Farmers in Germany will have to start reducing the use of the active substance glyphosate and stop using it completely from 2024 to preserve clean insect habitats, according to draft legislation approved by the country’s cabinet.

“The exit from glyphosate is coming. Conservationists have been working for it for a long time. Glyphosate kills everything green and eliminates the basis of insect life,” explained Sevnja Schulze, environment minister.

Farmers have criticized the bill, claiming that it jeopardizes the livelihoods of family farms and that bans would be less effective in promoting biodiversity than cooperation between farmers and conservationists.

Under the draft German legislation, the use of herbicides and insecticides that may harm bees will be banned in certain areas. In addition, new installations of certain types of lights will be banned to reduce light pollution.

The head of the German farmers’ association, Joachim Rukwied, explained that the proposed legislation was the wrong way to achieve greater environmental protection, adding: “A partnership between agriculture and conservation, with joint targets, measures and incentives, would be more promising.

The law must be approved by both the lower house of the Bundestag and the upper house of the Bundesrat, which represents the interests of Germany’s 16 regional governments. This process usually takes several months.