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Author: Stefan Möckel

For decades, German agriculture has been responsible for high nitrogen inputs into the environment. Recent reductions in nitrogen surpluses that were originally caused by fertilization are not sufficient to meet European requirements. In the case of ammonia emissions, there has even been an upward trend despite contradicting national emission targets due to the expansion of animal husbandry. Both developments are not surprising, since German agricultural policy has for years been unable to adopt stricter measures that would reduce nitrogen surpluses and ammonia emissions and modernise existing regulatory concepts in line with European requirements. This paper presents the state of current emissions in section 1. Subsequently, sections 2 to 4 present the regulatory concepts for livestock facilities, agricultural fertilisation as well as the protection of Natura 2000 areas from agricultural intervention and identify their shortcomings in the light of recent rulings by the European Court of Justice. The paper offers a summary assessment that includes the most important areas for improvement.

In: Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law
Author: Stefan Möckel

Under the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the European Union obliged all member states to protect all their surface water and restore it to a good condition by 2015. For administrative reasons, they must subdivide their surface water into water bodies and define water body types. The Directive proposes minimum sizes for water bodies. Like some other member states, Germany has interpreted this to mean that small rivers, often called headwaters, and small ponds and lakes need not be identified and delineated as a water body and therefore do not fall under the protection system of the WFD. This paper analyses whether the German interpretation and implementation can be considered correct, given that small surface water elements are not unimportant. In Germany, they account for two-thirds of the overall length of rivers. Like the little twigs of a tree, small rivers have a decisive impact on the whole river basin.

In: Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law

The article discusses the most significant legal problems facing the makers of conservation policy in the European Union and in Germany in adapting biodiversity to climate change. In the introduction, we give an overview of the possible consequences of climate change for species and landscapes and propose a number of adaptation measures. We then analyse and discuss three issues relating to the policy instruments of European and German environmental law: 1. the problems associated with protected areas in terms of justification and flexibility; 2. the need for more biotope networks, especially in agriculturally dominated landscapes; and 3. the potential and shortcomings of regional and local planning instruments.

In: Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law
In: Umweltpolitik: global und gerecht

This article provides a comparative analysis of the regulation of ammonia emissions, primarily from livestock installations, in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. It discusses the challenges of regulating agricultural ammonia emissions in view of the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union (cjeu) on Art. 6(3) of the Habitats Directive. It is argued that the need to ensure certainty concerning the absence of significant effects on Natura 2000 sites is challenged by the uncertainties regarding both the state of individual habitat types and the potential impact of individual projects. A more integrated or programmatic approach may provide an alternative approach to individual assessments, but it is necessary to ensure that additional loads from new or enlarged livestock installations are permitted in areas with high ammonia loads only where it is certain that a programmatic approach will ensure that there are no harmful effects. This might be an almost impossible task.

Open Access
In: Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law
Umweltpolitik im Bereich von Energie, Boden und Wachstum gehört zu den Kernfragen nationaler und internationaler Politik. Wie können globale, gerechte und nachhaltige Lösungen aussehen?
In diesem Sammelband der Reihe „Sozialethik konkret“ wird die vielschichtige Problematik einer globalen und gerechten Umweltpolitik aufgegriffen und aus der Sicht unterschiedlicher wissenschaftlicher Disziplinen diskutiert. Im Diskurs der verschiedenen Wissenschaften sollen eine ausgewogene Beurteilung der Thematik erreicht, Vorschläge zur konkreten Gestaltung von Reformprozessen und konkrete Ausgestaltungen der Umweltpolitik erarbeitet und offene und weiterführende Fragestellungen identifiziert werden.