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Business is putting pressure on climate protection: more than 50 renowned companies are appealing to the German government and the opposition to make a more determined commitment to a climate-neutral economy. In an open letter, the companies, including Ikea, Telekom, ThyssenKrupp and others, express their frustration at political inertia and demand concrete measures. They emphasise the need for a rapid and effective transformation of the economy in order to curb the rise in global temperatures and secure Germany’s economic future. The signatories propose setting up a „transformation commission“ and implementing six specific measures, including competitive energy prices, adapting the debt brake and reducing bureaucracy. These demands were initiated by the Climate Economy Foundation, which campaigns for compliance with climate targets. , ,

Activists throw soup at Mona Lisa: In Paris, two French activists have attempted to damage the Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre, which is under armoured glass, with soup. Videos on social media show the women throwing soup cans at the artwork and then positioning themselves in front of it. The activists demanded the right to „healthy and sustainable food“. The T-shirt of one of the women read „Riposte alimentaire“, which can be translated as „food counter-attack“. An activist group with the same name later claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement sent to the AFP news agency, they emphasised that the soup throwing was the „prelude to a campaign of civil disobedience with a clear demand for social security for sustainable food“.

Almost 400,000 people employed in the renewable energies sector

Employment in the energy transition sector is increasing significantly, rising by almost 15 per cent from 2021 to 2022 alone. This is according to a report published by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWK) in January 2024, which states that the number of people employed in this sector grew by 50,400 within one year, making 2022 the year with the highest employment level since 2012 and the largest annual increase since 2006. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Robert Habeck (Greens) said: „The energy transition is thus making a decisive contribution to Germany’s prosperity and competitiveness.“ The expansion of renewable energies not only secures a climate-friendly energy supply in Germany, but also jobs, said the Minister. At the end of 2022, there were around 46 million people in employment in Germany.


Less wind energy from the North Sea due to overloaded grids on land: Wind power plants in the North Sea could supply significantly more electricity. However, turbines often have to be shut down due to overloaded grids. Last year, offshore wind turbines in the North Sea produced less electricity than in the previous year due to grid overloads on land. According to a statement from grid operator Tennet, a total of 19.24 terawatt hours (TWh) of wind energy was transmitted to the mainland, which is around nine per cent less than in 2022. This amount of energy could theoretically cover the annual electricity needs of around six million households. The German energy industry expects additional costs in the billions in the coming years to stabilise the electricity grid. Delays in grid expansion and the lack of expansion of renewable energies in the energy-needy south of Germany are among the main reasons for this development. These circumstances will also require extensive management of grid bottlenecks in the future.

The US stops LNG exports: The United States, the leading exporter of liquefied natural gas, is temporarily suspending the approval process for additional export facilities. According to a statement from the White House on Friday morning, President Joe Biden has decided to put these projects on hold in order to examine their impact on climate change more closely. Much of the US liquefied natural gas is exported to Europe, with imports from the US now more than double what they were in 2021. Germany is one of the main importing countries.

More refugees due to natural disasters than conflicts: More people worldwide are forced to leave their homes due to natural disasters than conflicts. In 2022, floods, droughts and other disasters caused 32.6 million people worldwide to become internally displaced persons. This is the largest increase ever.

Help for the German solar industry: Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) spoke out clearly in favour of maintaining a German solar industry on Tuesday last week, signalling Berlin’s willingness to help the struggling manufacturer Meyer Burger. „At least some of the manufacturing expertise should be kept in Germany,“ Habeck made clear in Berlin. „That would be a reason for me to intervene in the market.“


Gift und Wahrheit

How corporations and politicians abuse their power to silence environmental activists

1,372 fruit growers, two fruit companies, the farmers‘ association and the provincial government in South Tyrol file criminal charges against the author and filmmaker Alexander Schiebel for criticising the use of pesticides in the region. The ensuing trial is regarded as Germany’s best-known SLAPP trial – SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation: court cases with which the powerful from politics and business around the world try to silence activists.

In a thriller-like story, Schiebel tells of the perfidious methods used by a powerful agricultural lobby to maintain its devastating model of „agriculture against nature“. The unequal battle, which became known as the „South Tyrolean pesticide trial“, is a blueprint that shows how the little David can succeed in defeating the big Goliath.
It is an encouraging book – and a stirring appeal not to give in in the fight against environmental destruction. Because there is nothing else at stake but the future of our planet.

Climate and Transformation Fund: The Ministry of Economic Affairs has lifted the spending freeze for several KTF funding
Heatwaves: Researchers declare war on the invisible killer.
EnBW boss Schell: „New nuclear power plants are not the solution for the energy supply“.
Energiewende: Habeck hopes for quick agreement on new gas-fired power plants. ,
Climate activists: Friedrich Merz’s appearance at the Green Week disrupted.
EU Environment Committee: The use of genetic engineering in agriculture is to be simplified.
Monsanto: Sentenced again to pay billions in damages.

The seventeen goals magazine tells inspiring stories about how people move the world and shows how everyone can make a contribution to achieving the sustainability goals.


Why is methane so dangerous for the climate?

After carbon dioxide, methane is the biggest climate problem. Das Treibhausgas verschwindet zwar viel schneller wieder aus der Atmosphäre als CO2 , weshalb es auf lange Sicht eine weitaus geringere Rolle bei der Erderhitzung spielt. In the short term, however, it is much more harmful to the climate. Around 45 per cent of the global warming of 1.11 degrees Celsius since the beginning of the industrial age is due to methane. The greenhouse gas is produced wherever biomass rots in the absence of air. This happens both through natural processes and through human activities. Methan entweicht aus Sümpfen, Feuchtgebieten und tauenden Permafrostböden. Noch stärker fallen aber die Landwirtschaft, die Nutzung fossiler Brennstoffe und Mülldeponien ins Gewicht, rund 60 Prozent der Emissionen gehen Schätzungen zufolge auf den Menschen zurück. There is great potential for savings here. However, although there are now clear efforts to reduce methane emissions, the concentration of methane in the earth’s atmosphere continues to rise, and emissions have even been increasing at an ever faster rate in recent years.


We need new approaches in climate policy

by Michael Kerler

The 1.5-degree target is receding ever further into the distance. It is time to look at how CO2 can be stored, utilised or removed from the atmosphere.

… The absolute focus in climate protection – also in Germany – will have to remain on phasing out coal, gas and oil in the coming years. Dies ist die Priorität, keine Frage. The climate can hardly be stabilised without phasing out fossil fuels. At the same time, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that the future will not just be about avoiding emissions, but also about removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Dies ist auf technischem Wege möglich. However, the processes are still expensive and are still in their infancy. However, it can also be achieved through natural processes. One example of such sinks is the use of wood as a building material. A building stands for decades and binds the carbon stored in the wood. These new ways of protecting the climate via negative emissions are becoming more important. The effort to remove CO2 from the atmosphere must be worthwhile for companies. There are ideas from experts on how this can be ensured, for example through a central climate bank. It is time to take a closer look at these ideas, the more climate change progresses.


Intelligent small car concepts and their failure: from the two-seater Smart (1998) to the three-litre Lupo from VW and the Audi A2 (both 1999) to the BMW i3 (2013), the trail leads from flop to flop.

Blockierte Gehwege und Grünflächen: Umwelthilfe demands higher parking fees for „monster SUVs“. Drivers of large and heavy cars should have to pay more for parking in German cities, according to the environmental organisation Umwelthilfe. There are already role models for this.

Dudenhöffer: traffic lights provoke renaissance of combustion engines. The end of the environmental bonus, a ruinous price war for e-cars, a miserable charging infrastructure – car expert Dudenhöffer sees the mobility turnaround receding into the distance. Petrol cars are once again an option for the industry. A reckoning with the policies of the traffic light government.

Emissions are not falling: The EU has not managed to reduce emissions from cars with combustion engines in the last ten years, despite imposing stricter emissions regulations on car manufacturers. This is according to a report by the European Court of Auditors.

Making the new mobility robust: A study from Baden-Württemberg is investigating how the vulnerability of digital mobility systems can be reduced. To ensure that the mobility system of the future can be used reliably, „we need to discuss potential disruptions to vehicles and infrastructure today and identify solutions,“ said Franz Loogen, Managing Director of the state agency e-mobil BW.


New study: Trains and inland waterway vessels can make an important contribution to domestic hydrogen transport. The Fraunhofer IEG has analysed transport options for imported hydrogen and its derivatives in Germany. Hydrogen consumers far from the planned core network could be supplied primarily by train, according to the researchers. In all variants, domestic transport only accounts for a small proportion of the total costs of the energy sources.

Discovery enables low-cost production of green hydrogen: A research team led by Professor Jungki Ryu from the UNIST School of Energy and Chemical Engineering and Professor Dong-Hwa Seo from the KAIST Department of Materials Science and Engineering has developed a revolutionary technology. This technique enables the production of green hydrogen in a way that is both more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly, paving the way to a carbon-neutral society by replacing expensive precious metal catalysts. The team has successfully developed a bifunctional water electrolysis catalyst for the efficient and stable production of high-purity green hydrogen. This new catalyst, consisting of ruthenium, silicon and tungsten (RuSiW), is characterised by its extraordinary resistance even in highly corrosive acidic conditions. Compared to traditional catalysts made of platinum (Pt) or iridium (Ir), it is more cost-effective and emits significantly fewer greenhouse gases, making it a more environmentally friendly option.

Eon hydrogen boss: „We are moving too slowly“: Gabriël Clemens, head of Eon’s hydrogen division, believes that Germany is at risk if green hydrogen comes too late for the industry. In an interview with RND, he calls for politicians to finally tackle the gigantic switch to the most important energy source of the future.

Thyssenkrupp fears for hydrogen supply: Thyssenkrupp will be one of the largest consumers of hydrogen in Europe. However, the Group may initially have to make do with less hydrogen than planned.

A380: Giant Airbus to test hydrogen propulsion as early as next year.


More recycling incentives through reform of the Packaging Act: In its current form, the German government believes that Section 21 of the Packaging Act has already sent an important signal to manufacturers of packaging subject to system participation in favour of ecological packaging design. Building on this, it is now necessary to further develop the current regulation, writes the Federal Government in its answer (20/10040) to a minor question (20/9701) from the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. The reason for this is that competition between the dual systems is currently hindering the implementation of an ecological organisation of participation fees. The federal government is currently working on the basis for the legal anchoring of a fund model with the aim of presenting a bill in this legislative period. A public-law structure is not being pursued. The legal options and scope for revising Article 21 of the Packaging Act also depend in particular on the ongoing negotiations at EU level on the proposal for a regulation on packaging and packaging waste.

Animal husbandry labelling to be expanded: The German government is planning the mandatory labelling of further animal and product types as well as the inclusion of further marketing channels in this legislative period. This is stated in its answer (20/10047) to a minor question (20/9659) from the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. Mandatory animal husbandry labelling for fresh pork has been adopted by the state and has been in force since August 2023. The Animal Husbandry Labelling Act already provides for an extension to other animal species. For example, a national regulation to extend the labelling of the origin of unprocessed fresh, chilled or frozen pork, sheep, goat and poultry meat to non-pre-packaged goods has been launched and should apply from February 2024.

Proposals for the further development of the Advisory Council on Sustainable Development: The Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development (PBnE) intends to continue its work as an advisory council in the future. In order to emphasise the future change in its working methods, it should be renamed the „Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development and Future Issues“, according to a briefing on the „Further development of the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development“ (20/10100). In it, the members of the Advisory Council are in favour of adapting the Bundestag’s rules of procedure. The parliamentary groups agree „that the PBnE in its form as an advisory board forms an important interface between parliament and society“, it says. This interface must be expanded in the future. It should therefore be examined „whether and how the Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag can be adapted so that they take into account the special features of the Advisory Board’s work in future“. In particular, the PBnE should be set up directly at the beginning of each legislative period – ideally in parallel with the committees.



Development policy is a very important instrument for helping to shape international agendas. Germany is an internationally important country and if you want to shape things, also in your own interests, development cooperation is essential.

Stephan Klingebiel, Head of the „Inter- and Transnational Cooperation“ research programme at the German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS). …geopolitical issues, such as the situation in Ukraine or competition on the African continent, in which China and Russia are very active, are important. International competition plays a role here and development cooperation is used in this context. The situation is similar with climate change, whereby there is great interest in ensuring that energy production in countries such as South Africa and India is as sustainable as possible. The experience of the coronavirus pandemic had highlighted the dangers of such crises. It is important that functioning healthcare systems exist in West African countries, for example, in order to prevent the global spread of diseases such as Ebola. In this context, development cooperation is of central importance.



Morocco as the EU’s „gatekeeper“ with its own interests: Morocco is taking its role as a „gatekeeper“ for irregular migration to Europe ever more seriously, according to its own account. According to a statement by the Moroccan armed forces, around 87,000 migrants were stopped in 2023 – a sharp increase compared to the 56,000 people prevented from travelling onwards between January and August 2022. Most migrants were stopped near the west coast of Morocco, according to the army. From there, it is only around one hundred kilometres to the Canary Islands, which belong to Spain.

Chinese loans for Kenya: In the debt trap. Kenya has become heavily indebted with expensive loans from China – partly because Beijing is not demanding democratic reforms.

Competition for raw materials in Africa: the value creation promise. Zambia and the Congo are important producers of raw materials. The countries hope to soon be able to process the materials in their own countries.

Tree felling in Ghana: The EU wants to prevent the clearing of forests worthy of protection with a regulation on supply chains. But it’s not really working. Majestic trees tower up into the clear blue sky. A motorised three-wheeler, occupied by a driver and three passengers, crosses the forest away from the main roads. Two of them sit on the railings of the van, while the third stands in the centre of the loading area, a chainsaw beside him. Deep in the thicket, the driver stops next to a mighty fallen tree. One of the men proudly recounts his success in felling the tree, without mentioning that this act is illegal. In Ghana, economic difficulties mean that many people are dependent on felling protected trees as a source of income. New EU regulations mean that a licence is now required to cut down these trees for a fee.

East Africa is hot on geothermal energy: so far, Kenya in particular has generated electricity from geothermal energy. But the technology is also becoming increasingly popular elsewhere. At the same time, the conditions are becoming increasingly favourable.


How dependent is Germany on foreign raw materials for the energy transition? Last year, Germany produced more green electricity than ever before. According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, wind energy was the primary source of energy in 2023, closely followed by solar power, biomass and hydropower. Together, these renewable energies generated 59.6 per cent of all electricity, a historic high and a sign of the success of government policy. However, the question arises as to the raw material requirements for green electricity: what materials are needed, where do they come from and is there a risk of depletion of these resources? In Lower Saxony in particular, the leading federal state in terms of wind energy, steel, aluminium and rare earths are among the materials required to manufacture wind turbines. A major problem here is that Germany imports 89 per cent of its rare earths from China, which leads to a strong dependency in the areas of energy and foreign policy.

The fisherman, the sea and the climate: Josep Pascual, a topographer and the son of a fisherman, has dedicated himself to his passion on the north-east coast of Spain for over 50 years: depending on the weather, he sets course for the sea twice a week to record the water temperatures. His records show a significant warming of the Mediterranean over the last five decades: Josep has noticed that the surface temperature of the sea has risen by one degree. In addition to the temperature, he also documents the salinity of the water. His data is not only important for local fishermen, but also for international scientists, including experts from the US space agency NASA.

Are vegetables from the city less sustainable than those from the countryside? „The concept of ‚urban agriculture‘ aims to revolutionise the supply of food to city dwellers. According to current estimates, 20 to 30 per cent of the urban population is already involved in some form of urban agriculture. However, a look at the carbon footprint casts a less favourable light on this practice, especially considering the results of a recent study. According to an international team of researchers led by Jason Hawes and Benjamin Goldstein from the University of Michigan, urban gardens use on average six times more CO2 than conventional agriculture to produce the same amount of crops. This calculation includes factors such as resources for fences, beds, irrigation systems, fertilisers and pesticides.“

Antarctica: New satellite images reveal previously unknown colonies of emperor penguins.
Global warming: Heat stress turns alpine ibexes into nocturnal animals.
I love rubbish: Two Indian women have founded a „rubbish bank“ in Virudhunagar. Their concept encourages people to separate their rubbish.


18th meeting of the Subcommittee on Global Health

Time: Monday, 29 January 2024, 1 p.m. to 2.45 p.m.
Place: Berlin, Reichstag building, conference room 3 S037

It will be possible to follow the public part of the meeting of the Subcommittee on Global Health on 29 January 2024 from 13:00 via livestream. This can be found at and on the website of the Subcommittee on Global Health.

Participation in presence is not planned.

Climate protection

Consultation on the expansion of energy storage systems

Time: Monday, 29 January 2024, 2 p.m.
Place: Berlin, Paul Löbe House, conference room 4.900

The expansion of energy storage systems will be discussed by the Committee on Climate Protection and Energy on Monday, 29 January 2024. The basis for the public hearing is a motion by the CDU/CSU parliamentary group calling for a faster expansion of energy storage systems (20/8525).

The meeting will be broadcast live on

Civic engagement

Expert discussion on the topic of „Education and democracy“

Time: Wednesday, 31 January 2024, 4.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Place: Berlin, Paul Löbe House, conference room 4.800

22nd meeting of the „Civic Engagement“ subcommittee on „Education and Democracy“ on 31 January 2024

Catch-up date from 13 December 2023!


Use of ChatGPT and co. difficult to prove in final theses

From an expert’s point of view, the use of AI text generators such as ChatGPT in theses remains difficult to prove for the time being. Experts believe that the undeclared use of AI text generators such as ChatGPT in theses, for example, remains difficult to prove for the time being. „The hope that there will be a simple software solution for unmasking AI texts will not be realised,“ said Berlin plagiarism researcher Debora Weber-Wulff from the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin to the German Press Agency. „There is a lot of alleged detector software, but it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to.“

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