Electricity costs in 2020 were higher than ever before: private households in Germany paid around 37.8 billion euros for their electricity in 2020. The levies and taxes included in the electricity price have risen particularly sharply in recent years. Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) wants to ease the burden on consumers and the economy in terms of electricity prices with a system change in the promotion of green electricity. Accordingly, the promotion of renewable energies from plants commissioned from 2022 onwards could be financed through tax money. handelsblatt.com
New EU Commission strategy on the consequences of climate change: The consequences of climate change are forest fires, heat, droughts and are already costing the European Union about 12 billion euros. Now the EU Commission has presented a strategy on how the Union can better adapt to the changing conditions. The cornerstones of Timmermans‘ counter-strategy are: more knowledge about the consequences of climate change, more precise assessment of the risks; react more quickly; and provide more help to international partners. For example, the Commission is counting on a precise recording of damage and data exchange on risks and countermeasures on an internet platform called Climate Adapt. tagesschau.de , stimme.de , climate-adapt.eu
83 kilograms of packaging waste per capita in 2018, putting Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the lead nationwide.The German average is 68 kilograms, in Berlin only 53 kilograms. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, packaging waste totalled 133,000 tonnes. sueddeutsche.de
Forest suffers in Germany: The German forest is in a bad way, that is the result of the Forest Status Report presented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. In addition to the drought, heat and storms, the bark beetle is giving the German forest a hard time. Only two out of ten trees are still healthy. The main cause is climate change. swr.de , bmel.de (original report)
More and more money in coal industry: Even though well-known investors have announced their exit from financing fossil energies, little has happened so far. On the contrary, since the Paris Climate Agreement came into force, banks have invested more money in the coal industry every year, even though many financial institutions have now adopted internal coal guidelines to limit their risks. In Germany, for example, Commerzbank and Allianz are on board. Even Blackrock, which wanted to get out of climate-unfriendly financing a year ago, is still on the list of global investors with investments of more than 84 billion US dollars in the coal industry. US financial industry dominates global money flows into coal industry with investments of 602 billion US dollars. pv-magazine.de, klimareporter.de , urgewald.org
France extends life of nuclear reactors: Some of the French nuclear power plants are already forty years old and have been criticised for some time. Now the French nuclear regulator – Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN) – last week allowed an extension of the operating life of nuclear power plants to up to 50 years – under certain conditions. One condition for continued operation is a series of repairs to prevent nuclear accidents at the 32 oldest reactors. 13 reactors are already older than 40 years. rp- online.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Wasserpfade – Streifzüge entlang heimischer Ufer
Torsten Schäfer takes us on a voyage of discovery into the world of water. Set out during the heatwave summers of recent years, he traces the changes brought about by climate change. In the „three-river country“ between the Rhine, Main and Neckar, he observes, immerses himself, feels – and tells: of forgotten springs in the forest, of well cleaners and catfish fishermen, of „his“ river, which he follows from its source to its mouth. With linguistic elegance, Schäfer draws a sensitive picture of water. oekom.de
Energy labels: From 1 March, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines and televisions must bear the revised EU energy label. berliner-zeitung.de
Cologne: Shell buys Next power plants. handelsblatt.com
Facebook: Wants to take stronger action against climate change lies. faz.net
Israel: Experiencing probably the worst oil disaster in its history. spektrum.de
Hydropower: Not immediately climate-friendly, it’s because of the reservoirs. orf.at .
Greens: Seeking closeness to business with new industrial strategy. spiegel.de .
Federal Government’s Housing Offensive: Misses the Market. deutschlandfunkkultur.de .
Wind power on the rise: Wind energy supplied 16 percent of Europe’s electricity in 2020. euractiv.de
Wind power II: Citizens‘ wind farm to be demolished after EEG levy is cancelled. ndr.de
Climate protection: Entrepreneurs are afraid of additional costs for climate protection. faz.net
The seventeeen goals magazine reports inspiring stories about how people move the world and shows how everyone can make a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Hyundai: IONIQ 5 is the name of the first model in a new generation of electric cars. With it, the South Korean car company Hyundai wants to expand its competence in the field of electric mobility. Moreover, the introduction of this new model could be seen as a challenge to Volkswagen. Volkswagen launched the VW ID.4 Pure model last year. fair-economics.de
Tesla: Increasingly exerting political influence in Germany. welt.de
Green NCAP 2021: 49 bestseller models in the eco-check. adac.de
FreeNow: Free-Now customers, a platform for mobility supported by BMW and Daimler, can use an app to book taxi rides, car-sharing cars, rental bicycles, electric pedal scooters or e-scooters at the same time. The goal is „maximum flexibility“. The additional idea is to give customers an incentive to switch to climate-friendly means of transport without having to give up convenience. faz.net
Railway boss goes on the offensive: Richard Lutz wants to equip the railway as a climate-friendly transport service for the time after the pandemic. To achieve this, he will even accept higher debts if necessary. handelsblatt.com
No purchase of sleeping cars planned: According to the Federal Government, DB Fernverkehr AG no longer has any sleeping cars and has no plans to buy or lease new ones. This is stated in the government’s answer (19/26683) to a small question by the FDP parliamentary group (19/26152). According to the DB AG, overnight travel is nevertheless an integral part of the service. On the one hand, DB AG uses ICE and Intercity trains for overnight connections. On the other hand, it participates in the night train connections of its European partner railways with its own seat cars. Subject to the course of the Corona pandemic, the introduction of a new overnight ICE train pair on the Hamburg – Hanover – Fulda – Würzburg – Munich route is planned for the summer of 2021, the answer says. „With this gap closure, DB AG will then offer overnight services on all main routes between the major metropolises in Germany,“ writes the Federal Government.
Electric driving share of plug-in hybrids: According to the Federal Government, the advantages of plug-in hybrids with regard to CO2 emissions depend essentially on the electric driving share. „The electric driving share should therefore be as high as possible,“ says the government’s answer (19/26653) to a minor question by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group (19/25912). The vehicle and infrastructural prerequisites for a high share of electric driving, „in particular a high electric range of the vehicles, a high charging capacity as well as a good availability of user-friendly charging infrastructure“, will be increasingly available in the future, writes the federal government. The Greens had asked specifically what proportion of electric driving should be done with a plug-in hybrid car in the view of the federal government in order to meet the objectives associated with the state subsidy for these vehicles.
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
Greens want transformation programme for industry: The parliamentary group Bündnis 90/Die Grünen calls for a transformation programme to prepare industry for the challenges of climate change. It should be designed as an investment programme for the next decade and comprise 500 billion euros, the parliamentarians explain in a motion (19/26911). The decisive factor for all funded projects must be that they advance the ecological transformation and make society sustainable and climate-friendly. It is also crucial that the programmes are organised in a non-bureaucratic way with fast planning processes. Specifically, the MEPs are concerned with a green hydrogen strategy, investment subsidies for the replacement of fossil technologies and processes in basic industries and, for example, investments in climate protection and digitalisation, such as in highly efficient machinery and equipment. The sooner companies responsibly embark on the course towards an ecological-social transformation, the better their chances will be in the markets of the future, the MEPs explain. A green industrial strategy would make it possible to produce goods, processes and services in a clean and socially responsible manner, which would secure the existence of industry in Europe in the long term and reestablish its strengths. In addition, industrialised countries like Germany, historically the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, have a special responsibility and must therefore lead the way in decarbonisation.