The German environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, has conceded there has been excessive use of land for bioenergy crops in Germany.Barbara Hendricks

Hendricks, speaking to the magazine Mehrwert, included energy as part of general comments on how she planned to reverse some policy in a bid to assist nature conservation.

With reference to energy crop policy, which had led to loss of species, being reversed, she said, “This was a part of the energy shift in parts. We’re going to change now. New plants are only being promoted if they use residual materials. We made a mistake at the time.”

Energy crops take up 17.5 per cent of German arable land.

We therefore need a radical rethink in this area, so that we can finally have success in the protection of species, “added Hendricks, who plans to provide more funding to farmers who use their lands for nature conservation services, at the expense of agriculture-related subsidies.

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