The Federal Government agrees that intact moors are essential for climate protection.

Like forests, they bind enormous amounts of carbon dioxide.

But if they silt up, which happens to a large number of them, then they release more greenhouse gases than many industrial companies or power plants.

Christian Geinitz

Business correspondent in Berlin

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Despite this shared understanding that existing bogs need to be protected and dried-up bogs need to be rewetted, there is a heated dispute in the grand coalition between Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) about how to get there.

A joint peatland protection strategy by the federal government has now failed because of this conflict.

"It will not be expropriated, period"

Instead of bringing the paper into the cabinet, the Ministry of the Environment presented it as a departmental strategy on Wednesday.

Outside the Ministry of Agriculture, there is a great deal of approval from the other ministries, the federal states, the public and also those directly involved, such as farmers, said Environment State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth at a press conference.

He is therefore confident that the strategy will be implemented, but possibly only under a new federal government.

Klöckner's accusation that the landowners are threatened with expropriation through the strategy is false and is due to the election campaign.

"The nonsense doesn't get any better if Ms. Klöckner keeps saying that," says Flasbarth.

Dealing with specialist politics for a long time “does not have to lead to one completely turning off one's mind.

It is not expropriated, period. "

The Ministry of Agriculture replied that Flasbarth's house had included the “review and adjustment of legal regulations” in the strategy, without restricting this in any more detail.

"This applies in particular to forestry, agriculture and water management, which fears interference with property through the back door," said a spokeswoman.

Klöckner himself pointed out that the planned rewetting affects the property and livelihoods of the landowners and sometimes has an impact on entire regions: "Therefore, there must be no decisions over the heads of those affected."

"Not willing to compromise"

The ministries mutually agreed that a target agreement between the federal government and the federal states on peatland protection that had been drawn up in both departments would soon be adopted, and that it would be ready and ready to be signed. The aim of this agreement is to reduce emissions from peatland by 5 million tons of CO2 equivalents annually by 2030. The Ministry of Agriculture is providing funding of 330 million euros through the Energy and Climate Fund for rewetting by 2025; In the coming year alone it will be 115 million euros. In addition, a strategy to reduce peat consumption is being prepared within the federal government, it said.

The moorland agreement with the federal states is already aimed at areas used for agriculture and forestry, which is why their inclusion in the moorland strategy of the Ministry of the Environment is unnecessary and contradicting, said Klöckner's house. The agreements negotiated with the parties involved in the course of the country agreement would all have had to be untied again, progress would have been nullified and moor protection would have been delayed.

The strategy of the Ministry of the Environment would only have been acceptable for Klöckner if the paper had focused on the protection of natural moors and biodiversity.

It is crucial that the residents, landowners and municipalities are included.

"Unfortunately, the Federal Environment Ministry refused to take this approach to the end, despite intensive discussions, and was not ready to compromise," said the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Agriculture.

Only 10 percent are intact

The peatland protection strategy of the Ministry of the Environment indicates that around 7 percent of all German greenhouse gas emissions escape from drained bog soils.

That is around 53 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents a year.

In addition, the siltation threatens biodiversity.

Flasbarth made it clear that all proposed measures were voluntary. Landowners who did not want to water down their moors would not be forced to do so. But those who are willing to participate can hope for public funding. For example, for the settlement of cattle that can cope with the wet, or for the purchase of special machines. The demand for products from the renatured areas must also be stimulated, for example for reeds for thatched roofs or for packaging material made from cellulose produced there.

The German moors are in a "wretched condition," said Flasbarth.

Currently, 90 percent of the area is "degraded and drained";

only 10 percent are considered natural and intact.

A different type of cultivation is required on the land used, for which financial incentives are required.

All in all, 100 million euros in public funding are available for this.

The recently amended Federal Climate Protection Act provides that ecosystems such as forests and moors must contribute to climate protection by binding greenhouse gases;

25 million tons are targeted annually by 2030.

The Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation Germany BUND described the goal of the federal-state agreement for the protection of moors as "too timid".

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