FAIReconomics Newsletter week 13/20                                            German version

Corona does not have to be good for the environment: The first witness that the environment is recovering from the global economic standstill was this week with reports of clean sewers in Venice or dolphins off Naples. Nevertheless, few experts believe that climate and environment will benefit in the long term. There are even experts who fear the opposite. Climate and environmental protection have receded into the background; whether, for example, the climate conference will take place in Glasgow is more than questionable. In addition, the money that is now being spent on the survival of companies may be lacking in research and development in the future. The first politicians have already called for standards to be reduced. For example, to suspend the tightening of fertilizer laws, the climate package of the black-red coalition. The FDP economic politician Ullrich advocated postponing the introduction of a CO2 price for fuel, heating oil and natural gas, which had been decided on for January 2021, because CO2 emissions would now fall anyway. These voices are also being raised within the EU. The Czech head of government Babis, for example, demanded that the EU put its climate protection plans on hold because of the Corona crisis. Europe should now forget the „Green Deal“ and instead concentrate on fighting the pandemic, Babis said in Prague. deutschlandfunk.dewelt.de
Corona crisis affects energy industry: The decline in economic output in Germany caused by the corona crisis has an impact on the energy industry: According to calculations by the consulting firm Enervis, prices on the EEX electricity exchange are likely to fall by up to 7.8 percent. The experts based their calculations on the measures known to them to contain the corona virus and the possible development of the German gross domestic product (GDP). Comparative material was taken from the years of the financial crisis. Hard coal-fired power plants are now likely to be increasingly forced out of the market. The share of wind, solar, biomass and hydro power plants in German electricity consumption could rise from 42 percent to up to 45 percent because most green power providers will simply let their production run through. spiegel.de

Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany will have fallen by 6.3 percent in 2019. The Federal Ministry for the Environment is registering progress in climate protection. However, emissions have increased in the transport and building sectors.  In 2019, around 805 million tonnes of greenhouse gases were released in Germany With the exception of the global crisis year 2009, there has never been such a large reduction in emissions in any year since 1990, said Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD). „This gives us courage for the great tasks that lie ahead.“ handelsblatt.com

Fridays for Future: The Fridays for Future movement is moving to the Internet. „We have a responsibility to society and do not want to endanger people with our strikes“, Leonie Häge, spokeswoman of Fridays for Future Bayern, explains the decision. „Our strikes will not take place on the streets in the coming weeks as planned – but that doesn’t mean that we will become quieter,“ the organisation says, and in the future they want to protest on the Internet. klimareporter.de ,  fridaysforfuture.de

Gasoline prices at low level: The few drivers still on the streets should be rejoicing. The prices for petrol and diesel continue to fall. According to the ADAC, one litre of Super E10 cost 1.267 Euros on federal average – that was another 5.8 cents less than the previous week. Diesel became 4.1 cents cheaper to an average of 1.137 euros per litre. Fear of a global recession and in view of the price war on the oil market, crude oil prices continued to move „steeply down“, writes the ADAC. It also plays a role that because of the corona crisis, far fewer people are even on the road and refuel. faz.net

Cycling creates social distance: Instead of using public transport, the risk of infection could be reduced by using a bicycle. The chance of catching the coronavirus when cycling is „at zero“, according to lung specialists. Pedaleros are also protected from touching potentially infected surfaces. Biostatistician Gerd Antes speaks of perfect self-protection. spiegel.de

The ants‘ complex coexistence and their amazing ability to communicate with each other inspired Armin Schieb to create an unusual project: In 3-D drawings created entirely on the computer, he gives us deep insights into the state of the Great Red Wood Ant. The innovative digital illustrations are packed with information about the biology, ecology and behaviour of these tiny insects. They are supplemented by well-founded information texts, which are integrated into the pictures in a particularly successful way. In this way, comprehensive knowledge is conveyed vividly and remains in the memory. This illustrated non-fiction book fascinates at first glance: a masterpiece that sets standards! kosmos.de
Baden-Württemberg: 60,000 fair computer mice ordered. taz.de
Growth: Storage market achieves growth. energyload.eu
Solar Cover: Letter to Merkel to help abolish cover. pv-magazine.de
Netherlands: Millions of tulips are destroyed every day. afp.com
Markus Söder: Suspension of the electricity tax demanded. stern.de
Polluted city air: Makes people more susceptible to the corona virus. energiezukunft.eu
Nuclear power: Losing importance worldwide. energiezukunft.eu
Federal Ministry of Agriculture: Future Commission on Agriculture established. agrarheute.com

The international online carsharing agency BlaBlaCar advises against car-sharing because of the coronavirus pandemic. „Travel only when absolutely necessary,“ was the message of a recent appeal by the French provider to its customers on Wednesday. BlaBlaCar „strongly recommended not to carpool and to follow the instructions of the Federal Ministry of Health“. However, the provider’s website and app will remain available for the time being to anyone „who absolutely must travel“. The situation is different with the bus company BlaBlaBus: Since Wednesday, all trips in Germany and Europe have been „suspended until further notice“, the platform announced. The costs for trips already booked would be reimbursed, and the situation is similar for the German competitor Flixbus: Since midnight, it has also stopped offering trips within Germany and across borders. „Affected passengers will of course be informed and will receive a voucher for the entire ticket price without cancellation fee,“ the Flixbus website stated. afp.com

BMW is providing incentives for a higher rate of electricity: Drivers of plug-in hybrids often do not use the electric drive at all. BMW therefore wants to increase the electric share with two new concepts. golem.de
Europe: According to Electric Vehicle Index – hotspot of electric mobility. trendsderzukunft.de
Government wants to strengthen railways: According to its own statement, the German government has set itself the goal of „strengthening the rail system with a rail pact between politics and industry and shifting more freight traffic to the environmentally friendly railways by 2030, among other things“. This is stated in the government’s answer (19/17552) to a minor question from the FDP parliamentary group (19/17327). In the coalition agreement, the federal government also agreed to implement the measures of the master plan for rail freight transport on a permanent basis, the bill states. A central field of action in the rail freight master plan is the provision of efficient railway infrastructure, „which is an important prerequisite for strengthening rail freight transport“. A significant shift in the modal split in favour of rail freight transport could only be achieved if, in addition to the planned infrastructure expansion under the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan – such as the expansion of the 740-metre network on the freight corridors – considerable further measures were added to expand infrastructure capacity, the government writes. In addition, the competitiveness and innovative strength of the sector must be continuously increased. Asked by the FDP parliamentary group about the possible consequences of the closure of the Brenner corridor and the corridor over the Tauern mountains in November 2019, due to rain and snowfall, for the above-mentioned objectives, the answer is: „The measures of the Federal Government have a long-term and sustainable effect. Weather-related closures, as on the two sections of the corridor in Austria, are short-term problems. „Long-term effects are not to be expected“, the government states.
Contacts with new transport service providers: The parliamentary group Bündnis 90/Die Grünen inquires about contacts between the federal government and authorities directly subordinate to the federal government and the various „especially new transport service providers“. In a small question (19/17641), the members of parliament list, among others, Uber Technologies Inc, Berlkönig and other ride pooling providers, taxi associations, trade unions, transport associations, environmental organisations, consumer associations and local government representatives. The question is in which commissions and committees appointed by the Federal Government, in particular the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), in this legislative period representatives of the aforementioned organisations were appointed and in which discussions, events and meetings they participated.
Electric vehicles in the federal vehicle fleet: The Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group inquires about „Electric vehicles in the federal vehicle fleet“ in a small question (19/17668). In this question, it asks about the number of fuel cell vehicles currently in use in the federal government’s departments. Among other things, it also wants to know how many purely battery electric vehicles are currently being used in the departments.
Radiation exposure from 5G: The Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group inquires about „electric vehicles in the federal vehicle fleet“ in a small question (19/17668). In this question, it asks about the number of fuel cell vehicles currently in use in the federal government’s departments. Among other things, it also wants to know how many purely battery electric vehicles are currently being used in the departments.
Forecasts on electricity consumption: The Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group would like to know what electricity consumption the federal government is forecasting for Germany until 2030. In a short question (19/17690), the members of parliament also ask why known assessments of the Federal Government differ from other scientific studies and they ask about progress in energy efficiency.
Biodiversity strategy: The contents and objectives of European environmental projects are the subject of a minor question by the FDP parliamentary group (19/17738). Among other things, it asks what content should be included in the Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and what goals should be achieved with it. MEPs also want to know which German representatives will be involved in the negotiations on the design of the Biodiversity Strategy 2030.
Nitrate monitoring network: In a short question (19/17718), the AfD Group addresses the representativeness of the EU nitrate monitoring network. In this question, MEPs want to know how the government monitors nitrate levels in surface waters from agricultural sources and the number of monitoring stations it uses. The Group also wants to know what the density of the EU nitrate monitoring network is and what conclusions the government draws regarding the representativeness and suitability of the network.

It is true that concrete has become the most important building material worldwide. Several billion cubic meters are used every year. For example, more concrete was used in China between 2011 and 2013 than in the USA in the entire 20th century. This is due to the outstanding properties of concrete – which is now produced as a high-tech building material.
Professor Angelika Mette, Professor for Building Recycling at the Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus-Senftenberg, said that concrete is also recyclable, an important property from a sustainability perspective. We will not „run out“ of concrete in the near future. But – and this is decisive: concrete contains raw materials that are finite and do not grow back. There are already local shortages of sands and certain aggregates that are needed for concrete production. In Bavaria, for example, sands are imported from Croatia. The real problem of concrete with regard to undesirable CO2 emissions is indeed cement. Worldwide, approximately 4.65 billion tonnes of cement are currently being consumed, and the trend is rising. The high CO2 emissions are on the one hand due to the high fuel consumption for the burning process, i.e. very high energy-related emissions. heute.de

The data show us whether the mobility of the population has decreased overall. In other words, the data will enable us to determine whether the measures we are calling for and which the Federal Government is demanding are actually being complied with. This is an important value, because we have to judge if we have infection figures now in the future, we want to judge why the infection figures have decreased or increased.
Lothar Wieler, the President of the Robert Koch Institute, on the transfer of filtered transaction data from Telekom to the RKI, said that if we can see that people would not implement the measures at all, and we can see that from these aggregated data, then we know the reason why the intervention that we wanted was not successful.  The fewer people are on the move, the more likely it is that the virus will be stopped. During the evaluation the movement data remained completely anonymous. deutschlandfunk.de

Home office in times of crisis: În times of crisis, most people in mobile working deal with the new challenges in different ways. some have a fully equipped workplace, others work from the kitchen table. In addition, telephone and video conferences provide a deep insight into the home. Above all, working together with children who are also at home is a challenge for many. gruenderszene.de

Black Rhinos – Population recovering: The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has found that the population of black rhinos living in the wild has recovered from 4,845 to 5,630 between 2012 and 2018. This is an annual increase of around 2.5 per cent. The species is nevertheless considered to be critically endangered. Nevertheless, more must be done to combat poaching. In its current list, the IUCN now lists 116,177 species, of which 31,030 are considered directly threatened with extinction. zdf.de

Smells awaken memories: Researchers confirm that so-called odour-associated memories differ from others, such as language or images. The memories of smells often go back a long way, are more emotional and more positive. The sense of smell is neuroanatomically connected in the brain in a fundamentally different way than all other senses. The primary region for olfactory perception is particularly linked to areas of the brain that are responsible for processing emotional stimuli and to those that store memory traces.  spektrum.de
Harmful substances in cosmetics: what we smear on our faces every day. rbb24.de
Brazil: Deforestation and fires could increase in 2020.proplanta.de
Venice: Suddenly crystal-clear water. spiegel.de

Animals spread out during curfews: For more than a billion people, the motto this weekend was „Stay at home. Animals and nature quickly felt these effects.  In the Spanish Mediterranean metropolis of Barcelona, wild pigs were spotted and in Benidorm, pigeons hunted a passer-by. However, while nature benefits from this, birds in particular are suffering from hunger in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. n-tv.de
all Fotos – scource –  pixabay.com
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