Not all protected areas must be protected from wind power: For the goal of reserving two percent of Germany’s land for wind power, the Federal Government’s Environmental Council is willing to compromise on nature conservation. On Friday, the advisory body submitted its opinion on wind power to the Minister of the Environment. When it comes to nature and species protection, the Environmental Council is surprisingly willing to compromise. „We think that not all protected areas designated in Germany require strict protection from wind energy,“ says Köck. In the case of weaker protection categories such as landscape protection areas, the Environmental Council is certainly open to seeing whether wind turbines can be realised. klimareporter.de , Original-Dokument
Nuclear energy and gas climate-friendly: Through a so-called delegated act, the European Commission has now decided on a „climate label“ for nuclear energy and natural gas. Both types of energy will be included in the taxonomy regulation, which is intended to stimulate billions of euros of investment in „green“ energies. The EU Commissioner responsible, Mairead McGuinness, said this offered „a real solution“ to the EU’s goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050. According to the Commission, this requires an annual investment of 350 billion euros. The taxonomy is intended to provide an incentive for private investors. Critics complain that with nuclear and gas, the taxonomy loses credibility and could end up not being accepted by investors on the capital market. Now the Council and Parliament still have their say. dw.com , ec.europa.eu , heise.de
500 billion euros
that is the sum of the economic damage in Europe caused by storms, floods and other weather- and climate-related extreme events over the past four decades. Between 1980 and 2020, total damages in the 27 EU countries plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Turkey amounted to 450 to 520 billion euros (calculated in 2020 prices), according to a new analysis by the EU’s Environment Agency (EEA). An estimated three percent of all extreme weather events were responsible for a good 60 percent of all economic losses. Only a quarter to a third of the losses were insured. tagesspiegel.de
Solar cap prevents expansion of the energy turnaround: An old mistake from the black-yellow coalition is slowing down the energy transition: Investments in solar energy are being slowed down. The most important and potential investors are municipal utilities and citizens‘ energy cooperatives, but they are excluded from the market. Responsible for this was the former Federal Minister of Economics Philipp Rösler (FDP), whose ministry invented the „solar cap“, with which in future the state was to determine that no more than 2,500 megawatts of solar capacity per year should ever be newly installed. In addition, Philipp Rösler introduced „the tender“ and thus „the market premium“: Whoever wants to build a wind farm, for example, must calculate in advance at what price they can produce electricity and „bid“ for it. This excludes municipal utilities and citizens‘ energy cooperatives, explains Volker Quaschning, Professor of Renewable Energy Systems at HTW Berlin. freitag.de
Wave of lawsuits against energy discounters: Teldafax, Flexstrom and Care-Energy – energy suppliers that have filed for insolvency. In the meantime, however, companies have gone into insolvency that had not previously shown any signs of economic woes. This has happened with Stromio, Gas.de and Grünwelt in recent weeks. Now a wave of lawsuits is obviously rolling towards them. If one tries to interpret the companies‘ outlandish behaviour, there are two options. Either the companies had not purchased sufficient quantities of the electricity or natural gas they had promised their customers at an agreed price on the market – and were now overrun by the rise in prices on the energy exchanges. Or they had indeed procured the energy for their customers in good time, but in view of the increased prices in the wholesale market, they preferred to sell these quantities at a profit rather than fulfil their delivery obligations. taz.de
Medical waste mountains grow in the pandemic: The corona pandemic has created a huge mountain of medical waste, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has now warned.Many tens of thousands of tonnes of additional waste have accumulated in the meantime. As a result, the disposal systems in the health sector are severely strained. The additional waste „threatens human health and the environment“, warned the WHO and called for strategies for proper disposal. The WHO has only evaluated a small part of the medical products used, namely material procured and delivered by the United Nations for poorer countries between March 2020 and November 2021. Among other things, this includes around 87,000 tonnes of protective medical clothing. In addition, according to the WHO, more than 140 million coronary test kits were delivered. In all likelihood, most of these ended up as plastic waste. spiegel.de
EU prevents meaningful statistics on pesticides: Pesticides are partly responsible for the extinction of more and more plant and animal species. The EU Commission now wants the use of pesticides and the associated risks to be reduced by 50 percent by 2030 compared to the average of the years from 2015 to 2017. Environmentalists criticise the Council of EU States for wanting to prevent meaningful statistics on pesticide use. Without the data, it is not possible to measure whether the European Union is achieving the Commission’s target of halving the amount of pesticides used by 2030, explained the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe and the Austrian organisation Global 2000. In the negotiations with the EU Parliament and the Commission, which begin today, the Council is trying to water down a planned regulation on pesticide statistics. taz.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Autocorrection – Mobility for a world worth living in
A plea for an inclusive and climate-friendly transport turnaround – With verve, know-how and creativity, mobility expert Katja Diehl whets the appetite for a society that works together to build an attractive and climate-friendly future for all. A future that offers more quality of life in cities and in the countryside and takes modern forms of work into account. „Everyone:r should have the right to be able to live a life without owning a car. „Autokorrektur“ wants to be the kick-off of a society that builds an attractive mobility future together – today. In Katja Diehl’s vision of the future, people can drive a car if they want to. But they no longer have to – because there are attractive alternatives. At the moment, not everything in our country is set up in a fair and climate-friendly, inclusive and affordable way. The needs of many people are not adequately taken into account. We can change that, mobility expert Katja Diehl is convinced, and is heralding the transport turnaround. Mobility expert Katja Diehl points the way to a just and fair mobility of the future that puts people at the centre and makes our world worth living in. fischerverlage.de
Geothermal energy: Geothermal energy as an energy source. deutschlandfunk.de
Ecuador: After heavy rainfall, a pipeline belonging to the energy company OCP leaked in a landslide at the end of last week. heute.de
Colipi: Researchers produce a palm oil substitute without destroying the rainforest. utopia.de
Energy suppliers: Different speeds in implementing the energy turnaround. wiwo.de
Need for improvement: The EU Court of Auditors has analysed the extent to which energy taxes, CO2 pricing and energy subsidies are in line with the EU’s climate goals. energiezukunft.de
Federal Constitutional Court: Rejects eleven lawsuits by climate activists. spiegel.de
Green Party Federal Chairwoman: Demonstrators have recently blocked roads in Berlin and other cities. The new federal chairwoman of the Greens thinks this is okay as long as they remain peaceful. faz.net
The seventeeen goals Magazin 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:
Climate killer apple pie?
The apple is the Germans‘ favourite fruit. To meet demand, large quantities of apples are imported and pesticides are used in production. This harms the environment. Orchard meadows want to do something about this and make apple growing more climate-friendly again.
In the past ten years, 80 percent of Germany’s orchard meadows have disappeared. This is despite the fact that meadow orchards are among the most species-rich biotopes in Central Europe. Not only insects such as bees, beetles, butterflies and the like, but also numerous birds and some reptiles and amphibians feel at home in orchards. A meadow orchard provides a habitat and food for up to 5,000 different animal and plant species. The advance of modern plantations, which promise higher yields and thus more profit, ensures that these habitats are now severely threatened. spektrum.de
The matter of the toll: Whether a road toll makes mobility more expensive for people or not depends on what politicians do with the revenue. If they relieve the burden on motorists, especially the socially disadvantaged, to the extent that they generate revenue from the toll, mobility will not become more expensive. The social costs of mobility are merely distributed more fairly among those who cause them. In this way, the toll releases forces for a traffic turnaround without increasing the overall burden on road users. Nevertheless, the toll is often hastily perceived as a new burden, while at the same time its positive effects are systematically and significantly underestimated. faz.net
Digital networking in mobility: Digitalisation is a key driver of change in the transport sector. For example, it enables easy access to sharing services, such as for cars, bicycles, electric scooters or e-scooters, via an app. It provides the technical possibilities for integrating different modes of transport on multi- and intermodal mobility platforms. It creates the conditions for automated and networked forms of mobility, such as the use of autonomous shuttles as part of public transport. bmvi.de
New registrations in Germany: In January, for the first time since June, more new cars were registered than in the same month last year. zeit.de
Can autonomous buses revolutionise rural mobility? Self-driving minibuses are already in use on many test routes. In the future, they could also offer a flexible alternative to cars in rural areas when ordered via an app. derstandard.at
Deutsche Bahn: Focus on biofuels and battery power. Biofuels from residual and waste materials, plus hydrogen and battery drives: Deutsche Bahn is transforming its vehicle fleet. golem.de
Deutsche Bahn and local transport: There is no lack of ideas. Between aspiration and reality. Deutsche Bahn wants and needs to become more attractive. With modular trains, technical features and forward-looking investments, it could do just that. The first ideas for DB 2.0 are already being implemented. rnd.de
„The compulsion to drive is deeply rooted in us“: It is impossible to imagine life without the car – from the point of view of author and activist Katja Diehl, this is a huge problem. She thinks: The privileges of the car must be abolished. And she also has ideas on how to do it. spiegel.de
German hydrogen diplomacy: German hydrogen diplomacy is not only causing frowns in Kiev at the moment – it also seems to be inherently contradictory. For while Baerbock emphasised in Russia „deeper cooperation on the subject of energy, especially with a view to sustainability“, Vice-Chancellor Habeck spoke at the same time of an international danger situation that even surpasses the intensity of the Cold War era. The German approach has to do with Moscow, Riyadh, Luanda, Abuja and soon Kiev. For all these cities are home to German hydrogen diplomacy offices, according to the German Foreign Office. These offices, run by the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), have two stated goals. Germany has „a high interest in seeing more production capacities for green hydrogen emerge abroad to meet our future import needs,“ according to Baerbock’s ministry. On the other hand, the aim is „to ensure that current exporters of fossil fuels adapt their business model at an early stage in order to mitigate economic distortions – and thus also potential security risks“. euractiv.de
13,300 kilometres of hydrogen pipelines: The hydrogen grid will be able to transport at least the first quantities of hydrogen across the country by 2030 and will then be relatively close-meshed by 2050. In the future, hydrogen grids will bring the converted renewable electricity from the North Sea to the South. The more that can be used regionally, the fewer grids will be needed.
Linde and ITM Power to build hydrogen plant in Norway: Linde, the world market leader in industrial gases, is to build a 24-megawatt green hydrogen plant for the Norwegian chemical company Yara in the latter’s home country. The plant will make an important contribution to the decarbonisation of the ammonia industry. Ammonia is needed for the production of fertilisers, for example. ecoreporter.de
Hydrogen – More and more car manufacturers are opting for the alternative: hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles are still a viable option for future transport. But even with this energy carrier, the parameters of energy density and price have to fit. The analysts of the consultancy Berylls have a clear opinion as to which is the most suitable version. Many experts are therefore betting on hydrogen as the energy carrier of the future for truck transport. The high energy density and comparatively fast refuelling speak in favour of the chemical element. However, hydrogen storage is not entirely trivial. „Should the hydrogen dispensed by the filling stations be gaseous or liquid? Standards have to be defined and technologies further developed, and parallel investments in both scenarios have to be avoided. The decision depends on the requirements of the users, the truck technology, the development of the infrastructure and the procurement of the hydrogen,“ explains Berylls expert Steffen Stumpp. stern.de
Port of Hamburg to cooperate on hydrogen: The US industrial gas giant Air Products wants to explore the establishment of a complete value chain for hydrogen in the Port of Hamburg. The company and the port authority HPA reached an agreement to this effect, according to a statement on Friday. „Air Products and the HPA share the goal of accelerating the expansion of hydrogen production, supply chains and consumption in northern Germany and the Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg,“ it said. According to the statement, the company and the port authority primarily want to increase the demand for hydrogen in general and thus drive forward the climate-neutral conversion of heavy-duty transport and industry. zeit.de
Hydrogen start-up: The start-up Cryomotive is developing hydrogen refuelling technology for high density and capacity. The aim is to have these ready for small-scale production by 2025. One development goal is to store cryogenic cryogas hydrogen. One of the company’s founders already led a preliminary stage of development at BMW: the car manufacturer had successfully tested the „cryogenic storage“ of cryogenic hydrogen (CcH2 ) for use in passenger cars. However, the developers at Cryomotive see a field of application for the gas above all in commercial vehicles. automobil-industrie.vogel.de
Airbus: Considering building hydrogen engines. The company is increasingly thinking about hydrogen engines and wants to bring a passenger aircraft with them to market by 2035. golem.de
Record number of hydrogen filling stations – But the number is still a joke: 142 new hydrogen filling stations were put into operation worldwide last year. But even though this figure marks a new record, the availability of hydrogen compared to electricity charging stations is still very poor. There are now a total of 685 hydrogen filling stations in 33 countries. In Germany there are around 100 hydrogen filling stations. efahrer.chip.de
Green hydrogen at the push of a button: Researchers from Ulm have decoupled the sunlight-driven production of hydrogen from the course of the day. Their single-molecule catalyst can produce solar hydrogen even on dark winter days. The new system even makes it possible to store light energy: this means that the production of green hydrogen can start on demand. Possible future applications range from climate-friendly electricity and heat generation to solar-powered hydrogen filling stations. fair-economics.de
Hydrogen hype triggers demand for rare metals: Within the commodities asset class, exotics such as iridium and scandium are hot commodities.nzz.ch
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
Fallow deer population influenced by hunting: The number of fallow deer killed in hunting remained almost the same from 2010/2011 to 2020/2021. This is reported by the Federal Government in an answer (20/532) to a small question (20/452) of the AfD parliamentary group. The MPs had asked the government, among other things, whether it was known how high the total population of fallow deer was and what quantities were hunted down each year.
According to the report, the number of fallow deer hunted in the past ten years was between 62,000 and 68,000. The trend over this period can be described as almost constant or slightly increasing. With the exception of Brandenburg and Lower Saxony, this assessment applies to all federal states. Assuming a sex ratio of 1:1.2 and an increase of 80 per cent in the number of female game, the minimum population would be around 150,000 animals. No data was available on fallow deer killed by wolves, as such figures were not centrally recorded.
The Federal Government is also not planning any amendments to the Federal Hunting Act or other measures that would affect the design of the shooting schedule or the type of hunting of fallow deer, mouflon or chamois. The implementation of the shooting plan according to § 21 BJagdG is the task of the competent authorities of the Länder.
Wasting taxpayers‘ money and torpedoing self-defined goals have nothing to do with pragmatism. Nuclear power plants are incompatible with renewable energies because they always have to run and can only be regulated up and down very slowly and only by a few percent. If you want to build a new nuclear power plant now, it will be connected to the grid in ten years at the earliest and the electricity will be many times more expensive than energy from wind and solar power, for example. The risks and the unresolved nuclear waste issue cannot simply be wiped away by an EU regulation.
Gunter Greiner, Head of Investments & Portfolio Management at the Mainz-based investment platform WIWIN, neither nuclear power plants nor gas-fired power plants are sustainable. However, the decision of the EU Commission classifies them as such. This would lead to EU subsidies, cheaper loans and ultimately also money from green funds flowing into nuclear and fossil energy. The capital then does not end up where it is really needed. manager-magazin.de
Border reopened: In a surprise move, the border between Rwanda and Uganda was reopened last Monday. After a three-year closure, Rwanda now arranged for the reopening of the land border at Gatuna (also known as Katuna) so that trade as well as travel between the two East African countries can resume. The border was closed in February 2019 after Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame accused Uganda of supporting armed rebel groups in Rwanda and kidnapping, torturing and killing Rwandan citizens. africa-live.de
Egypt: Police violence, torture, arbitrary imprisonment and other repressive measures, a virtually synchronised press and a civil society critical of the regime that is under existential threat: The increasingly paranoid regime under Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi continues to mercilessly crack down on any form of opposition and is even being held responsible for systematic human rights violations – and this without any serious criticism from Brussels, Paris or Berlin. taz.de
Burkina Faso: Junta in Burkina Faso pledges return to constitutional order,. Previously, the African Union and the West African Economic Community Ecowas had suspended the country’s membership following the military coup. derstandard.at
Guinea-Bissau: Government apparently averts coup attempt. There was reportedly an exchange of gunfire at the presidential palace in Guinea-Bissau that lasted several hours. President Umaro Sissoco Embaló says he survived an assassination attempt. zeit.de
Kenya: Water shortage in a Nairobi slum leads to extortion – and sex crimes.mg.co.za
Congo: Fierce fighting in eastern Congo: marauding rebels. Eastern Congo’s once powerful rebel army no longer has a country of asylum. It is embroiling Congo’s army in heavy fighting. taz.de
Madagascar: Cyclone „Batsirai“ reached the east coast of Madagascar with wind speeds of up to 235 km/h. Houses, power lines and even a cemetery were destroyed. Houses, power lines and even a cemetery were destroyed. Because there is no clean drinking water, there is now a threat of disease. tagesschau.de
Mali: To go or to stay? In Mali, the future of France’s largest foreign mission is at stake. Relations with the former colony are at rock bottom. Now France is considering withdrawing its troops – and is looking for a way to continue the fight against jihadists in the Sahel. nzz.ch
South Africa: The Gupta family has hijacked Transnet by systematically taking over the board and top management of the state-owned company while weakening internal controls and oversight structures to illegally funnel billions of rands to their companies. This is according to the second part of the State Capture Commission report released this week. mg.co.za
South Sudan: Square metre by square metre, employees of a British organisation are searching South Sudan for the mines left behind by the war for independence. This is about much more than preventing accidents. faz.net
West Africa: Nine days after the coup d’état in Burkina Faso, it almost looked as if there would be another government overthrow in Guinea-Bissau. Although the all-clear has been given in the meantime, the development shows how unstable the situation is in numerous countries in West Africa. On the one hand, these countries are vulnerable to global developments such as burgeoning terrorism. In Mali and Burkina Faso, attacks have contributed significantly to military coups. It has long been clear to the servicemen and women that they are fighting a hopeless battle, as they are neither suitably trained nor adequately equipped for the fight against terrorism. taz.de
Social media and African politicians: there is no doubt that social media is changing the political landscape in Africa, as more and more politicians are using it a to mobilise and grow their constituencies. For most voters, easy access to social media is very useful in holding political leaders accountable and pushing a political agenda. Ghana’s #FixtheCountry campaign and South Africa’s #ZumaMustFall movement are just a few of the many successful protests launched through social media. Because of these advantages, it has become necessary for political leaders to increase their social media following so that they can reach as large a group of people as possible. africanews.com –
The Kalahari – temperature rise of up to 2.2 degrees Celsius predicted: The Kalahari is hotter and drier than many places on earth. Animals and plants have to adapt to rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall in order to survive, including many endangered species. Over the past 50 years, temperatures in parts of southern Africa have risen twice as fast as the global average, according to the South African Meteorological Service. Researchers predict that the average temperature in the Kalahari will rise by 2.2 degrees Celsius when the global increase is 1.5 degrees Celsius. This means that the Kalahari grants climate researchers an extraordinary window into the future from which the rest of the world can draw important conclusions. enorm-magazin.de
Concepts for the salvage and remediation of ammunition finds in the Baltic and North Seas: There are still 1.6 million tonnes of ammunition from the First and Second World Wars lying on the bottom of the German North and Baltic Seas. How dangerous are these contaminated sites for the marine environment and people? How can they be safely recovered and disposed of? The research network CONcepts for conventional MArine Munition Remediation in the German North and Baltic Sea (CONMAR, Konzepte zur Sanierung konventioneller Munitionsaltlasten in Nord- und Ostsee), which has now been launched as part of the research mission „Schutz und nachhaltige Nutzung mariner Räume“ (Protection and Sustainable Use of Marine Areas) of the German Alliance for Marine Research (DAM), provides new knowledge about the dormant risk, strategies and approaches for action. fair-economics.de
What are different types of sustainability? Sustainability is the mega-trend of the 20s – more and more people are trying to reconcile environmental protection and consumption. The spectrum ranges from people who believe that correct waste separation can also save the world to radical critics of consumption. The outdoor advertiser Ströer has identified seven different types of sustainability in a qualitative study – and of course also asked what they think of advertising. n total, Ströer was able to identify seven different types of sustainability through group discussions and an online survey: Missionaries, Aestheticians, Recyclers, Minimalists, Builders, Epicureans and Sustainability Buyers. A total of 33 million people in Germany can be assigned to these groups. horizont.net
Ending livestock farming helps the planet: Livestock farming contributes to global warming, this is now common knowledge. Livestock farming and its supply chains produce methane, nitrous oxide and carbon emissions to a large extent. To make room for pasture, large areas of forest have to be cleared, including for the cultivation of animal feed. Now scientists have looked at what would happen if farm animals were no longer kept and everyone ate a vegan diet. The result: an end to livestock farming would stabilise greenhouse gas levels for a long time and slow down global warming considerably, the scientists write. Accordingly, trees could grow again on many former grazing areas – and absorb CO₂. Above all, however, one of the most important greenhouse gases would be reduced: Methane, which cattle and other ruminants produce during digestion. rnd.de
Antarctica: Climate models show that the sea ice at the South Pole should be disappearing. But there is no sign of it. This has something to do with the Eddies. zeit.de
Investments: Growing investments in energy transition. Almost half of this has been made in Asia. energiezukunft.de
Nicaragua: With trees against climate change. utopia.de
Study with 9000 respondents reveals digital divides: Men, younger and more highly educated people use the internet and digital devices more often than women, older and less highly educated people. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic seems to partially reinforce these differences: In particular, young people and those with higher formal education or higher net household income report using digital devices more often as a result of the pandemic. In general, the survey found that 91 percent of people in Germany aged 14 and over use the internet privately. The proportion is highest in Hamburg with 95 percent, lowest in Bavaria with 89 and Brandenburg with 88 percent. 85 percent have a smartphone, 71 percent a laptop, 66 percent a radio, 53 percent a smart TV, 31 percent wear a smartwatch, 22 percent have smart household appliances and 3 percent VR glasses. Of the 791 people who do not use the internet, 32 percent said they would use it privately in the future if someone helped them. 26 percent would do it if it was safer and 21 percent if it would bring them more benefits. For 20 per cent, it would be important if websites or apps were easier to understand, and for 15 and 12 per cent respectively, the price of a device or the internet connection is the decisive factor. bit.digital.
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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