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Government gives answer on taxonomy: The German government rejects the EU Commission’s plans, this was the result of the first cabinet meeting held last week. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said that Germany would send its statement to Brussels in due time and would act together on the issue. „We are very united on this,“ Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck of the Greens also said. A gas infrastructure must be built, the government said. In addition to the member states, an EU expert body was also due to give its opinion by Friday, the Platform for Sustainable Finance. According to a draft, the experts called for the law to significantly tighten the criteria under which circumstances a gas or nuclear power plant can be considered sustainable. Conversely, the Czech government wrote to the Commission that the requirements were too strict. (Statement by the Federal Government), ,

Germany exceeds 2020 climate targets: Germany has clearly exceeded its climate target for 2020. This is shown in the final calculations on greenhouse gas emissions submitted by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) to the EU Commission. According to these calculations, emissions in Germany in the first pandemic year 2020 totalled 728.7 million tonnes of CO₂-equivalents, which includes all climate-damaging gases. This corresponds to a drop in emissions of 41.3 per cent compared to 1990. Compared to 2019, around 71 million tonnes less greenhouse gases were emitted, a minus of 8.9 per cent. According to the UBA, however, the decline is only temporary,

Half a percentage point of the current inflation rate

is not due to „greenflation“, i.e. the direct consequences of climate and environmental policy, has been calculated by economist Holger Schmieding. He includes the CO2 price on heating and fuel introduced at the beginning of 2021 and the consequences of the scarcer certificates in emissions trading.

Sustainability reporting: In order to meet political climate targets, the pressure on companies to operate more sustainably is increasing. However, the change does not only have to do with the products or services – it must also be disclosed in key figures. But this is a problem for half of the German companies. Even if the companies concerned already produce sustainably, they are often not in a position to show this in their accounts.

Bavaria and wind turbines – Habeck calls for changes: The expansion of wind power in Bavaria has been dragging its feet for years: In the first three quarters of 2021s, only six new turbines were approved in the southernmost federal state; moreover, in the same period, no new applications for permits for new wind turbines were submitted at all. In the Free State, the 10H distance regulation applies, which stipulates that the distance between a wind turbine and the nearest residential area must generally be at least ten times the height of the construction – i.e. two kilometres for a rotor height of 200 metres. Meanwhile, Climate Minister Robert Habeck has demanded concessions from Bavaria’s Minister-President Markus Söder (CSU) on the faltering expansion of wind energy in his state. „We also need ecological patriotism for the expansion of difficult technologies such as wind power,“ said the Green politician in Munich after a meeting with Söder. A „plan to prevent“ the expansion of wind power by one federal state was „unacceptable“. , (Habeck)

Ivory trade banned: Since last week, trade in ivory has been largely banned in the European Union (EU). A new package of measures came into force on 19 January, which further tightens the rules on the import and export of ivory and allows fewer exceptions. The import of fresh ivory from after 1990 had already been banned before, without exception. For ivory from the years before 1990, however, there were possibilities to continue trading with exemptions. Now stricter rules apply: Processed ivory may now only be traded if the object in question dates from before 1947 and has a certificate. For musical instruments, this limit is 1975. Raw ivory may only be used in exceptional cases for the repair of antique objects and otherwise may not be traded at all.

Earth is becoming increasingly uninhabitable: The rate at which new artificial substances are being released into the environment is endangering the habitability of the Earth. This is the conclusion of a working group led by Linn Persson of the Stockholm Environment Institute. The background to this is the concept of „planetary boundaries“ formulated in 2009, which, if exceeded, would make the Earth uninhabitable in the long term. One of these limits is how many new and hitherto unknown artificial compounds enter the ecosystems – these can influence ecosystems and biodiversity in various ways. According to the scientists, the number and quantity of artificial substances already exceeds the limit to which one can assess or even control the consequences of this contamination.


Aktionsbuch Verkehrswende

Field, meadow & forest instead of asphalt

The transport revolution is gaining momentum: Initiatives discuss free public transport, argue for car-free city centres and organise bicycle demonstrations with thousands of participants – sometimes in the middle of the motorway. Many new ideas are also emerging from the climate movement on how to tackle the urgent issue of climate-, environment- and people-friendly transport.

The book is a snapshot of the strategies and actions of the movement for a change in transport and gives impulses for its further development. It is also a plea for the diversity that makes the different movements so strong. Many authors from different groups of the climate justice movement and local transport turnaround initiatives have contributed to this action book.


Climate Club: Chancellor Scholz wants to use the G-7 presidency to push his plan for an international „climate club“.
Green agricultural policy: Ministers Lemke and Özdemir announce a „strategic alliance“ between the environment and agriculture ministries.
Heat Change: Municipalities rely on climate-neutral technologies.
Apple: Eco-requirements allegedly stress the supply chain.
Study results: Germany’s most climate-friendly companies.
Gas shortage in Europe: More than 35 tankers fully loaded with American LNG are currently on their way to Europe.

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.


Why right-wing populists deny the climate crisis

If agitation is to bring voters, and division is part of the strategy: this is how right-wingers torpedo climate protection, and the Corona crisis is already teaching that about them.

The vast majority of Germans are in favour of more climate protection. But if a wind turbine is built near one’s own house, approval drops. This is often the hour of the climate change deniers and populists: because the former provide arguments why the changes are not necessary anyway, and because the latter create simple enemy images in which „the others“ are only planning evil. But what will happen when the traffic light coalition actually gets started with the energy transition? The AfD is just waiting to capitalise on the opposition to energy transition and wind power. In fact, most opponents of climate protection, in Germany at least, come from the right.


Conversion to environmentally friendly cargo ships: It is no secret that almost three percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from shipping. So-called bulk carriers and oil tankers account for the largest share. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, or ETH for short, has now published a study in which it examines the suitability of these very ships for synthetic fuels. The basic idea is that their use could then lead to climate-neutral shipping.

Really climate-friendly? Car boss speaks plainly on the electric car: The head of the Stellantis car group, Carlos Tavares, has sharply criticised the EU’s electric car strategy. The political guidelines have left the manufacturers no creative freedom to come up with other ideas, Tavares explained. Electric drives are 50 per cent more expensive than combustion engines and drive up the price of new cars. This increases the risk that the middle class will no longer be able to buy cars and that the state coffers will be overburdened.

DB Cargo: The end of the diesel locomotive.
EasyJet: Plans kerosene-free flights by 2035.

Recycling electric cars could make them cheaper: Electric cars are a beacon of hope for climate protection, but the production of their batteries still requires a lot of material and energy. But that could change – with more sustainable mining conditions and a recovery cycle of old materials. However, there is still a long way to go until then. „At present, the data show a looming mismatch between the world’s increased climate protection ambitions and the availability of important minerals that are essential for their realisation,“ says International Energy Agency (IEA) Director Fatih Birol at the presentation of a report on minerals and alternative energies in general.

Flixtrain plans to invest billions in new trains: After buying the US bus line operator Greyhound, Flixmobility wants to invest in its long-distance train division. Whether it will order also depends on politics.

Housing shortage drives commuter flows – despite Corona: Latest figures from the Federal Employment Agency show increase in long-distance commuting, despite pandemic and temporary home office duty. Union demands affordable housing against „commuting madness“.


Wilhelmshaven: A Belgian investor group wants to build a terminal in Wilhelmshaven to import methane from the Middle East. This is later to be converted into hydrogen on site.

Hydrogen research: Electrolysers on the way to becoming mass-produced goods: The electrolysers needed for hydrogen production are rare and expensive because they have largely been manufactured by hand up to now. In order to be able to produce them on an industrial scale in future, a Fraunhofer research team is currently developing a fully automated electrolysis factory. Although large electrolysers that work efficiently and over long periods of time are already on the market today, their production is still largely done by hand. For the rapid ramp-up of the hydrogen economy, however, mass-produced electrolysers are needed that can be modularly adapted to their respective locations. Series-produced electrolysers are also necessary to make green hydrogen competitive. Researchers at Fraunhofer IPA are working on this.

Car test: The Toyota Mirai II has set out to make the hydrogen car more suitable for the masses. This is how the fuel cell car fares in the everyday test.

Industry: Demands more planning certainty for hydrogen. Industry in Baden-Württemberg is demanding more speed and clarity from the state government on the climate-relevant issue of hydrogen. The most important thing is that the required hydrogen is also available, said Jan Stefan Roell, spokesman of the Hydrogen Task Force in the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BWIHK), to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. „Companies need to have certainty that it will be available in a quantity when it is needed.“ The supply must be there before the demand, he said. So far, however, there are no figures.

Germany’s „hydrogen diplomacy“ meets with incomprehension in Ukraine: Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in the decarbonisation of Europe’s energy-intensive steel and chemical sector..However, to produce the necessary quantities of „green“ hydrogen, huge amounts of renewable electricity are needed. Germany has therefore been considering meeting its own needs from imports for some time. „We, as the German government, will very soon open an office for hydrogen diplomacy in Kiev,“ Baerbock said on 17 January during her visit to the Ukrainian capital. „The old [Merkel] government paid $175 million into the Green Fund for Ukraine – that’s almost nothing in this capital-intensive industry,“ said Yuri Vitrenko, CEO of the Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz, „And of the money Germany is using to help us phase out coal, half is going to German consultants.“

International certification of hydrogen: The certification of renewable hydrogen and its derivatives is a central instrument for demonstrating the renewable properties of the energy carrier and thus compliance with the requirements for H production2. Renewable hydrogen thus becomes distinguishable from its chemically identical fossil equivalent. Certification is a prerequisite for trading renewable hydrogen and its derivatives as well as the emergence of a global H-market2. However, a globally uniform certification system does not yet exist. The new analysis paper by the German Energy Agency (dena) and the World Energy Council – Germany (WEC) examines the extent to which a global certification system for renewable hydrogen could be realised.



In Poland and Hungary it is the usual mix. There, populist governments are in power that like to point the finger at Brussels and say: You are to blame for the high energy prices! Moreover, the current governments in Poland and Hungary are generally sceptical about climate protection measures. This makes me particularly angry that German Greens and German Social Democrats are now in the same boat as Viktor Orbán and Mr Kaczynski and even use some of the same arguments.

Peter Liese, the rapporteur of the European Parliament (CDU/EPP), said that we have to keep the competitiveness of the economy in mind when it comes to climate protection. If we set ever higher targets for the car industry, if we do it too quickly and not properly, people could lose their jobs. Some environmental organisations would overlook that. If we overtighten the screw, this could lead to social unrest. In addition, the existing emissions trading system includes the electricity sector. But if we are even stricter on electricity, consumers will also be affected. The price of electricity is directly linked to the ETS price. This would be a problem for the socially disadvantaged in poorer countries such as Bulgaria and Romania. There is no magic formula for climate protection without anyone noticing. We can only achieve environmental goals through a mix of instruments. And anyone who gives the impression that we can only be strict where it affects industry is fooling the people.


First e-bus from Africa: The Swedish-Kenyan vehicle manufacturer Opibus has presented the first electric bus developed in Africa. It will be available for the pan-African market by the end of 2023, implemented by local manufacturing partners. The key to this technology is the electric vehicle platform developed by Opibus, which is modular and can serve as the basis for different types of vehicles. The new model is expected to be significantly cheaper than importing electric buses. Opibus expects the total cost of ownership to drop by around 50 per cent compared to its diesel counterpart due to the significantly lower maintenance costs compared to a comparable combustion engine and the relatively low expenditure on electricity.

Congo: The dark side of the transport turnaround. Congo has the largest cobalt reserves in the world. The metal is essential for the batteries of e-cars – only the country is going empty-handed in its extraction.

Sky islands and evolution: Sky islands are the name given to the forested peaks of the highest mountains in East Africa. Animals that are well adapted to these habitats high above the real and cloud sea level are accordingly well isolated from conspecifics on other sky islands. According to the theory postulated by Charles Darwin and further developed by the German evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr, ideal conditions should prevail here for the formation of new characteristics and the emergence of new species. But this is only partly true. This was recently discovered by a team led by bird song expert Raurie Bowie from the University of California at Berkeley. The researchers studied nectar birds living in these isolated habitats and came to the conclusion that the animals are very tradition-conscious. It is true that they have evolved genetically so differently over millions of years that they are counted as different species. But the songs of the males are almost identical in many cases.

Namibia: Hydrogen from the former diamond stronghold: A gigantic wind and solar park is being built in Namibia. Some of the hydrogen produced there is to benefit Germany. Then the attribute „green“ that Europe wants to give to natural gas power plants would be at least partially justified.

Africa as a continent: With an area of just over 30 million square kilometres, Africa is the third largest continent on earth. Africa is home to 1.3 billion people, almost 20% of the world’s population. The continent is a land of 1000 riches and is home to no less than 54 countries and countless cultural features. Desert plains with unknown tree species, lush forests with fruit trees and hot sand dunes, – it is not for nothing that they say Africa has a thousand faces.

Fast fashion mountains of rubbish: hundreds of tonnes of second-hand clothes end up in Ghana alone every day. But much of it ends up in the rubbish. The cheap goods have long since become a danger to nature and people.

AU Inter-Ministerial Meeting on UN Security Council Reform: The ninth inter-ministerial meeting of the Committee of Ten Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), known as the C-10, took place in Uganda’s capital Kampala from 19 to 20 January. The task of the body, which was established in the wake of the African Common Position (Ezulwini Consensus) adopted by the AU in 2005, is to formulate a common position of African states on the reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Chaired by Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister David John Francis and opened by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, the meeting of the foreign ministers of the C-10, which also includes Equatorial Guinea, Algeria, Kenya, Libya, Namibia, the Republic of Congo, Zambia and Senegal, served to take stock of the achievements and developments so far in the ongoing intergovernmental reform negotiations at the UN General Assembly.

Mali: Berlin outraged by Bamako. Mali’s military government is messing with Europe and the UN. Now it refused to allow the Bundeswehr to fly over its territory.

Zambia: Even free schools cost money. After primary schools, Zambia’s new president Hichilema is also making secondary schools free. So why are they still closed?

How Facebook conquered the internet in Africa – and changed everything: Western users log off, but across the continent the social media company is indispensable when it comes to running a business or procuring vaccines. How did it become inescapable? Across Africa, Facebook is the internet. Businesses and consumers depend on it heavily because access to the app and website is free on many African telecom networks, meaning you don’t need phone credit to use it. In 2015, Facebook introduced Free Basics, an internet service that gives users credit-free access to the platform. Designed for low-cost mobile phones, which make up the vast majority of devices on the continent, it offers a limited format with no audio, photo or video content. Over the past five years, Free Basics has been launched in 32 African countries. Facebook’s ambition does not end there. In places where there are no telecom providers to partner with, or where infrastructure is poor, the company has developed satellites that can transmit internet access to remote areas. But that plan was set back in 2016 when a rocket operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX exploded, destroying an AMOS-6 satellite on board that Facebook had planned to launch in partnership with French satellite operator Eutelsat and rent internet connectivity through it. More on


Corals in the Red Sea defy climate change: The corals in the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea can withstand higher temperature increases than their counterparts elsewhere. Could they help to stop the mass coral deaths around the world? Most corals already bleach out at temperature rises of one to two degrees above their normal range. In their experiments, the researchers have been able to show that even temperatures up to six degrees Celsius above this do not harm the corals of Aqaba.  „We studied about 20 different coral species. They all showed a high tolerance to thermal stress,“ Fine said. „Despite rising temperatures, the corals did not bleach out.“

Tipping points defined: whether heat, droughts, heavy rain, crop failures, tropical storms, social conflicts, all consequences of global warming.  The more emissions humans cause, the more strongly the consequences will be felt. If temperatures continue to rise, climate change will reach particularly critical moments at some point. We are talking about tipping points. Experts sometimes also speak of tipping elements. The dangerous thing is that once certain critical thresholds have been reached, a series of chain events follows that bring the climate and ecosystem into a different state even more quickly. The change is thus accelerated even further. And: Once tipping points have been passed, there is no going back to the original state.

Species extinction is comparable to the extinction of the dinosaurs: when the dinosaurs disappeared from the Earth’s surface 65 million years ago; it was the last great species extinction. Scientists warn that we are now in the early stages of a comparable catastrophe. Unlike all the others, however, this sixth mass extinction is human-caused: climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and industrial agriculture are driving it. In a mass extinction, at least three quarters of all species do not survive within about three million years. At our current rate, we are well on our way to achieving this species loss within a few centuries. In the next few decades alone, at least one million species are threatened with extinction. This is already according to an estimate in a UN report published in 2019.

Notebooks: Manufacturers rely on recycled materials or packaging that is easy to dispose of. The issue is also important for buyers.
More effective wind turbines: Movement even in mild breezes.
Tonga: Nasa researchers, volcanic eruption off Tonga with explosive power of ten megatons of TNT.


 Jakarta, the current capital of Indonesia, is sinking into the sea. Now a new capital is to be built.

Indonesia – new capital in the jungle: As Indonesia’s capital Jakarta threatens to sink into the sea, the new capital Nusantara is being built on the island of Borneo. Parliament approved the government’s plan. Costs: 28 billion euros. The capital of Indonesia is to be moved from Jakarta on Java to the island of Borneo. The government’s plans have been known since 2019. Now parliament has cleared the way for the construction of the new capital. A law to this effect was passed by the MPs with a large majority. Three years ago, President Joko Widodo had announced his intention to abandon the metropolis of Jakarta on the island of Java, which is slowly sinking into the sea, as the capital. The cost of the move to the rainforest-covered province of East Kalimantan: 32 billion dollars – the equivalent of 28 billion euros.

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