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Bundesnetzagentur warns of power cuts due to e-cars and heat pumps: Bundesnetzagentur head Klaus Müller sees new dangers for the energy supply: Private charging stations and pumps could overload local grids. Grid operators are to forcibly and centrally coordinate the throttling of power supply to the systems. However, a minimum supply is to be maintained. According to the report, the plans for electricity rationing are to come into force on 1 January 2024. Even with electricity rationing, private charging stations would be able to draw enough power to charge the battery of an e-car within three hours for a range of 50 kilometres. In addition, according to the report, „almost trouble-free continued operation“ should remain possible for a large number of heat pumps. zeit.de , br.de
Eviction of Lützerath: In Lützerath, the conflict over the settlement consisting of a few abandoned houses at the open-cast lignite mine in North Rhine-Westphalia is coming to a head. According to police reports, demonstrators and police officers have been injured in the clashes outside Lützerath. The activists speak of „numerous seriously injured“ demonstrators, the police say they know nothing about it. The police used water cannons, batons and pepper spray against some demonstrators. Climate activists accused the forces of police brutality. Most people protested peacefully near Lützerath on Saturday before. But on the fringes of the demonstration there were riots and attacks on officials. The police used water cannons. Meanwhile, on Saturday, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg called for further protests and resistance at the demonstration for the preservation of the village of Lützerath, which is affected by coal mining. „As long as coal is in the ground, this fight is not over,“ she said in a speech at the end of the rally on Saturday. „We have no intention of giving up,“ she shouted to the demo participants. According to the organisers, about 35,000 people had come to the Rhenish lignite mining area despite bad weather. On the fringes of the demonstration, there were clashes with the police. Several activists also entered the opencast mine. evangelisch.de, sueddeutsche.de, twitter, rnd.de (Liveticker)
126 million tonnes of CO2 from coal-fired power generation in 2020
126 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were caused by the generation of electricity from coal in 2020, according to the Federal Environment Agency. By comparison, emissions from road freight transport amounted to 45.9 million tonnes in the same period. That’s a lot, but it was also significantly more before, as a look at electricity generation in Germany in 2012 and 2022 makes clear. heise.de
Climate change and the environment the greatest threats to humanity in the medium term: war and destruction in Ukraine, this was not yet in the last report of the World Economic Forum. High costs of living and geopolitical tensions will keep the world busy for a long time, predicts the World Economic Forum. Added to this are the risks of climate change. „Decades of progress“ are at risk. In its new Global Risk Report 2023, which was presented in London on Wednesday, the WEF paints a gloomy panorama of risks and dangers. The report, published shortly before the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, is based on responses from 1200 experts, scientists, politicians and risk managers. In the next two years, they say, the cost-of-living crisis will dominate, followed by natural disasters and extreme weather events and geo-economic confrontations. At the bottom of the top ten risks, they see major migration movements. In the medium term, however, climate change and environmental hazards are clearly at the top. faz.net
A push for containerisation: Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) are advocating that criminal investigations for containerisation be dropped more frequently in the future. However, there is no joint draft law; this is to be delegated to the federal states. According to the bill, the public prosecutors‘ offices are to drop such criminal proceedings on grounds of insignificance if they did not involve damage to property or major trespass and the consumption of the food also posed „no health risks“. However, it would be much easier to decriminalise containerising at the federal level. This need not pass unanimously: The Bundestag could amend the penal code with the majority of the traffic light coalition taz.de
Per capita CO2 budget: As a measure against global warming, climate researcher Schellnhuber proposes limiting the amount of CO2 per capita and enabling private emissions trading. Minister Habeck rejects this. In order to prevent the worst consequences of the climate crisis, many countries – including Germany – have committed themselves to stopping global warming at well below two degrees. To achieve this goal, only a limited amount of the greenhouse gas CO2 may be released into the atmosphere worldwide in the coming decades. tagesschau.de
An oil boss is to head the Dubai World Climate Conference: The United Arab Emirates has appointed the head of the Abu Dhabi oil company, of all people, as president of the next UN Climate Change Conference COP 28 in Dubai. For environmental organisations, this is an affront. Environmental organisations are also bothered by the fact that the next COP conference is to take place in Dubai, of all places. The desert city is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Even though Dubai hardly exports any oil of its own, life in the Gulf metropolis would hardly be possible without energy-guzzling life-support systems such as seawater desalination and air conditioning. nzz.ch
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Exit-Strategie – Klimawährung ECO
Achieving the climate target with personal emissions budgets
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we currently face as a society. But the policy measures taken so far are not enough. Emissions are increasing from year to year and have never been as high as they are today. Therefore, a reliable and equitable approach is needed to adequately address global warming and the limits of our planet – on the same scale as the problem itself.
The NGO SaveClimate.Earth shows: The introduction of a new climate currency ECO (Earth Carbon Obligation) would put a separate emissions price tag on all products and services, giving our consumption a realistic and transparent climate price. Together with tradable personal emissions budgets as a basic ecological income for all, the ECO brings about the necessary transformation pressure on industry and its manufacturing processes.
Changing consumer behaviour will lead to the emergence of more climate-friendly consumption alternatives. In this way, we can address both the climate crisis and the problem of social inequality comprehensively and transnationally within the remaining time.
This innovative approach means that each of us becomes a decisive part of the solution – and the achievement of the climate goal is thus within reach. oekom.de
Rare earths in Sweden: The Swedish state-owned mining company LKAB says it has discovered the largest deposit of rare earths in Europe. tagesschau.de
2022: World oceans warmer than ever before. n-tv.de
Offshore transformer station in the North Sea: German shipyards go empty-handed. welt.de
Aluminium for wind power: The material should make it easier to recycle. golem.de
CO2 market: In future bigger than the oil market. wiwo.de
Uniper: Greenpeace report – Energy company must be brought more onto a climate course. greenpeace.de
The seventeeen goals magazine tells inspiring stories about how people move the world and shows how everyone can make a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
PODCAST OF THE WEEK:
The fatal balance sheet of the Minister of Transport
Transport Minister Wissing could do a lot for climate protection. But CO₂ emissions in his sector are significantly higher than legally permitted. Does the FDP politician even want to meet the climate targets for transport? So far, there is no long-term plan; instead, the FDP is pushing for a new calculation method. An expert report even accuses Wissing of violating the law. What is behind this? And what has to change to turn transport from a climate polluter into a beacon of hope? Katrin Dziekan, transport expert at the Federal Environment Agency, knows of many measures that can bring about a turnaround – including one that the FDP does not like at all. In the climate report podcast from spiegel.de
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
Good choice! „Climate Terrorists“ is Unword of the Year
by Werner Eckert
„Anyone who sticks himself to the street or throws mashed potatoes at art is not a terrorist,“ says Werner Eckert and welcomes the choice of the Unword of the Year 2022: climate terrorists. People who stand up for the climate would thus be excessively criminalised.Anyone who sticks himself on the street or throws mashed potatoes at paintings is not a terrorist. Not even the people who break laws in Lützerath are terrorists. Even if I don’t share their methods and some of their statements: it’s all so far from terrorism. That’s why it’s right that „climate terrorists“ is branded as a bad word. The jury that does this rightly says: Unwords arise in usage. And this term is used very often – not even in the well-known, classical media, but very much in the comments of the social media, at the regulars‘ tables of the present time. The aim is clear: to criminalise people who stand up for climate protection and to cast doubt on their cause. According to the motto: this can’t be right if it has to do with terror. swr.de
Used electric cars are still the exception: Electric cars are still the exception on the used car market. Last year, pure battery-powered electric cars accounted for only slightly more than 1.2 percent of car ownership registrations, according to data from the Federal Motor Transport Authority. In terms of new registrations, their share was many times higher at 17.7 per cent. freiepresse.de
Where mobility markets itself: While many mobility providers still rely on diesel buses, others have already converted their fleets to alternative drives. The city of Hürth, for example, relies almost entirely on hydrogen buses – and thus plays a model role. Marketing thus virtually makes itself. absatzwirtschaft.de
Car summit at the Chancellor’s Office: Christian Lindner had imagined it so well: The car industry was to confirm the FDP’s thesis that synthetic fuels are indispensable for climate protection. Things turned out differently. tagesspiegel.de
Nikola: „Drivers are happy because they are rid of the old, chugging diesels“, interview with CEO Michael Lohscheller. wiwo.de
Millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases from private jets: The number of private jet flights in Germany has risen to a record level. This also meant that more climate-damaging greenhouse gases were emitted – especially by many short-haul flights. tagesschau.de
Growing e-mobility in India: India is on its way to becoming the third largest car market in the world. But if Indians meet their pent-up demand with internal combustion vehicles, there is literally thick air in Delhi. That is why the government is formulating ambitious targets for electrification. automobil-produktion.de
BMW CEO makes appeal for hydrogen: BMW CEO Oliver Zipse reiterated his position on hydrogen as an energy carrier for the automotive industry at the DLD digital conference. The CEO of the premium manufacturer made an appeal for the use of the technology. automobilwoche.de
Climate damage due to leaking hydrogen pipelines – Federal government sees need for research: Climate neutrality cannot be achieved without hydrogen, but the technology also harbours dangers. The companies, however, see themselves prepared. The debate about leaks is not new for the gas grid operators. It was only at the end of December last year that EU member states agreed on regulation to limit methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. The companies will be obliged to regularly check their plants for methane leaks and to repair them. Previously, environmental groups had built up considerable pressure, warning of the climate risks posed by uncontrolled methane emissions. handelsblatt.com
Europe ahead of Japan in first place for hydrogen patents: Every tenth patent application for hydrogen comes from Germany. Munich and the Ruhr area are the regions where the development of the innovative energy technology is being driven forward. faz.net
India wants to become a hydrogen superpower: Asia’s third largest economy wants to become greener and less dependent on energy imports. At the same time, India wants to supply the world with green hydrogen. As early as 2030, India wants to cover „at least one tenth of the world’s demand for green hydrogen“, said a government spokesperson. The Indian cabinet has now released 2.25 billion euros for hydrogen projects. faz.net
Urgently coordinate gas phase-out through heat transition: Gas use in heat supply is falling drastically. High time to adapt the regulation of the grid and make it future-proof, writes Veit Bürger of the Öko-Institut in his position paper. The German government should, for example, change connection obligations for distribution grid operators, but also depreciation periods and decommissioning costs. tagesspiegel.de
Hydrogen prices fall over the turn of the year: Due to mild temperatures, the very high average wind feed-in at the end of the year and lower gas prices, the daily and weekly contracts on the electricity market fell sharply. As a result, green hydrogen was again significantly cheaper to produce than in the week before Christmas. The Hydex „Green“ reduced by more than half and was quoted at an average of 167 euros/MWh (5.57 euros/kg). energate-messenger.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
The expansion of renewables is progressing too slowly: the share of electricity generated from renewable energies in gross electricity consumption is to be increased from 65 percent (EEG 2021) to 80 percent in 2030. To this end, the Renewable Energy Sources Act contains technology-specific expansion paths as well as annual interim targets for electricity generation from renewable energies by 2030. However, as the Federal Government’s monitoring report (20/5139) on the expansion of renewable energies in the electricity sector in 2022 shows, the current pace of expansion is „far from sufficient to move towards the target path of the Renewable Energy Sources Act 2023“. more on bundestag.de
Possible radicalisation of climate protection groups: The Federal Government’s answer (20/5056) to a minor question by the AfD parliamentary group (20/4794) deals with the possible radicalisation of climate protection groups or the exertion of influence by extremists on such groups. According to the answer, the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) regularly and continuously observes and analyses the events in connection with the climate protest movement from a threat perspective within the framework of its legal responsibility. The BKA is in contact with the police forces of the federal states and other security authorities, the federal government continues. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) has no knowledge of radicalisation tendencies or processes of individual groups in the climate protest movement, nor does it have any knowledge that „the intention is to radicalise themselves to commit violent crimes“.
Coming to terms with colonial heritage and foreign cultural policy: Coming to terms with colonial heritage was one of the focal points of foreign cultural and educational policy in 2021. This is stated in the „25th Report of the Federal Government on Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy“ (AKBP), which is available as information (20/5140). The year 2021 was dominated by the discussion on the return of the „Benin bronzes“, which also triggered a socio-political debate in German society on post-colonial influences. Other focal points of the AKBP included scientific exchange within the framework of science diplomacy and support for cultural and media workers, journalists, researchers, teachers and students, who – as in Belarus in 2021 – were coming under increasing pressure. more at bundestag.de
Government report on the Carbon Dioxide Storage Act: The federal government’s evaluation report on the Carbon Dioxide Storage Act (KSpG) concludes that the current legal framework stands in the way of the concrete application of CCS (underground storage of CO2) and also CCU (capture, transport and subsequent use of CO2) in practice. The 216-page briefing by the federal government (20/5145) shows that the approval of CO2 pipelines for the purpose of CCU is not legally possible. At the same time, the climate neutrality studies analysed in the report see these technologies in various gradations as part of a strategy to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality for Germany by 2045, as stipulated in the Climate Protection Act. Recommendations for possible measures that could eliminate fundamental uncertainties in the existing legal situation would be subject to in-depth examination. Only in the Carbon Management Strategy (CMS) should it be determined how CCU/S could be embedded in a portfolio of measures to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality in Germany.
Protected areas promoted to the tune of EUR 2.12 billion: KfW Development Bank and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) had financed 209 measures to promote protected areas as of the reporting date of 31 December 2021. The total volume amounted to budget funds of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in the amount of 2,196.3 million euros, as the Federal Government reported in its answer (20/5044) to a minor question by the parliamentary group Die Linke (20/4595). All measures would have a more or less strong, but always explicit promotion of protected areas as their goal. Since its establishment on 8 December 2020, the Federal Government has supported the World Heritage Fund (Legacy Landscape Fund, LLF) with budgetary funds amounting to 182.5 million euros. According to the BMZ, Germany, France, private foundations, companies and international nature conservation organisations participate in the LLF. It is also supported by the EU Commission, the Unesco World Heritage Center and the World Conservation Union IUCN. The LLF’s board of trustees has so far approved funding for seven protected areas: These include Madidi National Park in Bolivia, Gunung Leuser National Park in Indonesia, Odzala Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo, North Luangwa National Park in Zambia, Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, Central Cardamom Mountains National Park in Cambodia and Iona National Park in Angola. According to the response, the amount is one million US dollars per protected area. In the case of the seven areas mentioned, the funding will run for 15 years and will be financed two-thirds from LLF funds and one-third from private and philanthropic donors. more on bundestag.de
Twenty-year-olds today are considering whether they want to have children at all. I know this debate from my youth, it disappeared for 30 years, now it’s back. Understandably, the climate crisis is a reality.
Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for the Economy and Climate, said that it was now a matter of making the difference in the next few years so that the country would be climate-neutral by 2045. The young people we are talking about here may have just started a family. They will have to live with the consequences of the past. It is their future freedom that we have to take care of today. To do everything in our power to transform our energy system. That is my job. But socially, there is something else at stake: people must be allowed to believe that the whole country is responding to their concerns and needs. And the last year has shown us that this is possible. That one could go a step further, even if it hurt a little. That one was not only jogging, but also ready to run a marathon, and take the pain. If we as a society had managed to defy the gas crisis, then we could also manage to contain the climate crisis. Hopefully, this experience will somewhat strengthen confidence in democratic participation and engagement. spiegel.de
Baerbock and Colonna on Ethiopia trip: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and her French counterpart Catherine Colonna arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Thursday for a two-day visit. The trip focused on the progress of the peace process in the East African country. To this end, the European Foreign Ministers met with President Sahle-Work Zewde and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday, stressing the importance of accountability and reconciliation in building sustainable peace. They welcomed the implementation of the peace agreement reached last November between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and offered the support of Germany, France and the European Union (EU) on Ethiopia’s path to democracy, peace and sustainable development. In addition, talks are planned with representatives of the African Union (AU), civil society and human rights organisations. In view of the food insecurity caused by the war in Ukraine and the ongoing droughts in East Africa, the ministers also visited a distribution centre of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in the Oromia region. zeit.de
Morocco: A Moroccan research team has developed the first African screening tests for breast cancer and leukaemia. By producing and evaluating such tests in-house, costs can be reduced and results can be available within a few hours, according to the Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research (MASciR). Until now, the test kits had to be imported for almost double the price and samples had to be sent to France. Breast cancer can now also be detected at an earlier stage with the locally produced diagnostic kits, increasing the chances of survival for those affected. MASciR is working with the African Medicines Agency (AMA) to offer the diagnostic kits throughout the African continent. They are to go into mass production in just a few months and in the medium term reduce the high dependence on imported medical products. theguardian.com
Hauliers protest Kenya’s import ban on old trucks: Nairobi has imposed an import ban on trucks up to 30 tonnes that are more than three years old, ostensibly to comply with the Transport Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s global sulphur strategy to reduce emissions by 2030. As of this month, only tractors and articulated trucks that are not more than three years old from the year of first registration may be imported into the country, but only until 30 June 2023, after which no used tractors and articulated trucks may be imported. This, however, puts Kenya in the predicament that the other East African Community partner states are still importing vehicles older than eight years, despite their efforts to reduce emissions. theeastafrican.ke.co
It takes three million years to restore the mammal species on Madagascar: Unlike many other islands, Madagascar’s fauna is still relatively intact – more than two hundred species of mammals live there, including such unique species as the ferret cat and the katta (a species of lemur with a curly tail). But what is at stake if environmental changes caused by humans continue as before? A team of biologists and palaeontologists from Europe, Madagascar and the USA sought answers to this question. Using a computer simulation model, the team found that it would take about three million years to restore the number of mammal species that have been lost since humans arrived on Madagascar. However, if the currently threatened species became extinct, it would take much longer: No less than 23 million years of evolution would be needed to restore the same number of species. derstandard.at
Pope criticises Africa exploitation: The Pope is travelling to Africa at the end of January. Before his departure, he criticises the exploitation of the continent and its inhabitants. „The idea that Africa exists to be exploited is the greatest injustice there is, but it is anchored in the collective subconscious of many people and must be changed.“ Africa is „pristine“, Francis expresses his impressions of the continent and its people. Beyond the coveted mineral resources, Africa’s treasure consists of a „spiritual wealth“, the Pope draws attention to the people and their cultural and spiritual production. And he points by way of example to the „impressive clarity“ and „intuitive intelligence“ that he has noticed in young African students. Education and the „intellectual progress of Africans“ are „a serious matter“, he continues, stressing the importance of this field for the progress of African societies. vaticannews.va
Hope for the ozone hole: The hole in the ozone layer that is driving global warming could shrink completely. Experts expect a complete regeneration of the ozone layer by 2066, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and government agencies in the USA and the EU. If nothing changes in current climate policy, the researchers expect that the ozone layer over the Arctic will have recovered by 2045 – and about 20 years later over the Antarctic, which is particularly hard hit. For the rest of the world, recovery is already expected by 2040. The 1987 Montréal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer banned chlorofluorocarbons. However, researchers warned of possible negative effects of so-called geoengineering. zeit.de
Dams lose massive capacity worldwide: A UN study estimates that dams could lose around a quarter of their storage capacity by 2050 due to the input of sediments. With around 50,000 facilities considered, the estimated loss amounts to 1.65 trillion cubic metres, which is roughly equivalent to the annual water consumption of India, China, Indonesia, France and Canada combined. The scale of the losses is worrying, especially as the world is already facing a number of other water supply problems. „The decline […] will challenge many aspects of economies, including irrigation, power generation and water supply,“ says Duminda Perera of the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health. sueddeutsche.de
Recycling of plastics must improve: While glass and paper achieve high recycling rates, more than half of the plastic waste in Germany is incinerated. For the transition to a circular economy, as the EU and the federal government are striving for, the recycling of plastics must therefore improve. A legally defined minimum quota is being discussed that specifies what proportion of certain plastic waste must be recycled. This would oblige waste companies to recycle more – so far only plastic packaging is subject to such a quota. A legally binding switch from single-use to reusable packaging could also be a step towards a circular economy. deutschlandfunk.de
The new gold: lithium. spiegel.de
Exxon: Knew very early about global warming from burning fossil fuels. fair-economics.de
Plastic alternative made from grain residues: Two women from Hamburg have developed a plastic substitute that really rots. capital.de
Peatlands are disappearing: According to the Moor Atlas, moors cover three per cent of the world’s land area – but bind twice as much carbon as the biomass of all forests combined. welt.de
Winter sports: In the climate crisis. dlf.de
Climate change has now become a reality in people’s lives. Noticeably rising temperatures, changes in precipitation, increasing heat waves and heavy rainfall events now make it clear even to „ordinary citizens“ that there is a need for action. Even if it doesn’t look like it at the moment, there is hope. This lies in the policies and the regulations implementing them in the EU and its member states, including Germany. The interweaving of international, European and national regulations will be discussed in the lecture.
A lecture by Prof. Dr. iur. Eike Albrecht, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU), Chair of Public Law, in particular Environmental and Planning Law (with specialisation in Civil Law), Vice Dean Faculty 5 Economy, Law and Society.
In the winter semester 2022/23, the public online lecture series „Knowledge for Society“ at TU Berlin will focus on „The Earth’s Climate System in Transition“ and will be examined by scientists from different perspectives. The lecture series is aimed at the general public and seeks critical dialogue, especially with citizens of the Berlin-Brandenburg region, in order to promote social participation in new scientific findings.
Organiser: TU Berlin Venue: Online via Zoom Start: 17.01.2023 17:30 hrs End: 17.01.2023 7:00 pm Internet: Further information
International Green Week – Talk Round: „Gamechanger Climate Change? Challenges and solutions in agriculture“.
© Messe Berlin GmbH
The International Green Week
The International Green Week Berlin is one of the most traditional trade fairs in Germany and one of the best-known events in Germany. Founded in 1926 in Berlin in the Golden Twenties, it is unique as the leading international trade fair for food, agriculture and horticulture. Exhibitors from all over the world present a comprehensive range of products on ten days of the event. In addition, the IGW gives a stage to current social issues such as climate protection, circular economy, resource conservation and sustainable land use. The 87th edition of the Green Week will take place from 20 to 29 January 2023.
Gamechanger Climate Change? Challenges and solutions in agriculture.
Agriculture is clearly affected by climate change, rising temperatures and reduced precipitation. Even though agriculture is a contributor, it is a much bigger part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gases. Where will agriculture go in the future under the changed conditions for humans, animals and plants? The
panel discussion is organised by Forum Moderne Landwirtschaft e. V..
Time: 12:45 – 13:15 hrs
Location: Messe Berlin; Studio ErlebnisBauernhof (Hall 3.2)
More information: https://www.gruenewoche.de
US indigenous people: Apache Software Foundation should change its name: The Apache Foundation has been around since 1999, and some projects of the same name have been around much longer. The name is a disrespectful appropriation and should be changed. The US organisation „Natives in Tech“ has called on the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) to live up to its own claim and change its name. This was stated by two representatives of the organisation in a detailed blog entry. The explanation of a co-founder for the choice of name is nothing more than an outdated romanticisation in the style of spaghetti westerns. What is at stake here is a community that continues to exist and is alive, and to whose invisibility the Foundation contributes with its name and associated statements. That is why they are being urged to change it, writes the organisation, which among other things wants to promote open source technology for indigenous communities. heise.de
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