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Fridays for Future Estonia v. Eesti Energia
Data source:
Sabin Center
Court name:
Tartu Administrative Court
In May 2020, the Tartu Administrative Court accepted a complaint by Fridays for Future Estonia, an organization of young Estonian climate activists, seeking to nullify a permit issued to the state-owned energy group Eesti Energia for the construction of a new shale oil plant. According to news reports, Fridays for Future alleges that the Narva-Jõesuu town government issued the construction permit without adequately assessing its climate impacts and the commitments made under the Paris Agreement, as well as the European Union's objective to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The court ordered the town to respond to the complaint within 21 days. Two Eesti Energia subsidiaries were named as third parties, and the Ministry of the Environment was named as an administrative body. All three must also present their position within 21 days. Although the court allowed the complaint, it denied a preliminary injunction to halt construction of the plant as not currently justified because the plaintiff's claims relate to impacts that would occur during the plant's operation, rather than construction.

Key environmental legal questions:

Environmental group challenged issuance of construction permit for an oil plant.
Suits against governments; Utilities; Environmental assessment and permitting