Change the clocks but don't change daylight saving time

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Daylight saving time is here to stay in Luxembourg, for now at least, despite suggestions that changing the clocks increases pollution and can be harmful to health.

The system, which makes use of the daylight in the evenings by setting clocks forward an hour in the summer and back again in autumn, was introduced throughout Europe during the 1970s, following the petrol crisis.

Responding to a parliamentary question asking whether the practice should be dropped, Economy Minister Etienne Schneider followed the line of the European Commission. He cited the governing body which wrote in a statement to the European Parliament in 2007 that daylight saving time allowed people to practice leisure activities in the evening and to save energy.

“The Commission believes that daylight saving as it is remains appropriate. No member state has indicated a desire to abandon this practice or to modify the directive relating to it," he quoted.

The question was raised by DP deputy Carlo Wagner, who explained that daylight saving time was introduced to make people more aware about saving energy, following the 1974 petrol crisis.

He referred to a number of studies which suggest that the amount of energy saved by this practice is insignificant while the volume of photo-oxidant pollutants known for their harmful effects is increasing.

Furthermore, “the negative effects on health and on the pace of life, especially for elderly people and animals, have been observed so much so that today some argue for the abolition of daylight saving time,” he wrote.

According to the daylight saving calendar, the next change occurs overnight on March 30/31, 2013, when clocks in Luxembourg should be put forward by one hour.