Nord Stream 2 is committed to complying with the standards and guidelines of applicable international finance institutions, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards (PS), the World Bank EHS Guidelines and the Equator Principles. The requirements for ESIAs under these standards include some differences in scope and nature when compared to the various national regulatory requirements.
Nord Stream 2 has performed a number of additional studies and assessments that supplement the national EIA processes to ensure that the project is developed in accordance with the applicable international finance institution standards (documents provided below). These additional documents include a specific EIA Addendum for Russia and a suite of project-wide, topic-specific supplemental assessments as follows:
Area of Influence and Cumulative Impacts
The scope of an Area of Influence (AoI) to be addressed within the ESIAs as defined under IFC Performance Standard 1 is broader than provided for under some national requirements, and includes specific requirements related to cumulative impacts and consideration of Associated Facilities. To address this, Nord Stream 2 has developed an AoI Position Paper in line with IFC Performance Standard 1. Further, supplemental assessments have been prepared, comprising of reports summarising the Environmental and Social impacts from Associated Facilities in Russia and Germany (the only countries where associated facilities have been identified) and a Cumulative Impact Assessment.
Social Impact Assessments
Where significant onshore project facilities are being developed (Russia and Germany) Social impact assessments have been produced to supplement the EIAs.
Livelihood Restoration and Ecosystem Services
The onshore project facilities in both Russia and Germany entail limited land acquisition, within which no physical displacement will occur. Land acquisition in Russia is being undertaken on a willing seller / willing buyer basis and follows the requirements of Nord Stream 2's policy. In Germany economic displacement has been avoided and there is no requirement for, or impact on privately owned land by the Nord Stream 2 project.
Impacts to fisheries offshore are unlikely to be significant. Nonetheless, we have developed a comprehensive overarching Fisheries Livelihood Plan that sets out potential impacts and calculates compensation in all nine countries that have shorelines on the Baltic Sea, and not just those with a section of the pipeline in their waters.
An Ecosystem Services Assessment (ESA) has been performed to demonstrate our commitment to avoiding impacts on ecosystem services. The assessment found that the Russian section of the project does not affect the availability of services to beneficiaries due to the small footprint of the project in relation to the extension of and access to the ecosystems. In Germany, as the area of the onshore project facilities (Lubmin 2) is zoned for development and situated in an already developed area, no significant impacts to ecosystem services are expected.
Nord Stream 2's approach to the management of impacts and risks to biodiversity follows the "mitigation hierarchy". This means namely to anticipate and avoid, or where avoidance is not possible, minimise, and, where residual impacts remain, compensate for and offset risks and impacts. This has included avoidance/minimisation of impacts through the assessment of alternatives, including consideration of location/routing options as well as technical solutions, and development of bespoke mitigation controls as described in the national EIA process and, specific to the project facilities in Russia, supplemented by a dedicated Alternatives Assessment study.
IFC Performance Standard 6 includes requirements in relation to the categorisation of habitats and requirements for Net Gains and No Net Loss for Critical and Natural Habitat respectively. To address this issue, first a Critical Habitat Assessment (CHA) has been performed to identify any areas of critical status and/or natural habitats that may be subject to residual impact by the project. A Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) has then been developed to provide a strategic set of actions which ensure that the project has a net positive impact on biodiversity. It does so by identifying the avoidance and mitigation measures committed to by the project and identifying offsets to address residual environmental liabilities in relation to critical habitat. Key aspects of biodiversity assessment and management are summarised below:
- Russia: The onshore and nearshore pipeline sections in Russia cross the Kurgalsky reserve which is a regionally protected area with Ramsar designation. In recognition of the reserve's Ramsar status and specific sensitivities, Nord Stream 2 has undertaken a Site Integrity Assessment and a Hydrological Assessment to confirm that the project will not significantly affect the integrity or hydrology of the Kurgalsky reserve. In addition, and in line with the requirements of IFC Performance Standard 6, the BAP outlines an investment programme designed to achieve a net gain of biodiversity values in the Kurgalsky reserve. The Ramsar Secretariat commissioned a Ramsar Advisory Mission to the project area in November 2019. The Advisory Mission Report can be found under the following link: https://www.ramsar.org/document/ramsar-advisory-mission-report-93-russian-federation-2019
- Offshore pipeline route: Offshore, the pipeline construction plan has been designed to avoid sensitive areas and sensitive seasons. Baseline data collection utilised monitoring data collected for the existing Nord Stream pipeline where possible. The only potential significant residual impact to offshore Critical Habitat-qualifying features is from the clearance of unexploded ordnance, for which measures for minimising impacts are recorded in our Environmental and Social Management Plans. Nord Stream 2 is committed to delivering a biodiversity net positive impact for ringed seal and fish species in the Baltic Sea.
- Germany: National legal requirements have been the main driver in the assessment of biodiversity impacts from the Nord Stream 2 project in Germany. Compensation for onshore and offshore construction is required in line with national regulations. The compensation concepts were updated following stakeholder engagement and include the purchase of ecobonds from an available eco-account, the implementation of a wetland restoration project and the upgrade of wastewater treatment plants. This concept was approved by the German authorities in January 2018.
Nord Stream 2 has carried out an extensive review of the status of indigenous peoples in the area affected by the project. The results are presented in an Indigenous Peoples Assessment, which concludes that the project does not interact with, or potentially impact Indigenous People. Nonetheless, Nord Stream 2 will endeavour to support and aid the preservation and enhancement of traditional traits and skills that could become lost with the natural ageing of these groups. This will be carried out on a purely voluntary basis and as part of the Environmental and Social Investment Programme. This includes preservation of the ancestral languages, which are listed as endangered by UNESCO, and the support of skills and crafts such as pottery and textile weaving. In that respect, in March 2020 the Izhora Craft and Language Centre was opened in Vistino.
Greenhouse Gas Assessment
The IFC Performance Standards and the Equator Principles require annual quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when annual emissions are expected to be above:
- 25,000 tCO2e (IFC Performance Standard 3)
- 100,000 tCO2e (Principle 2 of the Equator Principles)
For the Nord Stream 2 project, significant GHG emissions will only arise during the construction phase. These emissions have been estimated within the Consolidated GHG Report (see link provided below), which shows that the reporting threshold is triggered during this phase. In line with these requirements, Nord Stream 2 assesses its annual GHG emissions during construction in accordance with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard (Revised Edition, 2004). See the Monitoring section for further details on annual GHG emission reporting.
Disclosure of this information, including via this portal, supplements material already presented to project stakeholders through Nord Stream 2’s engagement programmes during the ESIA.