Breakthrough in negotiations to protect the world’s oceans: The UN negotiations to protect the world’s oceans were tough. More than 40 hours of negotiations were needed before a breakthrough was achieved on Saturday, local time. The main goal of the negotiations was to ensure that at least 30 per cent of the world’s oceans are designated as protected areas in the future. In addition, procedures were to be established to check economic projects, expeditions and other activities in the oceans for their environmental compatibility. In addition, the agreement should place biodiversity on the high seas under internationally binding protection. Two thirds of the oceans belong to the high seas and are thus largely lawless space. tagesspiegel.de , rnd.de
Habeck wants to ban oil and gas heating by law: According to a draft bill, the first step towards the energy transition is to take place in 2024. This will have consequences for tenants and landlords. According to the bill, as of next year, only heating systems that produce heat from „at least 65 percent renewable energies“ may be installed. This will primarily promote district heating, heat pumps and biomass boilers. Exceptions will only be made for citizens whose heating systems are defective. Owners would then have three years to switch to alternatives. Oil and gas heating systems that have already been installed would be banned from operation after 30 years. A general ban on oil and gas heating in Germany would then apply from 2045. In the course of the week, the conflict came to a head. The FDP in particular was up in arms and the green-led BMWK felt compelled to row back. In a paper published on Thursday, it says that the switch to heating with renewable energy sources should be „supported by subsidies, especially for lower and middle income groups“. According to the paper, the income-based subsidy is to come into force at the same time as the planned amendment to the law on 1 January 2024. A „pragmatic transition with exceptions and transition periods“ is planned. berliner-zeitung.de , faz.net
Almost one billion tonnes of CO2
are now emitted by SUVs worldwide. The researchers write that in a calculated comparison with the countries of the world, the big cars together would end up in sixth place in terms of CO2 emissions. The 330 million SUVs on the road worldwide emit a total of almost one billion tonnes per year, as much as Germany and the UK together. iea.org
Özdemir wants to ban advertising for sugary unhealthy foods in many cases: The Federal Minister of Nutrition wants to ban advertising for unhealthy food directed at children – and receives praise from experts. The FDP reacts indignantly. According to the plans of Federal Nutrition Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens), children should no longer see advertisements for unhealthy food. Özdemir proposed a far-reaching ban on junk food advertising aimed at children. Experts praised the plans, the coalition partner FDP announced resistance. The food and advertising industries reacted indignantly. In the meantime, a list of the Ministry of Agriculture launched by Bild caused unrest because milk and fruit juices were also listed. However, the ministry pointed out that „milk (in terms of fat content) and juices (without added sugar or sweeteners) are to be … should be exempt“.tagesspiegel.de , agrarheute.com
From 2035, no more internal combustion vehicles are to be registered in the EU: Federal Transport Minister Wissing is now threatening to veto or abstain if synthetic fuels, so-called e-fuels, are also banned. The decision on this is still pending. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has threatened to veto the planned ban on cars with internal combustion engines in the European Union from 2035 onwards at the EU Commission in Brussels. The use of cars powered by synthetic fuels – so-called e-fuels – must also be possible after 2035, he said. The FDP-led part of the German government is now awaiting a proposal from the Commission in the dispute over e-fuels. In the meantime, the BMWK also seems to be rethinking. State Secretary for Economic Affairs Sven Giegold (Greens) said on Thursday on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Brussels: „We have always said as Germany: we support the end of old, conventional combustion engines, but we want a solution outside the fleet limits, i.e. outside this law, for such combustion engines that are only operated with sustainable e-fuels.“ tagesschau.de , table.media, welt.de
Up to 600 billion euros: The energy transition needs enormous investments: A gigantic power grid is to be built in the North and Baltic Seas, and major investments are also planned on land. New calculations show that this will be an expensive project. The Ministry of Economics is convinced that by interconnecting offshore wind farms, significantly more electricity from renewable energies can be integrated into the European system. „For Germany, this increases the security of supply, as additional quantities of electricity can be imported from neighbouring countries at times of high electricity demand,“ the ministry says. This reduces the need for electricity from fossil power plants. The interconnection of offshore wind farms thus avoids greenhouse gas emissions. The consulting firm EY, commissioned by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, calculated in its current progress monitor Energiewende that a total of 600 billion euros would be needed by 2030 to achieve the climate goals of the German government. Germany wants to reach a renewables share of 80 percent by the end of the decade. handelsblatt.com
Green bonds with a new label: In the middle of last week, the EU states agreed on a new label for green bonds. A new EU label for „European Green Bonds“ should help investors in their investment decisions in the future. Negotiators of the EU states and the European Parliament agreed on the new label late on Tuesday evening, as the Council of Member States announced. The new regulation sets uniform requirements for issuers to use the new label. This will make it easier for them to prove that they are investing in projects that are actually sustainable and climate-friendly. tagesschau.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Die post-optmistische Gesellschaft
Why there is no reason for optimism – and what nevertheless gives hope for a good life
With the climate crisis and the pandemic, but at the latest with the Ukraine war, optimism about progress has completely disappeared from society. It has been replaced by deep doubts that the open, free society based on enlightened science and democratic political institutions is up to the challenges of coming crises. A peaceful future without fear and hardship is hardly imaginable for many.
Jörg Phil Friedrich shows that there is nevertheless reason for confidence. He locates this in human reason, which combines intuition with experience, activates conscience and compassion and integrates the insights of the sciences. Life in the post-optimistic society is not determined by renunciation and abandonment if we redefine what constitutes a good life. herder.de
State of the Oder: Environmentalists measure higher salinity in the river than in the sea. rbb24.de
Wind energy industry: Fewer permits for wind turbines since the beginning of the year. A poor showing in southern Germany. zeit.de
Toilet paper: Contains eternal chemical. n-tv.de
Wood and paper products: Certificates for a good conscience and a different reality. tagesschau.de
Bavaria: Environmental aid withdraws complaint. heise.de
Little snow and little rain: Drought already threatens Alpine regions. n-tv.de
Greta Thunberg: Demonstrates against Norwegian wind turbine in the Sami region. zeit.de
Companies: Federal government apparently wants to extend energy aid for industry – price brake does not take effect. wiwo.de
Climate measures: One in five has job fears, fear of the future is particularly great among those workers who have no opportunity for further vocational training. welt.de
Climate Foundation MV: Malice in the Bundestag – the Kamin-Gate affair. n-tv.de
The seventeen 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:
Is it enough to drive less?
For effective climate protection, the legislator must turn the screws in other areas. Lea Nesselhauf from GermanZero explains in the Climate Paragraphs Podcast 1/3 what a 1.5 degree law could look like. The new minipodcast „Klimaparagrafen“ is about climate and law in three episodes – with exciting conversations, lots of information and interesting experts from the field of climate law. In the first episode we ask about the important role of the legislator: Annelie Kaufmann and Felix W. Zimmermann talk about why the law comes into play as a climate saviour when politics fails. Lea Nesselhauf from GermanZero explains what a 1.5-degree law could look like that would contain all the measures Germany needs to achieve the 1.5-degree target and make its contribution to climate protection. And Pauline Dietrich gives an insight into how climate issues occupy the LTO newsdesk.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
DISPOSABLE PLASTIC AND THROWAWAY PRODUCTS
Cleaning up alone is not enough!
by Jacqueline Goebel
We are facing a huge economic problem: throwaway products and single-use plastic have an unfair competitive advantage. Throwaways are cheaper than reusable solutions, single-use plastic is cheaper than recyclates. But these prices are not realistic, they do not reflect all costs. And that doesn’t just apply to the costs from the rubbish that municipalities pick up from the kerbs and bushes.
The waste also destroys nature, the habitat of animals, microplastics and pollutants get onto the fields and thus into the food chain and harm our health. The production of single-use plastic causes huge emissions and damages the climate. Until now, society has also borne these costs. The clean-up fee of the Single-Use Plastic Fund is therefore a right step – but that alone is not enough. The best way to reduce waste in the landscape is to avoid it. We need to create fewer products that become waste so quickly. We need reusable solutions that are simple and practical and can compete against throwing them away. We need deposit systems so that no packaging ends up in the environment where it does not belong and causes further costs. The EU is working on corresponding regulations. For example, it wants to introduce the goal of reducing packaging waste by 15 per cent by 2040.
Of course, returnable packaging and deposits are also expensive, and in some cases an infrastructure must first be built to return deposit products or to wash and refill returnable packaging. The manufacturers therefore like these approaches even less than the clean-up fee. But at least this would actually reduce the amount of carelessly discarded waste. wiwo.de
Deloitte study: Ecosystem around e-mobility promises billions in profits: The market for automotive mobility will double in Europe and the USA by 2035. However, the study only gives companies the chance to profit if they know how to use the changing industry dynamics for their own benefit. Everything is in upheaval. E-mobility will have victims and winners. More and more new manufacturers are entering the market, and one gets the feeling that many established car companies are not up to this pace. And the vehicle market is also facing huge challenges. Buyer behaviour is changing. More and more drivers see no point in buying a vehicle and are increasingly using subscription or sharing solutions. vision-mobility.de
Commuting causes almost a quarter of emissions: Companies play the main role on the way to the transport turnaround: „For companies, it is time to operate company cars and other vehicles in the fleet as completely electrically as possible and to set up the corresponding charging infrastructure,“ explains Lukas Minnich, an expert on sustainable corporate mobility at the Öko-Institut. „In this process, it helps if clear climate protection and sustainability targets are set for the company in a mobility policy.“ Esther Rublack, Corporate Mobility Officer at Agora Verkehrswende, adds: „Almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in passenger transport are caused by commuting. Companies can take responsibility here by promoting sustainable mobility and creating good conditions for mobile working. Politics can ensure that the change to sustainable and climate-friendly corporate mobility becomes binding and economically profitable. firmenauto.de
The dispute over the speed limit is coming to a head: The FDP doubts the usefulness of a study by the Federal Environment Agency and had a new one prepared. Now the responsible federal authority is reacting. handelsblatt.com
Number of electric cars passes the one million mark: The number of cars in Germany continues to grow. But something is happening: the stock of vehicles with combustion engines is declining, battery cars are on the rise. However, car dealers in Germany are feeling the effects of the lower subsidies for electric cars. According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (ZDK) on Wednesday, the number of incoming orders is clearly declining. This trend has been evident since the third quarter of 2022 and continued at the beginning of this year, according to a survey by the magazine „kfz-betrieb“. spiegel.de , faz.net (Promotion)
Germany’s timetable for the year 2070 causes ridicule: The Federal Government Commissioner for Rail Transport, State Secretary Michael Theurer from the Ministry of Transport, has once again clarified his statements on the implementation of a Germany-wide timetable. The FDP politician said that the year 2070 does not mean a postponement. Instead, he said, by that date, the German timetable, which is important for the transport turnaround, would be fully implemented. In the social media, the news that the Deutschlandtakt would be delayed by 40 years had previously caused a lot of ridicule. One user commented on Twitter that it would probably be dead by the time it was introduced. n-tv.de
Warehouses are full: During the Corona pandemic, many people switched to bicycles. At the same time, however, the supply of spare parts from Asia came to a standstill, resulting in long waiting times at the dealers. Now the bicycle season is starting again. But there is no longer a shortage. mdr.de
Leading associations against ownership separation of the hydrogen and gas grids: A broad alliance of associations criticises plans of the EU Commission to separate ownership of the hydrogen and gas grids at the distribution grid level. Such a plan would hinder a rapid ramp-up of the hydrogen economy and would be „a disservice to the success of the energy transition in the region and in the municipalities on the way to climate neutrality“, according to the appeal to the German government published today. The signatories include the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the German Association of Counties, the German Association of Cities and Towns, the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, the United Services Union (ver.di) and the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU). bdew.de
White hydrogen – is this the clean energy source of the future? It is an invisible treasure, hidden deep in the earth’s rock: natural hydrogen, a hitherto completely underestimated source of sustainable energy. Now German researchers also want to tap the gas. spiegel.de
Future hydrogen site: Hamburg buys decommissioned Moorburg power plant: Building a hydrogen infrastructure at the decommissioned Moorburg coal-fired power plant is now to become easier. The city of Hamburg has bought the disused coal-fired power plant Moorburg from the energy company Vattenfall. On 1 March, the municipal energy company Hamburger Energiewerke acquired the company, including the buildings and the remaining parts, as well as the associated land at Moorburg Schanze, the Senate announced on Thursday. Neither side disclosed the purchase price. heise.de
Boron instead of deuterium and tritium: For the first time, researchers have triggered the nuclear fusion of hydrogen and boron in a plasma and demonstrated it using the helium nuclei that were created. This success, achieved in a test reactor in Japan, could be a first step towards cleaner fusion power plants that do not produce radioactive neutrons, as the team reports in Nature Communications. Boron is also an abundantly available raw material, unlike the tritium used in current fusion reactors. scinexx.de
This is how LOHCs are supposed to get hydrogen rolling: Vopak and Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies will form an equal joint venture under the name LOHC Logistix for the storage, transport and delivery of hydrogen based on Hydrogenious‘ LOHC (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier) technology. This is one of the key steps recently agreed by both companies to advance LOHC market solutions and large-scale pilot projects. process.vogel.de
Green methane for reserve power plants: Mineral beads make it possible: Synthetic methane is almost identical to natural gas – but climate neutral. The fuel, produced from hydrogen and CO2 , can be used in the existing gas infrastructure. Empa has now succeeded in improving the production of methane. nzz.ch
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG:
Environment Committee votes for single-use plastic levy: The Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection on Wednesday approved the bill submitted by the federal government to create a single-use plastic fund (20/5164). Producers of certain products made of single-use plastic should thus in future have to share the costs of waste disposal in parks and streets. The coalition factions of SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and FDP voted in favour of the bill, which was voted on in an amended version. The CDU/CSU parliamentary group, AfD parliamentary group and Die Linke parliamentary group voted against. An amendment with which the CDU/CSU had criticised, among other things, the planned calculation of the levy amount also according to volume and number of items and had demanded an equal representation of the manufacturers in the single-use plastics commission, did not find a majority.
Experts: Promoting local value creation in tourism: The Tourism Committee addressed the topic of „Tourism and Development Cooperation“ in a public hearing on Wednesday. The six invited experts underlined the importance of promoting local tourism businesses and moving towards more sustainable travel. Antje Monshausen from the Tourism Watch office of Bread for the World reported that data collection in tourism is much more extensive today than it was ten years ago. „But since the ecological and social costs are still only rarely recorded, work cannot be done to reduce the negative consequences of this,“ Monshausen said. Development cooperation could therefore play a good role in making these costs visible in the first place. A positive trend of tourism in the past is that the length of stay of travellers in the holiday destinations has increased, which increases the added value of local enterprises on site, said the expert. Axel Klaphake, Head of Department for Economic, Social and Digital Affairs at the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), noted that tourism has great potential to impact the local economy. After the Corona pandemic, however, there are still many destinations that are far from pre-crisis levels, he said. „But we see that regions have become more resilient. That’s a good thing, too, because the pandemic will not have been the last crisis,“ Klaphake says. As a key element for crisis-proof and sustainable tourism, the expert mentions first and foremost the education and training of people in the industry. all documents here
With the permanent mixed forest to more resilient forest structures: the future belongs to the permanent mixed forest. This view was shared by Hans von der Goltz, Federal Chairman of the Working Group on Nature-Oriented Forest Management, and Julia Möbus, Managing Director of the German Sawmill and Timber Industry Association, during a public expert discussion of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Sustainable Development on Wednesday evening. A higher CO2 storage can be achieved with the permanent forest than with the conventional forest, said von der Goltz. The permanent forest is also more resistant to pests such as the bark beetle. Möbus, the association’s representative, also recognised the need to convert forests to climate-stable mixed forests in view of climate change. Forest conversion and wood use must go hand in hand, she said. more information at bundestag.de
We would need at least a gas phase-out plan, and the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan would have to be revised. Unfortunately, nothing can be expected from the federal government. That is absolutely scandalous. If there is to be change, it must come from the people on the street.
Carola Rackete is an activist and conservation ecologist. She became internationally known in 2019 when, as captain of the Sea-Watch 3 rescue boat, she entered the port of Lampedusa with 53 refugees from Libya against the will of the Italian authorities.
We (as a climate movement) must manage to generate more participation again. But for that we would need a broader social anchoring. We (would have to) find interfaces where climate protection and social issues fit together. If we supported concrete social-ecological projects, we could motivate more people to participate. She sees success more at the local or regional level. In Wolfsburg, for example, there are plans for cooperation between climate groups and the VW workforce on the transformation of the automotive industry. Or when groups like Fridays for Future organise themselves together with public transport workers and go on strike. That is what is happening now. Or in regions where people say: Hundreds of people will be unemployed here – what can be produced there that we need for a socio-ecological transformation. taz.de
Tunisia: Worried about racist threats – More and more people from sub-Saharan Africa are leaving Tunisia. deutschlandfunk.de
Macron wants to reduce France’s military presence in Africa: France will „visibly reduce“ its military presence on the African continent. This was announced by President Emmanuel Macron on Monday in a speech on Africa policy at the Elysée Palace shortly before his trip to Gabon, Angola, Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The military bases in West Africa would not be completely closed, but in future they would be used jointly with the armies of the host country. Some of them were to be converted into military academies. faz.net
Textiles from the EU are causing a waste problem in Africa: The number of used textiles exported from the EU has tripled in two decades, according to the environmental agency EEA. Europe faces major challenges in dealing with these textiles, the EU agency warned in a report published on Monday. Because the capacities for reuse and recycling in Europe are limited, a large part of the discarded and donated clothing is exported to Africa and Asia. faz.net
Border bridge: A bridge that bends around its recalcitrant neighbour: Zimbabwe is paying dearly for Robert Mugabe’s obstinacy. A new border crossing over the Zambezi makes one of Africa’s most important trade routes much more efficient. Because Mugabe once did not pay for the project, Zimbabwe now stands as a loser. nzz.ch
Strategy: How Europe wants to counter Russia’s charm offensive in Africa. euractiv.de
Nigeria: On Wednesday morning, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the victory of Bola Tinubu in the presidential race. The 70-year-old candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) won the presidential election on Saturday with about 8.8 million votes (36.61%) against his two main opponents, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (29.07%) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (25.4%). Moreover, Tinubu had also fulfilled the second requirement for an election victory, securing at least 25% of the votes in two-thirds of the total of 36 states, thus avoiding a run-off election, which for a long time had been widely expected. However, Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State, lost the city of the same name and Nigeria’s most populous city to his opponent Peter Obi. reuters.com
Kenya: Wants to build 136 solar mini-grids for remote communities. reuters.com
Climate conferences must be reformed: United Nations world climate conferences follow tried and tested patterns. First, the UN pre-publishes urgent warnings from researchers and organisations calling for effective measures to prevent the climate catastrophe. During the conferences, negotiations take place like at an oriental bazaar until an agreement can be reached at the end, the achievement of which can be celebrated as a „historic moment“. The subsequent criticism of the organisations that warned at the beginning is also part of the process. In order for climate conferences to be able to fulfil their actual purpose in future, the Club of Rome think tank is calling for reform. Among others, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Ireland’s ex-President Mary Robinson signed the appeal published on Tuesday. derstandard.at
Algal blooms on the rise: For 20 years, algal blooms have increased in coastal areas worldwide. A new study by Chinese scientists using images from NASA’s Aqua satellite proves this. Both the area and the frequency of phytoplankton blooms have increased. The study also shows correlations with the increase in ocean temperature as well as changes in ocean circulation. The results can provide a basis for environmental policy decisions. Yanhui Dai and his team expect that the results can make a valuable contribution when it comes to making policy decisions about controlling nutrient discharges into the water, for example, or taking measures to minimise the impact of harmful algal blooms. wissenschaft.de
Biomass: Earthly mammals on the scale: Unevenly distributed: The biomass of humans exceeds that of all wild terrestrial mammals by almost 20 times, and that of all marine mammals by ten times, a global balance for mammal biomass reveals. According to the report, the biomass of terrestrial wildlife is 22 million tonnes, led by white-tailed deer, wild boar and elephants. Marine mammals come in at 39 million tonnes, their top three being fin whale, sperm whale and humpback whale. But by far the largest biomass comes from our livestock and domestic animals: 630 million tonnes. scinexx.de
Baltic Sea beach: Phosphorus washed up. taz.de
Greenwashing accusations: Lufthansa receives a rebuke from the British advertising regulator. manager-magazin.de
Generation Z: Wants to travel sustainably and is into adventure. abouttravel.ch
ITB 2023: Visit us at our stall and session!
HUMAN RIGHTS ARE YOUR BUSINESS – WHY PROTECTION AND BENEFIT GO HAND IN HAND
We would be delighted if you stopped by:
Stand at ITB. Hall: 4.1b, Stand number: 201
, Session: 08.03.2023, 04:40-05:00 PM CET, ITB Lighthouse Stage Hall 4.1
ITB. HALL: 4.1B, STAND NUMBER: 201
There, the Roundtable has a joint booth at ITB with Bread for the World, ECPAT Germany and the Institute for Tourism and Development
. Are you interested in a membership with the Roundtable? We are happy to schedule an appointment with you.
Just send us an email to email@example.com!
Join our session at ITB and learn about the tools and offers of the Roundtable:
HUMAN RIGHTS ARE YOUR BUSINESS – WHY PROTECTION AND BENEFIT GO HAND IN HAND
Wednesday, 08.03.2023, 04:40 – 05:00 PM CET,
ITB Lighthouse Stage at the Green Business Forum for Tourism Professionals in Hall 4.1
In this session, we will show concrete examples of human rights topics in tourism, illustrate the business case, and present various tools and offers you can use to analyse your value chain, involve your stakeholders more and get to know the key steps of human rights due diligence.
Still 50 years until equality
It could take more than 50 years before men and women are equal worldwide, according to the World Bank. The pace of reform is at a 20-year low. Germany scores well, but has room for improvement. Global gender equality is progressing too slowly, according to the World Bank. According to a report by the organisation, at the current pace of reforms, it will take at least another 50 years before women and men are equal under the law. tagesschau.de