The Federal Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner (CDU) sees the protection of the climate, animal welfare and consumers. A conversation about ways to achieve these goals.
Minister of Agriculture in Germany contributes significantly to the emission of gases harmful to the climate. missing Germany Farmers aware of climate protection?
On the contrary: virtually no industry suffers as much from climate change as from agriculture. Our farmers feel the extreme effects of the harvest. Vintages that are too dry or too wet sometimes lead to considerable losses for companies. It is true that agriculture is a victim, a participant, but also a provider of solutions to climate change. It offers all kinds of opportunities to link CO2 and protect our climate.
How do you want to reduce emissions?
Agriculture and forestry have effective means of protecting the climate: soils and forests can absorb a considerable amount of CO2. So I'm counting on afforestation, protecting peatlands and reducing peat extraction. The new Fertilizer Ordinance also aims at protecting the climate as well as the accumulation of humus on farmland, which we are actively promoting. Among other things, here in our department, we also start with my national agricultural strategy, which I will introduce later this year.
To the person
Julia Klöckner (46) is since March 2018 Federal Minister of Agriculture. The Palatine is also the deputy head of the CDU for seven years. Klöckner was from 2002 to 2011 member of the Bundestag and Parliamentary State Secretary in Parliament Federal Ministry of AgricultureAfter the failed attempt, the Prime Minister of Rheinland-Pfalz she returned to federal politics a little over a year ago. Klöckner is considered a conflict-ridden Minister of Agriculture: it usually involves environmental and animal welfare associations, but more and more agricultural lobbyists.
Why do not you write less for the environment? animals stable pro?
Our livestock is already declining. The number of pigs fell by more than four percent in 2017 and 2018. The number of cattle declined by about three percent over the same period. The only exception is poultry, which has something to do with changing consumer behavior. But we must honestly lead the debate: if we immediately and drastically reduce livestock in barns, more meat would be imported from abroad – consumer demand would remain so. We would then have producers' meat on the set, on production and environmental standards over which we have no influence.
For more transparency in housing conditions, they provide for a voluntary label on the welfare of animals. But even Lower Saxony, where many fattening companies particularly wish to sit down Bundesrat apply a mandatory seal of animal welfare. Does not that make you think that?
Consumers want to know where to buy more animal welfare stuck in, quick shot. It's the same with the organic label. That is, it is marked according to binding criteria, which is higher than the legal minimum standard. the EU Repeatedly repeated that legally, this is the only sure way, if we do not want to fail as for the toll. Anyone who claims a registration plate required at the national level, which sounds good, but leads to the so-called discrimination against foreigners contrary to the EU, argues that animal welfare deliberately on the long bench.
What do you accuse the government of the state of Lower Saxony?
Prime Minister Weil also wants to respect the minimum legal standards in breeding, as if each driver was congratulated for his stop at the red light. Respect for our laws should be taken for granted. The consumer would not have more orientation with such a brand, he would prefer to know, where more for the animals was done. And why the piece of meat is more expensive then.
Is the use of antibiotics in the pest under control?
in Germany The use of antibiotics in animal feed has decreased by more than 30% since 2014. This shows that our minimization strategy is working. However, I am concerned about the high level of commitment antibiotics reserve in the mast of poultry. Because these very effective antibiotics should only be used in case of emergency and after careful consideration. In the mast of poultry is the use of this antibiotics reserve at 40 percent. It's unacceptable, so you have to go down. Such a wide use of antibiotics reserve It can also have a serious impact on human medicine – on the health of all.
What do you want to do about it?
The Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn and I've invited representatives of the poultry industry to speak next week. The industry has a duty to act. We want to clarify the great use of these funds. And where we need to follow up in terms of housing density, hygiene and authorization of individual funds.
Consumer protection should also be used for new food labeling. Your department conducts consumer studies. Do not you think citizens already know where too much sugar, fat and salt are?
Especially in many finished products, there is too much sugar, salt and fat. This has health consequences but also economic ones. With our strategy of innovation and reduction, we work together to effectively reduce these ingredients. At the same time, the nutrition chart on the back of food packaging is too complicated for many. I therefore want a label easy to understand on the front of the products, which is clear and provides guidance when shopping. In a representative survey, I now involve consumers. Your decision will be decisive for me.
His house is also responsible for a possible ban on tobacco advertising. Until now, the Union has slowed down, but the Chancellor has also pronounced in this direction. Will the ban on tobacco advertising happen?
The Framework Convention on Tobacco World Health Organization encourages us to further restrict advertising.
Should the ban on advertising also apply to e-cigarettes?
If they contain nicotine, yes. The proportion may be partially lower, it is always harmful to health. It is claimed that e-cigarettes would incite smokers to go out. I say: but you can also motivate to start. Whether it's a filter or an electronic cigarette: in my opinion, no product of this type containing nicotine should be allowed to be advertised. Neither on billboards nor in the cinema. But the decision is now in Parliament, coalition deputies are reaching agreement on a joint legislative initiative.
Sweden prohibits smoking in front of bus stops. Should smoking be banned in public in this country too?
Where people in public places inevitably become passive smokers, it is legitimate and sensible to think about limitations. This can be difficult to identify and control. But when the ban on smoking was introduced in restaurants, many were also skeptical about the implementation and compliance rules. Today we know: it works. And more: this led to a positive change of attitude.
Are you worried that with the good "union of values" and "liberal middle union", two wings decisively shape the debate on your party?
There have always been different party wings. Helmut Kohl was important that the CDU for the nurse as well as for the chief physician or for the caregiver as well as for the chief physician, for the rural and urban population. But the balance, the compromise seems to have gone out of fashion today. Who wants to transmit, is considered weak. Attitudes in the public debate would only show those who are the most radical, the strongest and the most moralized. It worries me.
How long is the grand coalition?
The grand coalition is four years old and much remains to be done. But like that SPD reacts to different situations, is currently difficult to calculate. When asked if Ursula von der Leyen President of the European Commission, he seems SPD only guided by the principle of preventing candidates from the Union. For us, I can say that we are reliable and faithful to the contract.
By Marina Kormbaki and Gordon Repinski / RND