FAIReconomics Newsletter week 12/20                                            Deutsche Version

Coronavirus has drastic consequences for the energy industry: The conoravirus also has drastic consequences for the energy industry in Germany. Crashing share prices, companies closing production facilities, working in the home office – Germany and Europe are currently changing their face. For the electricity demand in Germany, it doesn’t matter first of all whether the devices are running at home or in the company, the server infrastructure in the companies is in operation in any case. However, the decline in production is leading to falling wholesale prices. Hard coal-fired power plants, which have high marginal costs, will be taken off the market, and the low gas prices will ensure that gas-fired power plants are used more. In addition, traffic will be reduced. As far as the security of energy supply is concerned, producers and network operators have alarm and emergency plans, they are closely monitored and coordinated by government agencies. erneuerbareenergien.de tagesspiegel.de
No agreement on distances for wind turbines: The minimum distance of a thousand metres to residential buildings when wind turbines are erected continues to cause noise in the GroKo.  The negotiations on Wednesday also remained without result.  There was also no agreement at the Minister President’s Conference on Thursday. While the CDU is propagating the 1000-meter rule in order to create more acceptance for wind power, the SPD sees this regulation as an obstacle to the expansion of renewable energy. Sixty-five percent renewable power is to be available by 2030. Now a working group is to be formed to solve the problem.  zdf.de zeit.de ,  deutschlandfunk.de  taz.de

Leadership in times of crisis: Good leaders who are at peace with themselves act autonomously out of an inner agreement with what is considered important, have the ability to enter the debate and take a stand for their convictions. Companies and company leaders at the first and second level who have invested in their corporate culture, corporate values and mindset in a timely and regular manner are much better able to act in crisis situations. fair-economics.de

12.3 million Germans regularly suffer from hay fever. The incidence has increased dramatically worldwide since the 1970s. The number of people affected by hay fever in Germany, for example, doubled between 1990 and 2011, and currently about 12.3 million Germans suffer from it. According to figures from the Robert Koch Institute, about one in five adults and one in four children or adolescents is affected by a form of allergy such as hay fever, allergic asthma, neurodermatitis, food or contact allergies. spektrum.de

Oil price in the dump: The corona epidemic sent the oil price plummeting, not only did global oil consumption drop by 3.8 million barrels, but now rivalries between Russia and Saudi Arabia are adding to this, causing the oil price to drop further. At first this seems to please motorists, but mobility is declining due to the corona crisis. Around 1.6 million tons of CO2 per day are saved, which is equivalent to Canada’s daily emissions. However, a low oil price could counteract the national CO2 price.  klimareporter.de

Climate negotiations postponed: The virus now affects the UN climate negotiations. The UN climate secretariat has cancelled all meetings and conferences worldwide. The meetings are to be postponed or alternatively held by telephone and video. Also the preparatory conference for the climate summit COP 26 in Glasgow at the beginning of June in Bonn in Glasgow is still uncertain. With more than currently 600 infected persons (as of Saturday), North Rhine-Westphalia is a corona hotspot and is therefore unreasonable for guests from abroad. It is also a matter of the fact that the participants of the working meetings can no longer leave the country and even have to go into quarantine, Espinosa said in her announcement. spiegel.de

Scientists no longer want plastic waste deposits: The earth is in a „plastic crisis“, this is the alarming diagnosis of a European research group.  The researchers see approaches to solving the crisis in reducing consumption, recycling and preventing plastic from entering the environment. Among other things, the scientists call for a ban on waste exports. Plastic waste should also no longer be allowed to be dumped in landfills.  sueddeutsche.de

Global warming higher than expected: The new CMIP6 simulations by climate researchers provide new values for future global warming. They indicate a significantly higher climate sensitivity than their previous reports. Now the mean values for global warming range from 1.8 to 5.6 degrees, averaging about 3.7 degrees, compared to three degrees in the earlier IPCC report. Overall, the warming is increasing by 0.4 to 0.9 degrees more than in the earlier simulations. carbonbrief.org focus.de
Leckerland ist abgebrannt – Ernährungslügen und der rasante Wandel der Esskultur by Manfred Kriener

The public book launch is canceled this week, like so much else these days.  Our kitchens are bubbling. Manfred Kriener stands at the stove and measures the pulse of cook and chef. This book is not a guide. It does not tell us what we should or may eat. Instead, it serves up an information package so that the consumer, as the sovereign over his plate, can competently orientate himself. According to his own standards of value. This book is a sparring partner for thoughtful consumers. In this country people talk about nutrition all the time, but often there is a lack of knowledge and judgement. In this confusing situation, this book informs about what we eat every day, but prefer not to know exactly. It informs, without the siren sound of the alarmists, about the rapid change in our eating culture – in dense information writing and with humorous touches, for which the author, who has received several awards, is known. Anyone who has read this book will go shopping with different eyes. It trains scepticism and competence of the readers so that they do not fall for the often dubious food recommendations and fashions. It is also a book against food fanaticism and for self-confident enjoyment. hirzel.de

No supply chain law: chancellery slows down Heil und Müller. rnd.de
Tesla Gigafactory: More than 360 complaints for factory in Grünheide, Brandenburg. moz.de
Greta Thunberg: Instead of demos on the street, actions on the Internet.  miss.at
Japan: Counts on coal-fired power plants. taz.de
France: Companies under pressure from the USA because of NorthStream 2. dw.com
Switzerland: Palm oil network for more sustainability founded. schweizerbaucer.ch
Traffic jam capital Munich: Munich motorists were stuck in traffic jams for 87 hours, making the Bavarian capital the front-runner.  It is followed by Berlin with 66 hours and Düsseldorf with 50 hours. On average, commuters in the 74 German cities surveyed lost 46 hours. In an international comparison, German commuters are even more privileged. In Rio de Janeiro, motorists lost an average of 190 hours. In Europe, the situation is particularly bad in Rome with 166 and Paris with 165 hours per year. handelsblatt.com
Public transport and the corona crisis – systemic: Many commuters have no alternative to get to work. Around 30 million people use public transport every day. But in times of corona there is now a threat of cancellations and emergency timetables. The transport companies are preparing for the challenges in very different ways and the regional transport offer is being thinned out.  In addition, the risk of infection is particularly high in buses and trains. Ticket checks are to be dispensed with, especially on regional trains. welt.de , faz.net
GM with e-mobility offensive: The largest US carmaker General Motors (GM) wants to finally get off to a good start on the topic of electromobility. By 2025, around 20 billion dollars (18 billion euros) are to be invested in the development of electric and self-propelled cars. At an investor event, the company also announced e-models for all brands in its product range. funkschau.de

Toll Investigation Committee – mobile phone data deleted: The mobile phone data of Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer have been deleted. In the committee of inquiry into the failed car toll, the Minister of Transport’s text messages were hoping for new findings. Data from the time the contract was concluded were destroyed. The chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the committee of inquiry, Christian Jung: „It is an incredible process. In the slipstream of the corona virus, Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer announced today that the allegedly secured mobile phone data of himself and very close confidants of the management level of his ministry had unfortunately been deleted until February 2019 due to a joint change of mobile phone model and were no longer available. So Andreas Scheuer is using the corona virus in cold blood to delete his mobile phone data and the corresponding notification of the Bundestag, as the media is currently reporting less about the Toll Investigation Committee. He must have known weeks ago about the complete deletion of his mobile phone data, which he and his ministry had kept from the Bundestag and the investigating committee. With the destruction of the mobile phone data, important evidence was thus destroyed forever, which could have provided an insight into the toll disaster of the CSU and Andreas Scheuer. This will have an aftermath for the minister, who is in any case ailing. Such an action will not win trust even within the government faction and the CSU“. spiegel.de
Future of the night trains: The parliamentary group of the Left again addresses the future of night trains in a short question (19/17474). From the perspective of the members of parliament, the federal government has not completely answered the minor question of the Left parliamentary group (19/15761) „Future of night trains“ despite two extensions of the deadline. „If an assessment is requested, an evaluation of the facts described by the Federal Government is required and not a presentation of known facts“, the current draft states. In it, the government is asked how it assesses the current situation and the future for night train services, especially in view of the efforts to protect the climate, „even if certain connections may not be economically viable in themselves or at least do not operate profitably immediately when the line is launched“. What consequences the Federal Government draws from models such as the reintroduction of the Brussels-Vienna night train, where the risk for the first three years of operation is borne by the public sector, and whether it plans to implement such a model for connections to and from Germany, are also of interest to the members of parliament.
Coronavirus and mobility: How COVID 19 affects mobility in Switzerland. LinkedIn.com
Riding a bike: How to motivate people to switch to the bicycle. zeit.de
More Education for Sustainable Development: In a motion (19/17796), the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group advocates greater commitment to the implementation and further development of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Germany from 2020. The MEPs demand that the measures of the National Action Plan for ESD adopted in 2017 be implemented swiftly and in full and that the necessary resources be made available for this purpose. This should apply in particular to the strengthening of the participation rights of children and young people, to the strengthening of early childhood, school, vocational, academic, formal, non-formal and informal education and to adult education in order to enable current and future generations to act sustainably. In addition, strengthening vocational education and training by intensifying the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training’s (BiBB) pilot projects in anchoring ESD in current and future regulatory procedures and in further curricular implementations. In addition, the content of the National Action Programme is to be linked with Agenda 2030 and cooperation and objectives with other states, particularly in Europe, are to be strengthened. Furthermore, the basic idea of education for sustainable development is to be based on a more sustainable design of educational institutions, according to which education should be accessible to all children, young people and adults regardless of their socioeconomic background, gender or other factors in an inclusive way. The number of early school-leavers, apprenticeship and university drop-outs should be further reduced.
Adjustment of the Fertiliser Directives: The EU Commission has held out the prospect of suspending the infringement proceedings against Germany for non-compliance with the EU Nitrate Directive (91/676/EEC). On the basis of a communication of 7 February 2020, an agreement on the necessary adjustments within the framework of the Regulation amending the Fertiliser Ordinance was reached in talks between the Federal Government and the EU Commission on 11 February 2020, the government states in an answer (19/17677) to a minor question (19/16903) of the FDP parliamentary group. It further states that the infringement proceedings will be suspended provided that the necessary adjustments are implemented and the amending ordinance is adopted by the Bundesrat on 3 April 2020.
Overhead line field test: The FDP parliamentary group would like to know how the Federal Government views the overhead line truck field test on the A5 and A1 motorways. In a short question (19/17484) the members of parliament write In order to examine the extent to which CO2 emissions from trucks can be reduced by means of electric overhead lines on motorways, 14.6 million euros have been spent on electrified test tracks in Hesse. In Schleswig-Holstein, too, a test track with a length of around five kilometers between the Reinfeld junction and the Lübeck interchange was completed in January 2020. „The costs amount to more than 19 million euros, which will be borne by the federal government,“ the bill states. However, initial evaluations of the test on the A5 in Germany by the manufacturer Scania and the Federal Ministry for the Environment would have shown that hybrid trucks that drive electrically on the motorway using overhead lines save only about ten percent CO2 compared to purely conventionally driven trucks. The German government is now being asked how it assesses the cost-benefit ratio of such a measure in view of the high costs of around one million euros per kilometre for the electrification of motorways with overhead lines. The Liberals also want to know what overall costs the federal government has so far incurred in tests with overhead line trucks..
Authorization of plant protection products: The Left Group has tabled a motion (19/17767) with the aim of directing plant protection towards the protection of biodiversity and beekeeping. The Left Party wants to ensure that in the approval procedure for plant protection product active substances, tests and studies for the evaluation of active substances, which must be submitted by the applicant, are not commissioned and paid for by the applicant himself, but that these tests and studies are commissioned by an independent body, listed transparently and the results made publicly available after completion of the tests and studies. These tests and studies should be financed from a fund into which the applicants pay according to the scope of the tests and studies. The Group wants to ensure that neither institutions involved in risk assessment nor the scientists involved are subject to conflicts of interest.
Plastics in soil as a problem for the future: manufacturers and distributors would have to be made more responsible for reducing pollutants entering soil and water. This was the unanimous view of the experts on Wednesday at an expert meeting of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Sustainable Development. „Avoiding is cheaper than repairing“, said Issa Nafo (Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband). The 10,000 sewage treatment plants in Germany purified the wastewater to a very high standard, Nafo said. But they are not able to filter out all trace substances, with pharmaceuticals, cosmetics or pesticides causing the greatest problems. He said that 200 substances were traced in the wastewater treatment plants. The expert predicted that the trend towards an increase in the use of medicines would be reflected in the sewage treatment plants. He criticized the high use of antibiotics and emphasized that Internet searches often establish a connection between antibiotics and influenza control, although this was not the case. more at bundestag.de

In energy policy, almost all ideas and proposals so far indicate that we will see an increase in the price of energy in Germany. But energy is the Achilles‘ heel of the economy, especially in eastern Germany. We have had some good years in Saxony. You can see that in Kodersdorf, the industrial area stood empty for a long time, but is now full. It must not be allowed to break down – but there are signs of it already. Companies are asking themselves whether they can still produce in Germany with the CO2 tax and the increase in energy prices.
Michael Kretschmer (CDU), Prime Minister of Saxony, when it came to the phase-out of lignite, many German politicians would have been in favour of it because it did not affect them. When it was said that we wanted to preserve jobs, many people also said yes. When it came to the 40 billion, a great many people would have been really angry. They would have had to be reminded of the first word they had given. lr-online.de
„My government is now investigating all possibilities to use the judicial system in different countries, including under international law, to shift the costs of climate protection back to the companies that use fossil fuels; the financial institutions and the governments that have actively or unconsciously created this existential threat to my country.
Ralph Regenvanu, Foreign Minister of the island state of Vanuatu, wants to take his country to the International Court of Justice. He said that they were not contributing anything to the problem, which would mean a considerable financial loss for the islands. The result of the tropical storm Pam has cost us 60 percent of our gross domestic product. This is enormous damage caused by an event which science has said will be even more intense and even more destructive in the future. Vanuatu, as one of the least developed countries, does not have the financial means to do anything about it. So we have to find all the options that will help to find the financial means to further develop our country. deutschlandfunk.de

Life expectancies have improved: Despite the increasing consequences of climate change, living conditions in the industrialized countries have improved for many people over the past ten years. Nevertheless, there are still major inequalities in selected countries. On the positive side, life expectancy has increased in most countries since 2010. The report published by the OECD states that the countries where average well-being is generally higher tend to be those where inequalities are relatively lower. The biggest improvements in prosperity are in Eastern European countries. zeit.de
In Kenya, shepherds are turning invasive cactus into biofuel: The prickly pear cactus, a plant that is not endemic, is spreading more and more in Kenya. Meanwhile, thousands of hectares of pasture land are overgrown and the animals are threatened. Now the shepherds have looked for a solution. And they have found it. Some resourceful farmers use the cactus to produce biogas.  At 1,000 US dollars, it costs only about half as much as a conventional biogas system. But even for many cattle herders this is not affordable. dw.com
Climate change: Soybean cultivation in Siberia could become possible. sueddeutsche.de
No free weather app: German weather service is obliged to offer a fee-based service spiegel.de
Recession due to coronavirus: For the climate, this is only a short-term recovery. deutschlandfunk.de

Coronavirus food delivery services are experiencing a late boom: In Germany, delivery services were something for the Chinese or Vietnamese around the corner or the pizza delivery guy. Now the Germans are increasingly switching to food delivery services. More and more Germans are ordering everyday items such as food via app or smartfone „We are noticing a significant increase in ordering intensity in online trading“, REWE reports. But those who believe that they are being supplied just in time are mistaken.  „In some delivery areas such as Berlin, time slots for the next delivery are only available after one week has elapsed, in other regions already the next day or the day after next“ heise.de

All pictures Source –  pixabay.com
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