Last dash: German lawmakers pass climate, crime bills

BERLIN — German lawmakers approved bills setting tougher targets for tackling climate change, new rules on second trials for serious crimes and measures to undo injustices resulting from the Nazi era during a marathon meeting of parliament that ended in the early hours of Friday.

With the Bundestag going into summer recess, lawmakers dashed to pass bills on numerous hot-button issues ahead of national elections in September.

They approved the government’s proposal for Germany to set a tougher target of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045 — five years earlier than planned. The new climate law, spurred by a recent court ruling, also sets interim targets to reduce emissions of planet-warming gases by 65% compared with 1990 by 2030, and 88% by 2040.

Restrictions on the use of pesticides, including glyphosate — the active ingredient in weed killer Roundup — were agreed, to better protect insects.

Parliament passed bills banning display of symbols on the European Union’s terrorism list — such as the flag used by the Palestinian group Hamas. Distributing so-called enemy lists and instructions for child abuse were also banned.

Lawmakers agreed tighter rules against stalking, forced prostitution and the operating of online platforms used for criminal purposes, such as the sale of drugs or weapons.

One of the most hotly debated bills concerned restrictions against double jeopardy. In future it will be easier to bring someone to trial a second time in cases of murder, crimes against humanity, war crimes against persons or genocide, if further evidence comes to light.

New laws will facilitate the return of art looted by the Nazis and make it easier for people to get German citizenship if they or their ancestors fled Germany between 1933 and 1945 due to persecution.

Lawmakers approved consumer protection measures regulating rent increases and requiring manufacturers to provide regular security updates for digital devices.

The Bundestag also extended Germany’s military missions in Kosovo and off the coast of Libya

The 17-hour debate was 18 minutes longer than the previous record session in 2019, German news agency dpa reported.