Why hasn’t it been abolished yet?

Why hasn’t the time change been abolished yet?

A person holds up an alarm clock.

The time change should be abolished. That’s what 84 percent of Europeans think in 2018 participated in an online survey had. Although this survey is not representative, it reflects the voices of 4.6 million people.

But almost five years later, the time has come again. We put the clock forward an hour and drag ourselves to work with mini-jetlag by Monday at the latest. Why does it still have to be? Answers to questions about the abolition of the time change.

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Will the time change be abolished: yes or no?

The basic answer to this question is yes. The EU Commission has proposed in September 2018 to end the switch from winter to summer time (and vice versa). The EU Parliament has supported this proposal since March 2019.

Why hasn’t the time change been abolished yet?

So far, not all EU member states have agreed on whether they want to abolish the time change or not. According to the EU proposal, once they have decided to do so, each country can decide for itself whether it has summer or winter time forever from now on.

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“It is desirable that the member states take the decisions on the standard time that each of them will apply in a coordinated manner”, writes the EU and warns of a “fragmentation of the internal market” that could otherwise be caused. If every country decides for itself whether winter or summer time should apply there from now on, in the worst case a patchwork of different time zones will result. This makes travel difficult, planning transport and could have a negative impact on the economy.

When will the time change be abolished?

There is no deadline yet, as the EU member states have not yet agreed. They were originally supposed to announce their decision by April 2020. The plan was to abolish the time change in 2021.

time zones

time zones

What is the meaning behind the time change?

Daylight saving time was not introduced in the Federal Republic of Germany until 1980, after France had decided to change the time four years earlier for energy policy reasons in the wake of the oil crisis. The idea behind it was to use less energy through more daylight in summer. Many EU member states followed suit for economic reasons.

The time change in the FRG was also decided because of the division into West and East: After the GDR introduced summer and winter time in 1979, people wanted to avoid different times in the already divided country.

Since 1996, the time within the EU has been changed uniformly in all member states – on the last Sunday in March and October by one hour forward or back.

Does the time change actually help to save energy?

Probably not or very little. “It is not possible to put an exact figure on how much energy is actually saved by switching to summer time, because: The conversion leads to lower consumption in one area and higher consumption in another,” writes the Federal Environment Agency.

In the summer it is light longer and people only have to switch on the lamps later. On the other hand, light sources are also more energy-efficient today than they were in the 1980s. So the savings are likely to be small. And: If the clock is put forward an hour, people have to get up earlier. Since it is often cool in the mornings in spring and autumn, the consumption of heating energy increases as a result of summertime.

“There are also effects elsewhere. The longer daylight in the evening can lead to a change in leisure time behavior,” interjects the Federal Environment Agency. An example: when it is light longer, some people drive to the lake after work instead of curling up on the couch with a book.

What was the original time, summer or winter?

Between 1950 and 1980 there was no time change in Germany. What is colloquially called winter time today was simply standard time back then. This is the so-called normal Central European Time (CET) – also known as standard time. In fact, winter time is the normal or “correct” time in Germany.

In which countries does the time change no longer exist?

People in Iceland, China, Russia and Turkey no longer have to change their clocks – which applies to most of the more than 190 countries worldwide. “Internationally, about 60 countries observe daylight saving time, mainly in North America and Oceania,” the EU said.

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Also in parts of the USA – for example in the states of Hawaii and Arizona – the clock is not changed. The same applies to the Australian states of Queensland and Western Australia. A complete list of time zones and DST rules for all countries Is there … here.

Time change or clock change: Which designation is actually correct?

Strictly speaking, ‘time change’ is not the right term for what EU citizens do once every spring and autumn. After all, they don’t change the time. The minutes, hours and days are ticking by like they always do. If you want to be completely correct, you speak of the “clock change”.

However, the term “time change” is far more common. In March 2022, 1.22 million people searched for it on Google – and only 60,500 for the word “clock change”. The Duden is also familiar with the “time change”.. He defines the term as “the change from summer to winter time or from winter to summer time”. The word “clock change”, on the other hand, is not part of the standard work.

Collaboration: Patrick Fam and Ben Kendal

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