Why is the federal government so wasteful

German Earth Overload Day: From tomorrow we will live on credit

05/04/2021 - While the global earth congestion day is usually only reached in midsummer, the German one is already in spring. This year, on May 5th, Germany already used as many renewable or regenerative resources as the country actually has available for the entire year. Two variables are compared: the biological capacity of the earth to build up resources as well as to absorb waste and emissions and the need for forests, areas, water, arable land and fishing grounds that people currently consume for their way of life and economy.

“After just four months, Germany is living on credit. The early German Earth Overload Day is an alarm signal and indictment of the unsuccessful environmental and nature conservation policy of the past few years, ”says Olaf Bandt, Chairman of the Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND). This is mainly due to the far too high energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions in transport and agriculture as well as the heavy pollution of the groundwater, the soil and the air. “The Federal Government must act urgently and, following the groundbreaking decision of the Federal Constitutional Court, set significantly more ambitious climate targets and instruments. At the same time, it must initiate the overdue turnaround in resources in order to permanently and absolutely reduce Germany's consumption of resources. "

Needs three planets

If all people in the world lived as wastefully as in Germany, humanity would need three planets to cover the far too high consumption of resources. This means that not only is the livelihood of future generations wasted in this country, but also that of numerous people in other countries. "That is deeply unjust and at the expense of the people in the global south," said Bandt.

In this country too, the consequences of the climate crisis and the irresponsible treatment of our planet can no longer be overlooked: apart from the drought summer and heavy rain, the condition of our forests is suffering more and more, insect death is progressing and biodiversity continues to decline year after year. And these consequences will intensify in the coming years if environmental and climate policy is not counteracted.

Comprehensive resource turnaround is necessary

"The Federal Constitutional Court has just made it clear that burdens should be distributed fairly between the present and the future," says Constantin Kuhn from the board of directors of BUNDjugend. The Climate Protection Act passed in 2019 has been declared unconstitutional in parts by the Federal Constitutional Court. “So that my and future generations can still find a future worth living on this planet, CO2-Budgets are looked at. In order to protect people's lives and health, the state must initiate a comprehensive turnaround in resources and close the gap between rich and poor, ”said Kuhn.

That is why the BUND is now calling for clear legal framework conditions, the times of economic growth at any price are over. In addition to the catastrophic ecological effects, our growth-oriented economic system around the world leads to ever serious social disruptions. "Everything we are getting off the ground now is an investment in the freedom of this and future generations," said Bandt. jk