27 Aug 2021, 13:31
Kerstine Appunn

Austria and Germany want EU to keep out of national forest policy


Clean Energy Wire

The European Union’s forest strategy should “meaningfully flank and complement” the forest policies of the member states but not replace them, the agriculture ministers of Germany and Austria have said in a joint statement. Julian Klöckner (Germany) and Elisabeth Köstinger (Austria) said they “strongly reject” the current proposals by the European Commission “to take over the planning sovereignty for forests”, including binding rules for the member states. Klöckner said Germany has launched a 1.5 billion euro support programme to make forests more climate change resilient, help with climate protection and increase biodiversity. “It makes sense to support this approach with a strategy on EU level, but we don’t need more red tape from Brussels,” she said, adding that it would be “detrimental to acceptance” if the Commission were to decide over the heads of local experts. 

The European Commission published its “New EU Forests Strategy for 2030” in July 2021, calling it one of the flagship initiatives of the European Green Deal and saying it builds on the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030. The strategy proposes actions for improving the quantity and quality of EU forests and also for achieving the bloc’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target of at least 55 percent by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050.

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