to the German edition

What climate change will cost Germany: From 2000 to 2021, at least 145 billion euros in damages were caused by the consequences of heat, drought or floods. These extreme weather events are becoming more likely due to climate change. By the middle of the century, researchers expect cumulative economic damages of 280 to 900 billion euros, depending on the extent of global warming. This is the result of a current study presented last week in Berlin. In addition to the financially measurable damages, there are numerous health impairments, deaths from heat and flooding, the strain on ecosystems, the loss of biodiversity and the reduction of quality of life.

Habeck turns subsidy rules upside down for the climate-friendly transformation of industry: The minister wants to modernise industry with many billions of euros from the state coffers. However, there has been criticism of the previous transformation plan. Now Habeck has tightened it up. German industry can hope for massive support from the state for its transformation in the near future. As early as April, companies will be able to register their interest in the climate protection contracts with the Federal Ministry of Economics. With the climate protection contracts, companies in energy-intensive industry will receive up to 15 years of state reimbursement for the additional costs they incur in converting to green production methods. The contracts are considered a central building block in Habeck’s transformation plan. The federal government is expected to pay 68 billion euros this way.

Exactly one third of the electricity generated in Germany and fed into the grid came from coal-fired power plants last year.

this was reported by the Federal Statistical Office.  In 2021, the share was still 30.2 per cent. This means that electricity generation from coal increased by 8.4 percent within a year. In the meantime, however, almost as much electricity is generated from photovoltaics as from natural gas. Electricity generation from natural gas decreased by 11.3 percent, photovoltaics increased by 19.5 percent. Overall, 1.9 percent less electricity was fed into the grid than in the previous year.

Objections to LNG project off Rügen: Deutsche Umwelthilfe (German Environmental Aid) has raised objections with the responsible authority against an LNG project planned by RWE off the island of Rügen. The project is being unjustly pushed ahead by means of accelerated procedures. The project is the largest fossil fuel project in Europe. The energy company RWE is planning an LNG terminal off the island of Rügen that will have an annual import capacity of up to 38 billion cubic metres of gas after its completion in autumn 2024. This is more than half of the planned capacity of all eleven LNG terminals already stipulated in the German government’s LNG Acceleration Act. The law places the construction of the terminals in the „overriding public interest“ and thus bypasses, for example, detailed environmental impact and climate impact assessments.

„National Water Strategy“ – Environment Minister presents new water management: The Federal Cabinet will adopt the National Water Strategy on 15 March. This was stated by Miriam Haritz, Head of the Sub-Department „Water Management, Water Protection, Soil Conservation“ at the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV), at the 56th Essen Conference in Aachen. Behind all those involved lies a „marathon“ lasting over two legislative periods, during which the National Water Strategy was developed in a participatory process. All ministries had signed the 120-page document. There was interdepartmental awareness-raising for the topic of water. , government draft

Dramatic drought, is Europe drying out? Plenty of rain in winter is important to replenish water reserves in the soil, explains Smantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service: „But when we look at our maps, we see a deficit in soil moisture.“ In large parts of Europe, it is currently drier than it has ever been at this time of year. In the middle of winter, there is a lack of water in many countries: the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, France or Italy. In Southern Europe, this is already causing wheat and barley crop failures. In particular, there is an urgent need for action to collect and recycle water.

BMWK wants to promote heating system replacement with a programme worth millions: The Federal Minister of Economics and Climate Protection, Robert Habeck, has announced a programme worth billions of euros to promote the gradual replacement of heating systems with more climate-friendly models. This should be based on income, his ministry announced in Berlin on Thursday. „Nobody is going to run down to the cellar and tear it out,“ said the Green politician, referring to gas or oil heating systems still in use. There should therefore be „numerous exceptions, transitional solutions and deadlines“, according to a paper entitled „Renewing prosperity in a climate-neutral way“, which Habeck presented. ,



Klima außer Kontrolle

How well prepared is Germany when streams become torrents, cities become uninhabitable in ever hotter summers or the sea reclaims the coast?

Journalists Susanne Götze and Annika Joeres have researched throughout Germany how little the federal, state and local governments are doing to protect us all from the consequences of the climate crisis. They reveal how at the mercy of the new climate reality we are: Our cities are ill-prepared for heat waves, hospitals are not adequately protected against power outages and homes near rivers are often barely equipped against flooding. Our nature, fields and forests are also unable to adapt quickly to the new weather conditions. The authors point out concrete ways to ensure our survival in the future – with and not against nature. One thing is certain: it will take a huge effort, but adapting to the climate crisis is possible and necessary.

We can no longer stop climate change, but only mitigate the crisis. We must prevent every additional tenth of a degree of global warming – but at the same time focus on the many large and small adjustments that are already possible and necessary today. For this is the opportunity that the climate crisis – in addition to all the dangers – offers us: It opens a window for fundamental change for the better. To greener cities, locally produced food, diverse forests and living instead of emptied landscapes. We now have the opportunity to come to terms with nature and its forces in a new way. We have all the tools at our disposal, there are highly specialised experts, creative scientists and many dedicated people all over the world fighting against destruction and for our survival. We just have to tackle it.

Denmark: Starts first CCS project.
Greenpeace: Demonstrations in front of nuclear power plants for immediate shutdown.
Criticism of Habeck’s heating regulations: Plans are not thought through from front to back.
Climate activist sentenced: They took motorists hostage, judge says.
Wind turbines: NRW deletes distance rule for repowering.
UN: Buys tanker to prevent oil disaster off Yemen.
Products from CO2: How the climate polluter becomes a valuable raw material.
France: Starts building floating offshore wind farms.

The seventeeen 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.


What is the hype about hydrogen?

Without green hydrogen, we will not achieve climate neutrality. However, the way there is not only complicated, but probably also less clean than hoped.  Without hydrogen, or more precisely without green hydrogen, there can be no climate neutrality in Germany. This is not only the view of industry, but also that of Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), among others. In fact, we are already using hydrogen in Germany. But it is „grey“ and extremely harmful to the climate because a lot of CO2 is released into the atmosphere during its production from natural gas. Because we want to use much more hydrogen in the future as a substitute for natural gas and other fossil fuels, the miracle gas must become „green“. But this requires a lot of renewable energy, which is then used to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen in an electrolysis process. Sounds complicated? It is. In order for the system of a hydrogen economy to be „made to work“, economist Veronika Grimm therefore pleads for „pragmatism“ in the podcast. The economist from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg explains why, for her, there is no way around blue hydrogen from natural gas, for example. There, CCS technology is used to capture at least part of the climate-damaging CO2 during production and inject it into the ground.


Holidays and climate change: as travellers, we need to find new ways to travel

by Doris Wegner

We can no longer afford the carelessness of past years. But that doesn’t mean we should do without holidays.

So, have you booked your holiday yet? So have I. Like so many. Now, in spring, most people are getting ready for their travel year. And as it looks at the moment, there might actually be as much travelling this year as there was before Corona. What a privilege to be able to take a few days off, hop on a plane and perhaps lie on a beach on another continent.  It would be utopian to assume that people will stop travelling, even though air travel in particular is one of the top contributors to climate change. And that would not necessarily be a good or sensible thing.

The absolute standstill during the pandemic drastically demonstrated what happens when tourists stay away. On the holiday island of Majorca, many slipped below the poverty line because income disappeared overnight; some women had no choice but to prostitute themselves. Not only in Namibia did poaching increase dramatically because the sale of elephant teeth suddenly became the only source of income again. In Vietnam, a nationwide project for street children was on the brink of collapse because the turnover of travellers in the training restaurants was missing. These are just three examples of the role tourism plays economically, socially and also for environmental and animal protection.  ….But it would be wrong to put the responsibility exclusively in the hands of the consumers. For a long time, the travel industry has ignored the explosive nature of climate protection and neglected its opportunities – with the exception of a few chic showpieces. Hotels across the board could have been equipped with photovoltaic systems long ago. The use of bio-alternatives to paraffin is still in its infancy, as if the problem had not been known long enough. And many cruise ships are using marine diesel again because of the gas crisis. Nevertheless: a lot has been set in motion because it has become noticeable to the travel companies how green alternatives and the reduction of CO2 emissions could reduce costs in the long run. But the way is not the goal in this case. It is: more mindfulness for our world, which would be poorer in many ways without travel.


Patchwork quilt for the 49-euro ticket: The new Deutschlandticket was supposed to be as simple as the 9-euro ticket. But even before the final decisions are made, it is clear that it will not be. And that starts with the price: the so-called 49-Euro-Ticket will not cost 49 euros for everyone.

China’s strong man has battery cell company on his mind: 37 percent of the global market for battery cells is controlled by the Chinese company CATL. While the company is entering into international cooperations, CATL is engaged in a price war with the competition on the domestic market. Even President Xi Jinping is bothered by this.  The Chinese battery cell giant CATL has come under the scrutiny of President Xi Jinping. The company’s status as the world leader in battery cells for e-cars gives him mixed feelings, Xi said, according to the official Xinhua news agency. He was happy about the company’s leadership position, but concerned about the risks involved.

Wissing: „Climate blah-blah“ will not move Germany forward: According to Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing, Germany must follow the path to climate neutrality with a policy that is open to technology and innovation. „We can only move our country forward with concrete proposals and not with climate blah-blah,“ he said on Saturday in Mainz at the Rhineland-Palatinate FDP party convention, where he was confirmed as state chairman. In his keynote speech, he took a swipe at the Greens, with whom the FDP sits at the coalition table in both the federal and state governments. He only touched on state politics.

Concept for climate-friendly flying: Aviation industry says goodbye to the model of cheap flights.

E-mobility: Misuse of premiums costs state hundreds of millions.

Frustration among EU partners over blockade of combustion car ban: EU diplomats in Brussels speak of a breach of trust and criticise the disunity of the government in Berlin in the debate on the combustion car ban. In future, they will always ask „what an agreement with Germany is worth at all“. The continuing German blockade of the planned ban on new internal combustion vehicles from 2035 is met with incomprehension and horror by European partners. EU diplomats in Brussels speak of a breach of trust and criticise the disunity of the government in Berlin. The leadership of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is also being questioned.


Study on hydrogen value creation potential from offshore wind energy in the North: According to the study „Hydrogen production and offshore wind energy value creation potential in Northern Germany“ by Trend:research, the importance of hydrogen production for energy supply is growing across sectors in order to decarbonise energy-intensive industry, parts of mobility such as shipping and other sectors. For northern Germany, this development brings great opportunities to become a pioneer in the industrialisation of hydrogen in Germany and Europe due to regional unique selling propositions, thus securing value creation potentials and especially employment for the region. In the best-case scenario, 45,000 employees and more than 20 billion euros in annual turnover are forecast. In addition to WAB e. V., the study was commissioned by PwC Deutschland, Erneuerbare Energien Hamburg and the federal states of Bremen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony. Study for download

Hydrogen passenger aircraft completes 15-minute test flight: The test flight of Universal Hydrogen’s hydrogen aircraft lasted 15 minutes. For the test, one of the turbine engines was replaced by a fuel cell electric powertrain. Next item on the agenda: a certificate for passenger flights by 2025.

Europe’s industry federations call for more nuclear hydrogen: The European steel and chemical industries are calling for nuclear-generated fuels to be included in the EU’s renewable energy targets. In doing so, the industry associations join France. The call for action was signed by industry groups from the steel, fertiliser and chemical sectors. They are considered the most likely buyers of clean hydrogen in the coming years.

Green, but not yet mature:  Heating with hydrogen – when is it a good alternative?

Like a natural battery: this enzyme converts air into electricity: Australian researchers have discovered an enzyme that can convert air into energy. In a study, the scientists show that the enzyme uses small amounts of hydrogen found in the air to generate electricity from it.

Top location Dithmarschen: More and more high-tech terminologies are settling in the far north of Germany. Because: Dithmarschen is considered a top location for innovative energy projects and is also home to traditional „Sünndreiher“. A green Silicon Valley is emerging on Germany’s coast. One anchor is the refinery in Heide. This is where the „Westküste 100“ project is being coordinated and where 100 million euros are being invested with partners. „The goal is to produce green hydrogen on an industrial scale in the first step by means of electrolysis from renewable electricity,“ says Sandra Niebler, head of Commercial and Economics. In the next stage, „Hyscale 100“, green hydrogen is to be produced on a large industrial scale, with 700 megawatts of electrolysis capacity. The conversion of processes is expected to lead to the binding of one million tonnes of CO₂ per year in the long term.


Reform aims to accelerate infrastructure projects: The reform of the Regional Planning Act (ROG) essentially includes modernisation and simplification in the preparation of spatial plans as well as aspects of speeding up procedures for large-scale projects through corresponding amendments to the spatial impact assessment, according to the federal government’s answer (20/5861) to a minor question (20/5636) by the AfD parliamentary group. In view of the many infrastructure projects, from wind farms to train lines to large industrial plants, the planned amendment is intended to speed up the procedures and increase planning security. The draft law provides for a slight modification of the Spatial Planning Ordinance. The examination of the Spatial Planning Ordinance had shown that an addition to or reduction of the catalogue of projects was not advisable. The participation of the public in the preparation of federal spatial development plans remains guaranteed, the answer states.

Government on German-Namibian energy cooperation: The project of the Hyphen consortium to produce green hydrogen or green ammonia within the framework of a German-Namibian energy cooperation is of a private-sector nature. This is stated in the answer of the Federal Government (20/5750) to a small question of the Left Party (20/5379). Details of the project are not yet known to the Federal Government. „The Federal Government supports German private-sector companies in their trade and investment activities abroad after examination, among other things, by means of the instruments of foreign trade promotion. The Federal Government does not currently have any applications from the Hyphen consortium for such support.“



If the CO2 price makes the CO2 -intensive product twice as expensive and there is an alternative, then the CO2 -intensive product will simply no longer be in demand.

Anke Weidlich, is an industrial engineer and professor for energy distribution technologies at the University of Freiburg,But clearly: there are also areas where few alternatives are available. Then people might feel compelled to take the more expensive product. And that, in turn, is the challenge. How can one achieve the right control with prices and at the same time prevent justice from falling by the wayside? If there is a feeling in society that high incomes can buy their way out, then acceptance will rightly suffer. At present, she sees no obvious candidates for so-called social tipping points, where a self-reinforcing process towards climate-friendly behaviour is set in motion. Technologically, this is more likely, as in the case of solar energy. Originally, it was the most expensive form of energy, but today it is the cheapest in some locations. That leads to exponential growth. And as we know, that can change things very quickly.

The German Tennet grid is virtually the Achilles‘ heel of the energy turnaround; the large lines are to be built there to bring wind energy from the north to southern Germany. After the turn of the millennium, the energy suppliers had to separate their grids from their other business in the course of the liberalisation and reorganisation of the electricity market. Power generation, grid operation and trading were separated. Therefore, the grid companies were spun off at that time.

Mirko Schlossarczyk, electricity market expert from the consulting firm Enervis ,…the Belgian network operator Elia has taken over 50Hertz, for example. And the Eon grid went to Tennet. At that time, it was considered to found a German grid company and to unite the four German grid operators there. However, massive taxpayers‘ money would have had to be spent on this. Today, Tennet alone estimates the current necessary investments for the expansion of its German grid at 15 billion euros.


In Africa, telecom access is the key to equality: Financial exclusion is often seen as one of the worst barriers to social participation, affecting women severely around the world. The problem is particularly acute in underserved areas in emerging and developing countries, where access to banking and financial services can be massively limited. Equally difficult, but perhaps less ingrained in public consciousness, is the problem of communication barriers. „Certain groups are excluded from telecommunication networks, preventing them from carrying out basic transactions such as mobile payments. This barrier also unfortunately disproportionately affects women,“ writes Thembeka Stemela Dagbo, fund manager of M&G Investments‘ Diversity & Inclusion Fund, „important to note: Of all sectors, the telecoms sector and broadcast tower operators have an extremely low proportion of women in their workforces – including in Africa.“ Telecom companies play an important role in providing mobile, data and financial solutions in underserved regions, reaching millions of people. Women in particular benefit from these solutions, as about 60% of them in sub-Saharan Africa are virtually excluded from the system financially and therefore rely on mobile payment solutions to transact and bank. This is particularly important, according to Dagbo, as almost 90% of women in sub-Saharan Africa work in the informal sector, i.e. not covered by the state. African telecommunication companies and tower operators play a key role in promoting the social inclusion of women and underserved populations in their communities. Therefore, they must also advocate for greater women’s empowerment in an industry that continues to be dominated by men, Dagbo further writes.

Kenya’s beating grandmothers: Why Africa’s women are not waiting for saviours from the West. And what we can learn from African feminists. The importance of feminist movements in African societies, without needing any outside impetus. In recent years, this has been impressively demonstrated by the activists of the Sudanese democracy movement, who played a leading role in the protests and the overthrow of the dictator Omar al-Bashir – similar to the women in Iran in the demonstrations against the regime in recent months. The Sudanese women can draw on a historical tradition of female resistance.

UN concerned about cholera outbreak in Southeast Africa: Cholera is rampant in several African countries, with tens of thousands of cases and many hundreds dead. The causes will probably not be eliminated any time soon. And now there is the threat of severe weather. Eleven countries in eastern and southern Africa are experiencing an „extremely worrying“ cholera outbreak, according to the UN children’s agency Unicef. Some 68,000 cases and nearly 1800 deaths have been recorded in the past 13 months, Unicef said. However, a much higher number of unreported cases is suspected, as many cases go unreported. The countries most affected are Malawi and Mozambique.

Large-scale plant in Mauritania to supply hydrogen: Green hydrogen is supposed to make Germany climate-neutral – but it is in short supply. In West Africa, there is now a new large-scale project that should help to change this. A huge electrolysis plant is being built in Mauritania with German participation. A large-scale plant for the climate-neutral production of hydrogen is to be built in the northwest African country of Mauritania. The electrolysis capacity could reach up to 10 gigawatts in the final stage, as the project developer Conjuncta announced in Hamburg. Green hydrogen, ammonia and renewable fuels for export could be produced, up to a total of eight million tonnes per year. The electricity is to be generated in the hinterland by wind turbines and photovoltaic plants

Drought in northern Kenya threatens national parks: In East Africa, there has been little to no rain for five years. Especially in northern Kenya, in many parts of Somalia, in southern Ethiopia and in northern Uganda, the situation threatens the lives of many people. The soil is too dry for agricultural cultivation; many pastoralist families have already lost up to 70 percent of their livestock. In Kenya alone, according to Welthungerhilfe, 4.4 million people are in a food crisis due to the drought; the government has already declared a state of emergency. While organisations on the ground are trying to help the countless people affected and the number of deaths from starvation is rising daily, the consequences of the drought are also becoming apparent in the country’s national parks: as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) reported at the end of January, a total of 6,093 animals died in Amboseli National Park alone between June and November 2022.

South Africa: President reshuffles cabinet.

Tunisia: With a speech against immigrants from other African countries, Tunisian President Saied has fuelled racist violence. Several African countries are now taking their citizens back from Tunisia.


Food production as part of the climate crisis: Food production is a major contributor to the warming of the planet. The agricultural sector is responsible for about half of methane emissions and three percent of CO2 emissions, and the trend is rising. A few foods are responsible for the majority of emissions. First and foremost is an area that has already been suspected of being unsustainable: meat production. According to the new results, meat from ruminants and non-ruminants actually accounts for the largest share, followed by dairy farming. Only in third place is rice, a non-animal food. Based on the existing scientific literature, a team led by climate researcher Catherine Ivanovic from Columbia University in New York has now produced the most accurate forecast of greenhouse gas emissions from food production to date and published the results in the scientific journal „Nature Climate Change“. The bad news is that by 2100, food production alone could raise the average temperature on the planet by 0.9 degrees. Methane accounts for 60 percent of this increase, CO2 for another 20 percent. The remaining 20 per cent is accounted for by the lesser-known greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, which comes mainly from fertilisers.

What land sealing has to do with the mayfly: „Urban stream“ syndrome is the name given to the disease afflicting the landscape. More and more fields, meadows and forests are disappearing under new housing developments, business parks and shopping centres, but also car parks and roads. Of the 3.2 percent increase in land sealing in Germany between 2006 and 2015, 20 percent was in the countryside. Not, as previously assumed, in urban areas. This has consequences for the percolation of rain in the soil. Rainwater runs off superficially and contributes to the deterioration of water quality and freshwater biodiversity, especially near bodies of water. In particular, native species diversity and abundance decreases. Sensitive species such as mayflies, stoneflies or caddisflies suffer particularly from increased phosphorus levels. All three are indicators of healthy river ecosystems.  For the researchers, the increasing urbanisation of rural areas is a growing environmental threat. Other scientists also consider urbanisation – along with climate change – to be one of the two main threats to freshwater biodiversity in the coming decades.

How Australia’s wildfires destroyed the ozone layer: The catastrophic fires of 2019 and 2020 also affected the ozone layer: Apparently, the smoke released harmful chlorine molecules in the stratosphere. The Australian fires produced the most powerful plume ever recorded, releasing about one million tonnes of smoke at altitudes of up to 30 kilometres. This extended well into the stratosphere, the part of the atmosphere that contains the ozone layer that protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation, explains study author Kane Stone, an atmospheric chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. In the months following the forest fires, the hole in the ozone layer that forms over Antarctica every year was larger than in previous years. In addition, the ozone layer remained thinned out longer than usual.


Thailand: 200,000 Thais in hospital because of smog.
Space debris: Scientists call for worldwide efforts to eliminate space debris.
Hotel industry: How the conversion to sustainability can succeed.


Future of Food and Farming

Species Saviour Arable Farming? The path to sustainable agriculture?

This is the question we are asking ourselves on 16 March from 4:30 pm in the 7th edition of our discussion series „The Future of Food and Farming“. Interactive formats, exciting guests and a relaxed exchange over drinks and finger food await you. Drop by, we look forward to your participation!



Keynote lecture by David Spencer (RWTH Aachen and author of „Alles bio-logisch?!“)


Panel discussion with:

Dr Bettina Hoffmann, MdB (Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection)
David Spencer (RWTH Aachen)
Dr. Lina Seitzl, MdB (Rapporteur of the SPD Parliamentary Group for Biodiversity)
Dr Petra Dieker (Thünen Institute)

The discussion will be moderated by Heike Zeller.

click here to register


Lost the connection? German patent applications on the decline

Germany’s inventors in industry and research are weakening in their annual patent applications – in contrast to their foreign competitors. The number of domestic patent applications fell by 6.6 per cent to 37,194 last year, as reported by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) in Munich on Thursday. From abroad, 20,020 inventions and developments were filed for patenting, which was 6.8 per cent more than in 2021.

to the German edition

All images, unless otherwise stated:

You are receiving this newsletter because you are interested in environmental and sustainable issues.