How the law supports environmental protection

How the law supports environmental protection
Experts agree that legislation must reconcile biodiversity and climate protection.
Image: Volker Weihbold

How can species protection and the need for renewable energies be brought down to a common denominator? This is one of the many problems that the climate crisis is posing to our society.

Experts from Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany discussed this topic at a conference in Linz. The focus of the event, which the JKU organized together with the Institute for Nature Conservation and Nature Conservation Law in Tübingen and Charles University in Prague with the support of the German Federal Foundation for the Environment, was on the legal framework – i.e. how laws have to be designed in order to ensure the fight is accurate to take action against the climate crisis.

Holistic view

The participants were unanimous in favor of a holistic approach to the topic: Biodiversity, climate and sustainability goals for 2030 and 2050 can only be achieved if climate protection, biodiversity conservation and the involvement of social actors are taken into account in all measures. Upper Austria’s Economics and Energy Provincial Councilor Markus Achleitner (VP), Environment Provincial Councilor Stefan Kaineder and National Council Member Astrid Rössler (both Greens) contributed the view of politics as a legislative body in speeches.

Erika Wagner, Head of the Institute for Environmental Law at the JKU, named some concrete demands and results of the conference: “The tension between the urgently needed expansion of renewable energies and the protection of biodiversity can be resolved through appropriate legal framework conditions. Targets alone are not enough, to implement the EU requirements.” There is an urgent need to implement go and no-go areas for renewable energies in regional planning. In order to protect biodiversity, the latter should not be interfered with in the future either.

Wilhelm Bergthaler, professor at the Institute for Environmental Law and expert for approval law, emphasized the urgent need for action in planning law: “Only a detailed examination of the plans can lead to the environmental impact assessment being omitted, as the EU’s Acceleration Ordinance now makes possible.”

Source: Nachrichten

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