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Compulsory renovation for old buildings: It is about the climate renovation of 35 million properties across Europe: The European Parliament has introduced strict energy efficiency rules. Owners of older houses in particular could suffer. With a clear majority, the European Parliament has voted that buildings in the EU should consume less energy in the future. This would be a decisive step towards less CO2 and thus towards the EU’s climate protection goals. After all, real estate caused more than two thirds of all carbon dioxide emissions throughout Europe. The EU Commission had therefore proposed the introduction of uniform so-called efficiency classes throughout Europe, which reflect energy consumption. Based on this, those buildings that currently perform worst should be the first to be modernised and better insulated. By 2033, all buildings are to achieve at least a medium efficiency class in energy consumption. In addition, it is planned that new buildings will be zero-emission buildings in terms of CO2 emissions from 2028. ,

Brussels wants to stand up to USA and China in „green“ technologies: The EU Commission wants to facilitate state aid for green technologies and promote the extraction of important raw materials. On Thursday in Brussels, it presented two key projects to make Europe more competitive with the USA and China by 2030. On the one hand, „green“ technologies are to be massively expanded and financially supported as a response to the multi-billion subsidy package of the USA. On the other hand, Europe is to become less dependent on China for important raw materials such as mobile phones or car batteries. Some of the industry and the European Parliament sharply criticised the plans. The Brussels authority presented the so-called Net Zero Industry Act, which Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had announced at the beginning of the year. This is Brussels‘ reaction to the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which earmarks around 370 billion dollars for clean technologies., ,


By 1.9 per cent

Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions fell slightly in 2022. Around 746 million tonnes of greenhouse gases were released – a good 15 million tonnes less than in 2021. Overall, emissions in Germany have thus fallen by 40.4 percent since 1990. Overall, the target values of the Federal Climate Protection Act (Bundesklimaschutzgesetz, KSG) are thus met, but there is a significant increase in the energy sector: this shows 10.7 million tonnes more than in 2021 and amounts to around 256 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalents. The reason for this is that despite the savings in natural gas, the increased use of hard coal and lignite in particular for electricity generation is causing emissions to rise. The good news is that electricity generation from renewable energies was able to curb this, increasing by nine percent compared to 2021. The energy sector can therefore just about meet its annual emission levels for 2022 of 257 million tonnes. The transport and buildings sectors, on the other hand, are once again above the annual emission quantities specified in the Federal Climate Protection Act.


Green party want to phase out coal earlier in the East: The Green parliamentary group wants an earlier coal phase-out in the East as well. An internal paper describes the first key points of a possible phase-out in Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.  Gas-fired power plants are to be built to guarantee the supply of electricity until the complete switch to climate-neutral energy. In their draft resolution, the Greens describe these as a crucial building block for the energy transition that can contribute to security of supply. The plants are to be built in such a way that they will later be hydrogen-capable. This means that natural gas would then be replaced by green hydrogen to generate electricity. The Greens see eastern Germany as the main producer region for green hydrogen in the future. They also hope to create new jobs in the region. Headwind comes from the eastern states. Brandenburg’s Minister President Dietmar Woidke considers discussions about an earlier phase-out to be completely superfluous at this point in time.  The SPD politician warned: „We have to be sure not to saw off the branch we are sitting on.“ It would be years before power plants could produce green hydrogen.

DWS: Less climate protection because of higher bonuses? Did Deutsche Bank subsidiary DWS portray itself and its securities funds as greener and more sustainable than it is? On both sides of the Atlantic, several authorities have been investigating this accusation made by the former DWS sustainability chief for almost two years. How the matter will turn out is still open. While the financial company maintains its innocence, CEO Stefan Hoops has already admitted that DWS may have been somewhat effusive in its marketing under his predecessor Asoka Wöhrman, who had to vacate his post a year ago.

Recycling to get out of Chinese dependency? Electromobility, solar plants and wind power require large quantities of critical raw materials. Prices are rising, and dependence on China is growing. Recycling could be a way out. After all, research has recently achieved some spectacular breakthroughs. Recycling could help alleviate impending shortages and make Europe less dependent on China. In a few years, a good 40 per cent of magnetic metals and more than half of battery raw materials could come from recycling, estimates the Heidelberg-based Öko-Institut.

Germany achieves climate goal: While the gross domestic product increased by just under two percent in 2022, greenhouse gas emissions in Germany decreased by 1.9 percent. This estimate was announced by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) on Wednesday. Companies, private households and the state still caused 746 million tonnes of climate-damaging gases in 2022 – 15 million tonnes less than in 2021. The target value of the Climate Protection Act was achieved – despite the attack on Ukraine, which led to the increased use of coal-fired power plants in this country.


Die Reue des Prometheus

From the gift of fire to global arson

From time immemorial, man has had to organise his „metabolism with nature“. For Marx, the most important factor in this was labour. When Prometheus, according to myth, brought fire to earth, another crucial input was added. For hundreds of thousands of years it has been used to cook food and harden tools. In this sense, it can be said that all history means the history of applications of fire.
But where trees used to burn only once each, the weights of the factors of labour and fire shifted with the discovery of underground deposits of coal and oil. Modern humanity, according to Peter Sloterdijk, can be considered a collective of arsonists who set fires to the underground forests and moors. If Prometheus were to return to earth today, he would possibly regret his gift, after all, nothing less than ekpyrosis, the downfall of the world in fire, looms. Only a new energetic pacifism can prevent this catastrophe.


Green ministers on the Amazon: Deforestation to be stopped.
EU: German government criticises planned EU relaxation on genetic engineering.
New pressure: Climate science has been warning for years that it is „5 to 12″ to avert the worst consequences of climate change. Nevertheless, politicians are doing too little.
Nature Conservation Union warns: Oceans are being insidiously poisoned by rotting munitions.
Tennet 111 billion euros in the next ten years: The Dutch grid operator wants the federal government to be the future owner of its German electricity grids. Because in the future they will swallow billions.
Forest certificates: „Nature certificates“ and improved CO₂ credits are to protect rainforests, finance climate protection and reform private climate financing.
France: Farmers pray for rain in winter.
Bundestag: Decides on 49 euro ticket.
RWE: Confirms preliminary work for LNG terminal on Rügen.

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.


Can capitalism have a climate?

Is capitalism to blame for climate change? Many say: „Yes! Just abolish it! But it can’t be a planned economy à la the GDR. That wasn’t good for the climate either. In this Funkkolleg episode, Jennifer Sieglar shows whether and how capitalism and climate can somehow be reconciled and what this has to do with the working life of the future.


The debate on the end of the internal combustion engine is bizarre

by Martin Franz

E-fuels are not available on a massive scale, and according to all that is foreseeable, this will not change any time soon. Nevertheless, they serve as an argument for allowing cars with combustion engines to be registered for the first time after 31 December 2034. The FDP and the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) are fighting vehemently for this. However, it is not clear why and, above all, for whom. First, however, a widespread misunderstanding must be cleared up. The internal combustion engine will not be banned in 2035. It will still be possible to operate it for many years after that, and in all likelihood it will remain the number one source of power for passenger cars globally for a long time to come. The ban discussed for 2035 is a ban on the registration of new cars.

In other words: The aim is to reach a point in twelve years‘ time where the number of cars with internal combustion engines will no longer increase. So no one who currently has a say in the political arena is arguing for a ban on the use of combustion cars from 2035. With synthetic fuels, a combustion engine can be operated in a way that is less harmful to the environment than with petroleum-based fuel. It is produced with the help of renewable energies. During production, as much CO₂ should be removed from the environment as is subsequently released back into it during combustion. For the time being, e-fuels will not change the local conditions. Noise, pollutants and, not to be forgotten, an overall subterranean efficiency in operation and production remain – whether synthetic or petroleum-based fuel is burnt. But this does not appeal to the proponents. For them, the improved CO₂ balance is enough to argue in favour of internal combustion engines in new cars even after 2035. A recent survey by ARD-DeutschlandTrends shows that this argumentation sticks with a relevant part of the population. The fairy-tale narrative that with e-fuels things will simply go on as before is something that is not only repeatedly put forward by some circles from above. It is also what many want to believe.


Federal Minister of Transport Wissing – Transport sector is on the right track with climate protection. The opposition criticises the transport sector for not meeting the CO₂ targets. But it is on the right track, says Wissing. High figures are an expression of a dynamic economy. The minister referred to the increasing number of electric cars, the expansion of the charging infrastructure, subsidy programmes for the conversion of diesel buses and the Deutschlandticket. „The drive turnaround has been initiated and its ramp-up is increasing,“ said the FDP politician. Last year, more than 80 per cent of all cars registered for the first time had a combustion engine installed. Meanwhile, climate activists protested against the minister’s policy to the Federal Ministry of Transport in Berlin. Using an excavator, they tore down a wall of cardboard boxes on which was written „1.5° climate limit“ on Wednesday. Activists wearing Wissing masks then smashed the boxes. On a banner they demanded „Scrap CARpitulism“. „A disaster“. These are the words of Green transport expert Stefan Gelbhaar in response to the Federal Environment Agency’s forecasts of last year’s greenhouse gas emissions, which were presented today. The transport sector is the only department that both missed its 2022 targets and saw an increase in emissions. , ,

Transport ministers want to end chaotic air passenger controls: 49-euro ticket, check-in jams at the airports, speed 30 zones in the municipalities – the transport ministers of the longer have a lavish agenda in the coming week.

Will the railway now be broken up? The Court of Auditors calls the federally owned Bahn AG a „restructuring case“. The federal government should control the network, sell off divisions – and set clear goals.

Funding notices make you wonder: the German government is making climate protection worthwhile. According to its own information, it is making 1.6 billion euros available by 2024 to promote climate-friendly commercial vehicles, and another five billion euros for the development of a refuelling and charging infrastructure. But where are the billions, ask fleet operators who want to invest in zero-emission trucks or charging stations.

Private electric cars: Stuttgart, Münster and Bielefeld ahead: Among the large German cities, the inhabitants of Stuttgart, Münster, Bielefeld and Munich drive electric cars particularly often. There, purely electric cars make up a particularly large share of private cars, as an evaluation of current figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority shows. Overall, however, the 26 cities with more than a quarter of a million inhabitants clearly fare worse than the national average when it comes to private cars.

Alternative to e-mobility: While politicians debate the pros and cons of synthetic fuels, young technology companies are pushing ahead with production – and are being showered with venture capital. They see their target markets outside the automotive sector.

5,000 e-cars per day would be „Germany’s pace of e-mobility: For the goal of at least 15 million fully electric passenger cars by 2030 proclaimed by the traffic light coalition in the coalition agreement, around 5,000 pure electric cars would have to be registered every day with immediate effect. This is the result of a projection made by the Berlin-based think tank Agora Verkehrswende. Currently, there are about one million vehicles on the road. In contrast, average daily sales in January 2023 were only 585 new registrations per day, and 1,160 in February. The highest registration figures to date were in December 2022 with 3,365 new vehicles per day. Anything below target from now on would have to be compensated for by all the higher sales figures in the following months and years, the analysts point out.

Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union warns of environmental destruction: Instead of building a new line, NABU would like to have the existing railway line between Bielefeld and Hanover upgraded. The ICE trains would be ten minutes slower, but the damage to nature would be significantly less, according to NABU representative Eva von Löbbecke.


Breakthrough for the nationwide introduction of hydrogen: According to a media report, the German gas industry has achieved a breakthrough in the nationwide introduction of hydrogen. „The issue of efficient and large-scale transport of hydrogen has basically been solved,“ it says in a letter from the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) to the German government. According to the letter, the resistance, wear behaviour and crack propagation of more than 30 of the steels most commonly used in the gas network in Germany were investigated over several years. In a summary, it is stated that the DVGW study proves that the operating behaviour during the transport of hydrogen does not differ from that of natural gas under the usual operating conditions in gas supply networks.

Bremen connected to hyperlink: Bremen is to be connected to a supra-regional transport network for hydrogen running through Lower Saxony in 2025. This was confirmed by the spokesperson of the transmission system operator Gasunie Deutschland. Gasunie is building the Hyperlink transport system, which will also connect Germany with the neighbouring countries of the Netherlands and Denmark.

Rotterdam is becoming a hydrogen leader: Numerous hydrogen projects are being planned in the port of Rotterdam and some are already being implemented. The goal is to become the central European hydrogen hub. According to estimates, up to 18 million tonnes of green hydrogen can land in the port of Rotterdam in 2050. By 2030, there should already be at least 4.6 million tonnes, and the first hydrogen imports in 2024.

Ammonia could become a real fuel alternative to hydrogen: The nitrogen-hydrogen mixture ammonia could be a real fuel alternative to classic hydrogen. And at a lower price. In order for us in Germany to reach our climate goals by 2045, we have to rethink in many areas. In the meantime, green alternatives to fossil fuels are already available in many places. However, the procurement of these alternatives is often still a problem. One example is hydrogen, which is seen as a great hope for the shipping and steel industries, because batteries are rarely profitable on a large scale. But how can we have access to sufficient quantities of hydrogen in the foreseeable future? Ammonia could be a profitable and quickly available solution here. Large corporations such as RWE, Mitsubishi and the Korean chemical company Lotte also see it that way.

What an exploding well means for the future of energy: Some experts suspect large deposits of hydrogen in the earth’s crust, which could be produced cheaply, efficiently and in an environmentally friendly way.

Study: European offshore hydrogen infrastructure has high potential: DNV puts the potential for green hydrogen at 300 TWh per year. Hydrogen system costs of 4.69 to 4.97 euros per kilogram are possible. The demand for hydrogen in Europe is so high that there is no way around offshore production. This is the basic assumption of the new study „Specification of a European Offshore Hydrogen Backbone“. The analysis, commissioned by the infrastructure operators Gascade and Fluxys and prepared by DNV, highlights the considerable advantages of an offshore hydrogen backbone in the North and Baltic Seas. According to the study, the energy generation potential of offshore wind farms in the North and Baltic Seas is immense and may even be beyond the capacity limits of the grid. According to the DNV study, offshore hydrogen production connected by pipeline is cheaper than onshore production. Thanks to pipeline connections and high load capacities, the North Sea and Baltic Sea are among the cheapest sources of green hydrogen in Europe, the analysis says.


Government on the consequences of climate change for winter sports: The Federal Government is aware that climate change will have an impact on winter sports, especially in the medium and long term. This affects both popular and professional sports, both nationally and at the European and global level, according to the Federal Government’s answer (20/5933) to a minor question by the CDU/CSU parliamentary group (20/5691). The various actors at national and international level have a duty to deal with the challenges of climate change. This also includes sport itself. Addressing these challenges is a cross-cutting task that can only be tackled jointly and through cooperation at all levels of government and with the social actors concerned, including sport. The government goes on to say that the Länder have a responsibility to support municipalities and regions as key actors in the implementation of climate adaptation measures on the ground, which are faced with differentiated and very diverse challenges. Within the scope of its responsibility, the federal government provides support through the overarching development of strategies and the coordination of all fields of action and actors, through basic scientific work and research projects, through model project-related funding programmes, and through information, advice and networking of the actors.

Discussion on World Bank reform gains momentum:  According to German Executive Director Michael Krake, the World Bank needs an expanded mission statement in order to better respond to global challenges such as climate change in the future. It is about strengthening the resilience of countries and societies to crises, promoting sustainable investments and achieving inclusiveness by focusing more consistently on women and other population groups, Krake stressed in the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development on Wednesday morning. Overall, new incentives must be created for investments in social and ecological growth. Within the World Bank, there is now a great openness towards the reform process initiated last year by the German government, said Krake. Many perceive it as a great opportunity and have the will to change. In his view, the Roadmap, which is to be discussed at the Spring Meeting in mid-April, could only be the beginning of a larger reform process. more at

Government: Use breakthrough in global marine protection: The German government wants to lobby internationally for a rapid ratification of the United Nations (UN) agreement on the protection of the high seas, which was adopted at the beginning of March. This was stated by the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Environment Ministry, Christian Kühn (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), in the Committee for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) on Wednesday. The agreement on the treaty was an „outstanding success“ and a „breakthrough“ in the many years of efforts to reach a binding protection treaty for the high seas, which have hardly been protected so far, the minister said in a conversation with the members of the committee. It is important to make use of this: The UN is currently conducting a legal review of the treaty text, which will then be presented to the General Assembly. It is not yet clear when this will happen. Kühn emphasised, however, that the German government would then push for a speedy ratification, not only in Germany, but also internationally. For only if at least 60 states ratify the agreement can it enter into force. more at

Interactions between science and society: The scope of research and the number of publications have never been as large as they are today. This has also broadened the understanding of not only technological innovations. Likewise, the interaction between science and society has come into sharper focus. On Wednesday, the Committee on Education and Innovation, Research and Technology Assessment dealt with „New Innovations in Science“ in an expert discussion. It was emphasised that social innovations play a central role. Among other things, the focus was on the question of how the social added value of research can be recognised. Zarah Bruhn, Commissioner for Social Innovation at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), pointed out that the importance of social innovation is attracting increasing interest. This also concerns the question of how the impact of research can be better measured and thus become more comprehensible. There must be uniform standards for this. Bruhn also emphasised that social innovations are always based on participation and personal responsibility and that the UN sustainability goals are the basis for research and action. more at



„People see that politics has so far not been effective in countering climate change. The decisive measure of this is global greenhouse gases, especially CO2 emissions. And, as we know, they are continuing to rise. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has just reported that in 2022 global subsidies for fossil fuel consumption will have risen to over one trillion US dollars. This shows that we are financing climate change – not fighting it.“

Stefan Rahmstorf, climatologist and head of department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and professor at the University of Potsdam. Many people have not yet understood that climate change is irreversible because the amount of CO2 in the air will remain elevated for tens of thousands of years. We can’t say, „But now we’ve become too uncomfortable. Now we’re going to turn back the temperature increase“. That would not work. … We would simply be setting irreversible things in motion. Not just the famous tipping points, but whole cascades of tipping points that would then become an unstoppable self-propelling process. Also a nightmare: that we will simultaneously experience great droughts in the „granaries of the world“ and thus also famine crises; and this in Eurasia and North America. Certain patterns in the jet stream, a high-altitude wind that circles the earth, could bring heat waves to the world regions that accounted for about a quarter of global food production. Western North America and Russia, Western Europe and Ukraine are particularly vulnerable.



Africa’s labour crisis: More and more young people without a job: The employment crisis in Africa is worsening: In South Africa, every second young person is unemployed. Money for social programmes is scarce. More initiative could help, say experts.

CDU politician Chialo on „Lanz“: Feminist foreign policy in Africa?: CDU executive member Joe Chialo doubts that Annalena Baerbock’s feminist foreign policy will be well received in Africa. Many African countries expected different things from Europe. He criticises Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s strategy, which in his view does not take African interests into account enough: „A concrete example: feminist foreign policy. I agree with the content, many people agree with it,“ he said. But if you watch a diplomat explaining to an African foreign minister what feminist foreign policy is, it is relatively difficult to get that across. The African states „do not want to be paternalised and patronised“, Chialo added.

Grain deal hits Africa: The impact of the Ukraine war on Africa is enormous – and yet hardly noticed. We talk to experts and look at the humanitarian consequences. According to Welthungerhilfe, up to 828 million people suffer from hunger. In Africa, 33 countries are affected by hunger. „The war against Ukraine has massively exacerbated the already existing problems,“ says Dr Rafaël Schneider, Deputy Head of Policy at Welthungerhilfe. The grain agreement could help, but it only has a limited effect.

Tropical Storm Freddy kills more than five hundred people:  It is expected to last longer than any tropical cyclone since records began: Cyclone Freddy. It causes severe damage in south-east Africa. Cyclone Freddy has been ravaging southeast Africa for more than a month. More than 500 people have already lost their lives. About 345,000 people in the country have been affected by the heavy rains, floods and landslides. Tens of thousands have been made homeless. The government has declared a disaster situation for the most affected region, the south of Malawi.

Extreme droughts and severe flooding: What consequences does climate change have for the African continent? How can climate research in Africa protect the population?

Training in Africa: The lack of skilled workers is one of the biggest business risks for German companies. Especially for digital service providers. A former management consultant is now training the urgently needed computer scientists in Africa. A role model for other companies?


Sustainable mattresses for the hotel industry: Every year, around 30 million mattresses end up in the rubbish in Europe – around 1.4 million in Austria alone. If all these discarded mattresses were stacked on top of each other, they would tower 80 times over the Großglockner. For a functioning circular economy, there must be a way to recycle mattresses. This is exactly what the Viennese start-up Matr offers. The start-up has developed a mattress whose individual materials can be returned to the cycle.

Droughts and floods are becoming more severe: the more the Earth warms, the more intense weather extremes become. Measurements from space confirm what is currently also being felt again in Europe. According to a comprehensive study, the intensity of droughts and extreme precipitation is increasing overall. The overall intensity of all events analysed correlated strongly with the global mean temperature. This is particularly evident in the number and average intensity of extremely dry events, the authors write. The data on this comes from worldwide satellite measurements from 2002 to 2021. Two researchers determined the changes in the water cycle for 1056 extreme events.

Why climate change could lead to dangerous fungal diseases: Rising temperatures on our planet could lead to fungi becoming more dangerous to our health, a new study shows. While bacteria and viruses are known to cause infections and diseases, pathogenic fungi have so far caused only minor problems for healthy people. This is usually because human body temperature is too warm for infectious fungi to survive. But that could soon change, warn researchers at Duke University in North Carolina, USA.

Fine particulate guideline values: Worldwide, these are hardly complied with.
Weather around the world: La Niña ends extremely unusual three-year cycle.
Batteries: New measuring methods for longer battery cell life.


22 March 2023, World Water Day

Since 1993, World Water Day has been celebrated annually on 22 March. It is a result of the 1992 UN World Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, where it was proclaimed by resolution of the UN General Assembly, because despite its high value as a natural and cultural asset, water is rarely in the focus of public interest. World Water Day is intended to draw public attention to the issue of water.

23 March 2023, from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

at the restaurant „Bellucci“, Brandenburgische Str. 35 (corner Kurfürstendamm) 10707 Berlin

In view of dramatically worsening resource and supply chain problems, the question of securing raw materials is moving into the focus of attention. And not only that – in the future, information and financing will play an increasing role, because significant price increases are already being observed in the various commodities. Will companies, for example, jointly secure and finance commodities via platforms? We succeeded in inviting the top management of the listed Aspermont Ltd, the world’s leading media and data house in the commodities sector (publisher of the two oldest commodities magazines in the UK, Mining Journal and Mining Magazine, and organiser of the „Future of Mining“ conferences in Perth, Sydney, London and Denver) to an exclusive background discussion. With its Xaas (Anything-as-a-Service, Cloud Computing) model, the media services provider, listed on the commodities continent of Australia, headquartered in the UK and with offices in Brazil, the Philippines, Canada and the United States, rapidly distributes high-quality content to a growing global audience. In addition, the company owns the largest global commodities database in the world. After a short presentation by Alex Kent (CEO) and Matt Smith (CCO), you will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the top management of Aspermont Ltd. The event will be held in English. Please send your registration by 21 March 2023 to Ms Yan Huang-Fröhlich ( at our national office.



EU Advocate General: Schufa profiles not allowed

The fully automated creation of Schufa profiles for credit applications violates the GDPR. This is the opinion of the EU’s Advocate General. The probability values („scores“) calculated by Schufa about a consumer’s creditworthiness are not compatible with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is the assumption of Priit Pikamäe, Advocate General at the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In his opinion on a relevant case published on Thursday, the EU lawyer argues that the GDPR enshrines a right of the data subject not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling. Schufa’s scoring procedure violates this clause.

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