German local weather, insect safety legal guidelines cross end line

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Issued on: 06/25/2021 – 3:12 pm

Berlin (AFP)

Germany passed a law on Friday that provides for more ambitious climate targets and stricter restrictions on pesticides to protect insects, both controversial flagship projects of the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In its last session before the summer break, the Bundestag resolved to reform the German Climate Protection Act in order to bring the goal of CO2 neutrality forward by five years to 2045.

Germany is also aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 and thus exceed the previous target of 55 percent.

The changes were enforced by a groundbreaking ruling by the German Federal Constitutional Court in April that the 2019 climate law was “inadequate” and unjustly burdened the younger generations to fight global warming.

Merkel’s cabinet responded with a swift draft of more ambitious laws in the run-up to the September 26 parliamentary elections, which are expected to raise concerns about climate change among voters.

However, critics such as Fridays for Future activists and the opposition Greens say the efforts are not going far enough.

The “Insect Protection Act”, also passed on Friday, was also controversial, driving a wedge between various ministries and driving environmentalists against farmers who say the new rules threaten their livelihoods.

The package of measures includes phasing out the controversial weed killer glyphosate by January 1, 2024 and banning the use of insecticides and herbicides in certain areas.

It also creates more protection zones like bee-friendly meadows and reduces light pollution at night.

Biologists have long warned that declining insect populations are damaging the ecosystem by disrupting natural food chains and plant pollination.

– tractor protests –

The final package of insect repellent measures is the result of more than two years of tussle and a final compromise that will give farmers an additional € 65 million ($ 78 million) to adapt to the changes, for a grand total of € 150 million annually .

“By protecting insects today, we are safeguarding the agricultural industry of tomorrow,” said Environment Minister Svenja Schulze.

Farmers have repeatedly held tractor protests against the legislation because they fear that the stricter regulations will prevent them from competing with cheaper agricultural products from abroad.

A 2017 study in Germany was one of the first to sound the alarm about the loss of insects worldwide.

It found that the biomass of flying insects in German nature reserves had decreased by more than 75 percent in 27 years, which triggered warnings of an “ecological apocalypse”.