A new soil protection legislation for Germany – challenges, conceptual approaches and next steps

Elsevier, Soil Security, Volume 14, March 2024
Ginzky H.

The chapter provides information on the ongoing legislative process to draft a fundamentally amended soil protection act in order to cope with climate change and adaptation, the maintenance of biodiversity and additional challenges. The current German government has agreed to this endeavor in 2021. First, the chapter offers information on the importance of soils for the society. In addition, the main challenges that soils are facing in Germany, the status quo of the soil legislation and the core deficits of the current regulatory regime will be outlined. The chapter will furthermore inform about the conceptual regulatory approaches under consideration, taking also into account the ongoing deliberations at EU level on an EU Soil Law. It will also be explained how political buy-in should be achieved considering both the ecological and social services of soils and competing interests and stakes. The chapter ends with some conclusions and observations.