A U.N. panel has approved the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying its construction should be approved by a final vote on Friday.
The decision comes after more than a year of opposition and protests.
The U.SN. said in a statement the panel’s decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is “historic” and “the right decision”.
It said the panel was “not bound by political considerations or the political agendas of any party”.
It said the decision is “the result of years of careful deliberations and deliberation”.
“This decision comes from a panel of the United Nations International Court of Justice that has established the importance of environmental justice,” it said.
President Donald Trump has been critical of the pipeline, calling it “the worst and most dangerous thing that has ever happened to the environment”.
The pipeline would transport up to 525,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Supporters say the project would boost domestic oil production by as much as 4 million barrels per day, but opponents say it would cause economic damage.
On Thursday, a U.K.-based energy watchdog called on the U.J.C.N.-led panel to reverse its decision.
“The United Kingdom’s energy regulator has repeatedly been clear that this project is in the interests of our national interest,” said Stephen Hillier, the Ujamaa chairman of the Committee for the Protection of New and Promoting Energy (CPPE).
“If this project were to be approved, the UK would lose up to 50 per cent of its annual export revenue,” he said.
The Ujamas decision came as a group of leaders from around the world are to meet in New York this week for a summit on climate change.
Ahead of the meeting, the head of the European Parliament’s environmental protection committee, Joaquín Almunia, told Reuters that the European Commission’s position is clear that the Keystone pipeline will pose a threat to our climate.