The federal government, and thus Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer, is now responsible for the expansion of the A26 East. Hamburg’s First Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD), who actually promotes Hamburg’s climate plan and climate legislation, is the one who could now cancel the climate-damaging project at the federal government.

Background to the “Dinosaur of the Year” For the 28th time, NABU is awarding the “Dinosaur of the Year”, a 2.6 kilogram replica of a giant lizard. For the first time since 1993, we are not honoring a person who has distinguished himself through particularly retrograde public engagement in matters of nature and environmental protection, but a specific project – an environmental sin. With the re-accentuation of the Dino, we want to focus on a specific plan or project and thus sensitize the public to a specific topic. The 2018 prize winner was RWE boss Rolf Martin Schmitz. He received the trophy for clearing the Hambach Forest at the expense of the climate and nature. In 2017, the “Dinosaur of the Year” went to the President of the Farmers’ Association, Joachim Rukwied, for blocking an environmentally friendly agricultural policy.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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