09 Aug 2021, 12:48
Kerstine Appunn

Ministries fail to agree on protection strategy for Germany's moorlands

Clean Energy Wire / top agrar online / Tagesspiegel Background

German ministries have failed to agree on a moorland protection strategy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from drained peatlands. The environment ministry (BMU) had, led by minister Svenja Schulze from the Social Democrats (SPD), prepared a moorland protection strategy, saying it was widely backed by the government cabinet expect for the agriculture ministry (BMEL), which is run by minister Julia Klöckner from the conservative CDU. The strategy can therefore no longer be adopted in the current legislative period that ends with the general elections on 26 September, the BMU said in a written statement. The agriculture ministry wanted the strategy to prioritise the protection of natural moorlands rather than those used for agriculture and insisted on a voluntary approach for farmers to participate in re-wetting programmes, trade journal top agrar online reports. Environmental groups have said that compulsory measures would be necessary to ensure timely climate action, energy policy newsletter Tagesspiegel Background writes. The BMU now plans to develop its own departmental strategy by the end of the year.

Instead of acting as carbon sinks, drained German moorlands today are greenhouse gas emitters. To change this, the government has made it a measure under the Climate Action Law to finance the re-wetting of peat soils with up to 2.1 billion euros until 2030. Germany’s Commission for the Future of Agriculture (ZKL) found in its 2021 report that rewetting all agricultural moorlands in Germany would cost 1.35 billion euros per year.

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