The Greens win in Baden-Württemberg, the SPD becomes the strongest party in Rhineland-Palatinate: Before the election, Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann admitted that the energy turnaround was „indeed also expensive“ and had „also increased electricity prices via the EEG levy“. He said this in view of the tenth anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, and the accelerated energy turnaround in Germany, but that one was now in the process of lowering electricity prices again. „I remind you of the CO2 pricing that was decided. A good part of the revenue goes into stabilising and then also lowering electricity prices. But there is more in it.“ In Rhineland-Palatinate, the current coalition could continue to govern. swr.de , n-tv.de
Supply Chain Act under pressure from Brussels: With great difficulty, the German government has agreed on the Supply Chain Act and reached a compromise between the ministries concerned. Now the European Parliament is spitting in the German ministries‘ soup. They want to introduce much more far-reaching measures. Last week But the conflict, which has been resolved for the time being, could come back on the German agenda via the diversions from Brussels. In the parliamentary debate last week, the Commission was asked to present a law requiring EU companies to address aspects of their supply chains that could violate human rights (including social rights and trade union and labour rights), the environment (for example, the contribution to climate change) and the rules of good corporate governance. taz.de , fair-economics.de
Only one third of the tropical rainforest is still intact. The world’s first complete historical and current overview shows that two-thirds of the earth’s tropical rainforest has disappeared or is already damaged. regnskog.no
CO2 border adjustment controversial within the Parliament: The carbon dioxide border adjustment system is not only supposed to protect the climate, but also European industry. Moreover, the EU needs the money to pay for the economic stimulus packages. The levy is not uncontroversial. Last week, the MEPs of the EU Parliament debated and ultimately approved a resolution calling for its introduction by „2023 at the latest“. sueddeutsche.de
Limiting the two-degree target is no longer possible: this is how the German Meteorological Service (DWD) currently assesses the situation. The two-degree target was set by the global community in the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. DWD President Gerhard Adrian said at a digital press conference: „Unfortunately, it even looks like a plus of three to four degrees at the moment. „ mdr.de
Start-ups want to generate energy with super lasers: The fusion of atomic nuclei promises clean, safe and infinite energy. A lot of research is being done, but there are hardly any successes. Start-ups like Marvel Fusion and HB11 want to change that. handelsblatt.com
Greta criticises US President Biden: The Swedish climate activist had high hopes for the new President Joe Biden. Now Greta Thunberg said in an interview with the US news channel MSNBC that the political performance of the Democratic US President so far could have been more consistent with regard to the climate crisis jetzt.de
Deutsche Umwelthilfe sues German government: DUH has sued the German government for compliance with climate targets in the energy, industry, buildings and agriculture sectors. In the organisation’s view, the measures envisaged so far are not sufficient to comply with the maximum levels of climate-damaging greenhouse gases in these sectors. The lawsuit is intended to oblige the federal government to set up an effective programme to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990. deutschlandfunk.de
BOOKTIP OF THE WEEK
Sind wir noch zu Retten?
Pesticides, particulate matter, noise – all of these have an unnoticed effect on our health and well-being every day. Not only since the Corona crisis has health been one of the defining issues in society. It is increasingly about the direct exposure that we accept – or even cause ourselves – through our way of life in the industrialised countries. But what influences do we need to protect ourselves from? What role do individual consumer decisions play? And what do environmental protection and the climate crisis actually have to do with social inequality? In light-hearted yet informative conversations, journalist Judith Langasch elicits the latest findings and merciless truths about environmental influences from environmental physician Hans-Peter Hutter and asks the all-important question: Can we still be saved?
Plastic bags: Are dispensable. sueddeutsche.de
Climate protests: In the pandemic from living rooms and children’s rooms. derstandard.at
Kerry: Visits Brussels. handelsblatt.com
Federal Environment Minister Schulze: Nuclear power an aberration.. faz.net
Energy advice: Only for women. deutschlandfunk.de
CO2 border tax: Asian states criticise protectionism. euractiv.de
The seventeeen goals Magazin reports inspiring stories about how people move the world and shows how everyone can make a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Greens can be transport ministers: Cem Özedmir, the chairman of the transport committee, is already staking the claim of the Alliance Greens to the federal transport ministry. „We need a new constitution for the roads, one that gives equal consideration to all road users, and long-term funding for sustainable transport infrastructure,“ Özedmir says. No matter where he went, he said, he had the feeling that „people are just waiting for us to finally tackle the transport turnaround. tagesspiegel.de
Public charging points in Germany: According to the charging point register of the Federal Network Agency, there are 34,029 public charging points for electric vehicles in Germany. This was reported by the Federal Government in its answer (19/26303) to a small question by the FDP parliamentary group (19/25970). According to this, there are 7,397 public charging points in Bavaria, 6,095 in North Rhine-Westphalia and 4,863 in Baden-Württemberg. Saarland (277 charging points), Bremen (299) and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (386) are at the bottom of the register. The response also includes figures on newly registered passenger cars from 2016 to 2020. According to the submission, of the total of around 2.92 million vehicles in 2020, 194,163 passenger cars (6.7 per cent) are purely electric, as well as 327,395 (11.2 per cent) passenger cars with a hybrid drive and 200,469 (6.9 per cent) plug-in hybrid passenger cars. Of the newly registered passenger cars in 2020, 6,543 are powered by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and 7,159 by natural gas (CNG). Hydrogen/fuel cells are specified as the drive type for 308 passenger cars. In 2016, the share of newly registered electric passenger cars was still 0.3 per cent, the share of hybrid passenger cars was one per cent and the share of plug-in hybrid passenger cars was 0.4 per cent, according to the response. The biggest jump occurred from 2019 to 2020, with the share of electric cars increasing 3.7 times, the share of hybrid cars more than doubling and the share of plug-in hybrid cars increasing 5.3 times.
Sustainable fuels also on long-haul flights: Smaller airlines, but also the low-cost airlines Ryanair, Easyjet and Wizz Air as well as fuel producers want long-haul flights to be considered by the EU in its plans to use sustainable fuels in air transport. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) are synthetic fuels produced with electricity from renewable energy sources. They are blended with paraffin. handelsblatt.com
Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn want to cooperate more closely: In view of the crisis in the travel industry, the competitors Deutsche Bahn and Lufthansa want to cooperate more closely. In concrete terms, this means using trains instead of flights, at least for part of the journey. For the first time, faster travel to Frankfurt Airport will be possible by train from Hamburg and Munich starting in July. From December, ICE trains without intermediate stops from Berlin, Bremen and Münster will be added. tagesschau.de
Battery production in Europe: From 2025 onwards, enough battery cells are to be produced in Europe to supply at least seven million electric cars. Now, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire and EU Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič want the initiative to go ahead.handelsblatt.com
USA Car industry can profit from e-mobility: Tens of thousands of Americans still work on the development and production of combustion engines. And despite the switch to e-mobility, which must also take place in the USA due to climate change, the industry could benefit from a shift towards electric mobility. wiwo.de
Tolls for gas trucks: The transport minister is risking the next dispute with the EU. Because the toll exemption for gas trucks violates a directive. taz.de
Tesla and Autonomous Driving: Leaked emails show how Tesla really feels about the Autopilot function of its e-cars. sueddeutsche.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
Regulations for the development of the hydrogen infrastructure: The German government wants to pave the way for the development of a hydrogen infrastructure with a draft law. At the same time, the „Draft Law on the Implementation of EU Requirements and the Regulation of Pure Hydrogen Networks in Energy Industry Law“ (19/27453) is intended to transpose EU requirements into national law.According to the Federal Government, it is a matter of establishing the initial regulatory basis for a hydrogen network infrastructure before a regulatory framework at the European level will require new adjustments. Planning and investment security is needed for the rededication of gas pipelines, the construction of new hydrogen pipelines and the integration of existing private infrastructures. However, the regulation is also intended for the transition, because the integration of hydrogen into the overall energy system is a matter of perspective and experience with the implementation of the hydrogen strategy, for example, will be incorporated into future regulations. Corresponding formulations for transitional regulations have now been included in the current draft bill.
German Centre for Future Mobility: According to the Federal Government, the detailed concept for the German Centre for Future Mobility is currently being finalised. It is to be presented in the first quarter of 2021, according to the government’s answer (19/26998) to a small question by the FDP parliamentary group (19/26705). In addition to the four locations already determined by the legislature (Hamburg, Annaberg-Buchholz, Karlsruhe and Minden), the Hydrogen Technology and Innovation Centre, whose location has not yet been determined, is also to be directly integrated into the network of the German Centre for Future Mobility. Funds from the Energy and Climate Fund would be available for this purpose. „Other possible locations have not yet been identified,“ the submission states.
Draft law on greenhouse gas reduction quota presented: Fuels in the transport sector are to cause less greenhouse gases in future. This is the aim of the draft law on the further development of the greenhouse gas reduction quota (19/27435), which has now been submitted to the Bundestag. In doing so, the Federal Government is following the revised version of the Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (RED II), which has raised the share of renewable energies in the final energy consumption of the transport sector (road and rail) to at least 14 percent for the year 2030. The promotion of renewable energies in transport has been carried out since 2015 through the greenhouse gas reduction quota. This obliges companies that put fuel into circulation to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of their fuel by a certain percentage. They are to achieve this, among other things, by putting renewable energy products on the market. In detail, the bill provides for raising the greenhouse gas reduction quota for petrol and diesel fuels. In addition, a minimum quota for the placing on the market of renewable electricity-based jet fuels is to be introduced. In order to promote electricity-based fuels, the bill allows the crediting of liquid fuels produced exclusively with renewable energies and of green hydrogen both in road transport and for the production of conventional fuels.
Greens want measures against aircraft noise: The parliamentary group Bündnis 90/Die Grünen demands measures to reduce aircraft noise and to better protect people in the airport regions. In their motion (19/27211) submitted for this purpose, they state that all aircraft noise protection is geared towards passive noise protection, which is regulated in the Aircraft Noise Act. „How much noise is allowed to emanate from an airport is irrelevant,“ they say, adding that it only determines which protective measures have to be taken to compensate for it. This is done in the form of structural noise protection at the dwellings, compensation payments as well as building restrictions and bans, it continues. Passive noise protection measures, however, are not even close to implementing the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The much more effective active noise protection, which decides how much noise may be generated at all, is located in the Air Traffic Act. „The point at which active noise protection must be implemented is hardly specified in the law and is therefore not taken into account in airport approvals, expansions and in the determination of flight routes,“ they criticise. The Greens raise a total of 53 demands in the motion. With regard to the Air Traffic Act and the Air Traffic Regulations, they demand that the federal government redefine when a change to an airport is to be considered substantial and include all measures that actually increase flight operations. When approving or substantially expanding airports, a clear and upwardly capped capacity must be set in each case. It is also demanded that absolute noise ceilings be introduced for new airports and airports that are to be substantially expanded and that it be examined „in what way such ceilings can be introduced at existing airports where, in the sense of the precautionary principle, excessive noise pollution is unacceptable for reasons of health protection“.
In 2016, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the accelerated nuclear phase-out after Fukushima was possible as a political decision without compensation. This remains the case. The compensation now agreed only refers to three limited constellations that the Federal Constitutional Court already classified as requiring compensation in 2016.
Rhea Hoffman, Institute for German, European and International Law, Chair of Public Law and International Law at the FAU in Erlangen, …it is about the Krümmel and Brunsbüttel nuclear power plants, which were shut down early and could no longer fully use up their residual electricity quantities. Also, the residual electricity quantities that had once been granted for the Mülheim-Kärlich nuclear power plant, which had already been shut down, could no longer be used up because of the accelerated nuclear phase-out. And finally, the companies would receive compensation for investments they made in 2010/2011 with a view to the interim extension of operating times. taz.de
Youth and frustration: The protests in Senegal show: The youth has had enough of corrupt rulers. President Sall should be afraid. sueddeutsche.de
Locusts: A new plague of locusts is threatening Africa. Experts warn of the worst plague of locusts in decades. In East Africa they expect the worst devastation. berliner-zeitung.de
Media: If you want to know how African media report on the continent, you will quickly realise that very little has been published on the subject. This was also the case for Moky Makura, director of the organisation Africa No Filter, which campaigns for balanced reporting on Africa.
Therefore, the South African NGO commissioned a study. Over a period of three weeks, the Africa coverage of more than 60 media in 15 African countries was examined. In addition, interviews were conducted with African media professionals. dw.com
Zimbabwe: Greening the Savannah with Football – A hit for organic farming in Zimbabwe. africa-live.de
Egypt: Help for covid sufferers in Egypt:The pandemic heroes.taz.de
Equatorial Guinea: Luxury life of Equatorial Guinea’s elite comes into focus after disasterSeveral hundred people were injured in a series of explosions in the business metropolis of Bata. The government speaks of „negligence“. derstandard.at
Ivory Coast: Ivorian Prime Minister Bakayoko died of cancer. dw.com
Tanzania: Tanzania’s head of state John Magufuli has long made fun of Corona. Now he himself is said to be seriously ill and has been taken out of the country. sueddeutsche.de
Climate change alters security situation: Climate change alters economic starting points. For example, the Arctic region was reliably covered by ice, now new options are emerging for the riparian states as the Arctic ice shrinks and economic interests are clearly formulated. tagesspiegel.de
Methane – no one knows how much is released: Regardless of where natural gas is produced, methane is always released. Even though natural gas is considered a bridging technology in the energy transition because it is supposed to be less harmful to the climate than coal. The EU cannot provide reliable and independent data on how much methane is released. Now studies indicate that methane emissions from the gas infrastructure are significantly underestimated. klimareporter.de
Pandemics and climate change lead to new crises: The rise in food prices is leading to global problems. In many regions of the world, the mixture of pandemic and price inflation has significant consequences. The high prices have a destabilising effect because they cause hardship for people and they increase the expectation that the government must help more. tagesschau.de
How our consumption affects the climate and the environment: The demand for organic products and regional goods is increasing. Behind this is often the desire for a healthy and sustainable diet. However, those who want to consume in an environmentally and climate-friendly way should not only pay attention to quality labels – but also consider the production conditions. dlf.de
Switzerland: Votes in favour of free trade agreement with Indonesia. Consequences for palm oil. srf.ch
China: Emissions continue to rise. spiegel.de
Siberia: Air pollution turns snow black. dw.com
Ticks: TBE and Lyme disease. High numbers of infections expected. tagesschau.de
Lego: Sugar cane instead of plastic.spiegel.de
Amazon: Damaged forest accelerates climate change.nationalgeographic.com
Spiders named Greta Thunberg: Peter Jäger is an arachnologist. Less than a year ago, he honoured the climate protection activist Greta Thunberg by naming the species of giant crab spiders he discovered on Madagascar Thunberga. He wanted to draw attention to the threat to biodiversity posed by climate change. He assigned four species to the new genus, but there were many more, and now there are 25 in total. derstandard.at
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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