An environmental and climate policy that inspires people and does not anger them, that was one of Prime Minister Luc Frieden’s remarkable statements last week about the coalition agreement. The term proportionality was often used in this context.
But what does this mean in terms of nature conservation and climate policy in Luxembourg?
Many people across the country had less than positive experiences with highly complicated approval procedures in recent years. The question therefore arises as to whether the current nature conservation law and its application really achieve what should be important for us: effectively protecting our nature, strengthening people’s acceptance of strong environmental protection without making it feel like it would block progress in other important areas indefinitely.
Whether municipalities, companies, farmers or private individuals, the issue is extremely serious. Unfortunately, recently you have the impression that, as an applicant for a nature protection permit, you are part of a comedy show.
Obstructionist policy, decisions without a legal basis, endless delays, or no answers at all, it was dramatic. These are facts that certainly do not amuse anyone. The mere fact that the administrative court had to intervene because the interpretation of the Nature Conservation Act went far beyond the mark, says a lot.
Expectations of a paradigm shift are therefore high. The climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity must be a priority for politics and the civil society in the future.
But we also must strike a balance. A balance between the development of our country, the quality of life and the protection of nature, while always paying attention to a certain proportionality.
That’s why we all must ensure a modern nature conservation policy that does not work with enemy images and does not get lost in unimportant details, but that takes people along and focuses on the major goals of nature conservation.
The shape of the window of a house in the green zone, just as an example, has nothing to do with nature conservation, but is sufficient for a permit to be refused.
For effective conservation we need to work together: administrations, citizens, companies, and agriculture. This is the only way we can achieve something.
Sustainability has more than just one facet, namely an economic, an ecological and a social one, all of which must function in relation to one another.
If we can get this relationship right again, it will be good for all sides, especially for a harmonious coexistence.
Environmental protection in Luxembourg needs less confrontation and more cooperation. It is in our hands!