to the German edition

Global „Earth Hour“ sets an example for climate protection: During the annual „Earth Hour“, people and cities around the world switched off the lights for one hour on Saturday evening to draw attention to climate protection. In Germany, hundreds of cities and municipalities took part in the campaign organised by the WWF, during which landmarks and public buildings were in the dark. WWF climate chief Viviane Raddatz used the opportunity to also appeal for democracy and against right-wing extremism. The initiative, which has existed since 2007 and took place for the 18th time this year, is celebrated on all continents worldwide and is intended to encourage people to actively contribute to climate protection beyond Earth Hour. ,

CO2 network for the whole of Germany costs around 14 billion euros: A new pipeline network must be built for the planned underground storage of carbon dioxide under the North Sea in order to transport the gas from cement works and waste-to-energy plants to the coast. A new study has now determined the infrastructure requirements.

With 62 million tonnes of e-waste, more electrical appliances were thrown away in 2022 than ever before

A recent United Nations report is sounding the alarm about the ever-increasing amounts of electronic waste worldwide. The study shows that discarded electronic devices not only release valuable metals, but also heavy metals, plastics and toxic chemicals, posing a significant threat to the environment. This „major disaster“ for the planet is exacerbated by the inadequate recycling of e-waste. Only a quarter of the 62 million tonnes of scrap accumulated in 2022 was recycled, while the rest was incinerated or otherwise disposed of, meaning that only a fraction of the estimated value of 91 billion dollars was used.


Global oil and gas giants fail to meet Paris climate targets: According to a report by the think tank Carbon Tracker, the world’s largest oil and gas companies are falling well short of the requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement. The analysis shows that none of the 25 largest companies are acting in line with the climate protection targets. Even BP, which is aiming to reduce production by 2030, recently lowered its targets from 40 per cent to 25 per cent. Other major companies, including US giants such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, as well as Saudi Aramco and Brazil’s Petrobras, were given low scores as they continue to focus on new fossil fuel projects.

Federal Council clears the way for more biofuels: The Federal Council has approved an ordinance by the German government that allows the use of pure biodiesel in road transport. This decision follows the approval of the Bundestag and marks significant progress in the promotion of alternative fuels that are produced without petroleum. The newly authorised paraffinic diesel fuels, which are produced from waste materials and vegetable oils, can now also be sold to the public. Some petrol stations in Germany are already preparing for the introduction on 13 April, although the ADAC points out that a nationwide offer is not to be expected for the time being. Until now, only an admixture of up to seven per cent biofuel in diesel (B7) was permitted in Germany. This blend will continue to be offered as standard, supplemented by the option of a ten per cent blend (B10). At the same time, the obligation to provide conventional petrol alongside a similar ethanol-petrol blend (E10) will no longer apply, paving the way for more capacity for alternative fuels. The German Association of the Automotive Industry (ZDK) has welcomed this step and sees it as an opportunity to accelerate the transition to more environmentally friendly drive systems.

Politicians want to bind more carbon in the soil to achieve climate targets. Farmers have other priorities: The European Union faces a critical challenge in the fight against climate change: efficiently increasing carbon sequestration and its removal from the atmosphere. This measure is crucial to achieving the EU’s climate targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. With this in mind, governments have already committed to significantly increasing the storage capacity of forests and soils in Europe to sequester additional carbon. But time is of the essence, as recent data surveys show that forests and agricultural land are storing less and less CO2. At the same time, agriculture remains a significant source of emissions within the EU, making it even more difficult to achieve the climate targets that have been set.

How the EU is arguing about nuclear power as a means of achieving climate targets: A deep rift is emerging in the European Union over the role of nuclear power in achieving climate targets. Some member states, led by France and supported by the current Belgian EU Council Presidency, are in favour of central funding for nuclear power projects from the EU budget. This contrasts with the position of other countries, including Germany, which are opposed to nuclear energy. Despite the controversy, an alliance of 14 EU countries sees nuclear power as an essential building block for a climate-friendly economy, while EU energy policy remains primarily in national hands. New, innovative concepts for nuclear reactors play an important role here: they should be particularly safe or particularly low-waste. A study on these types of construction has now been published in Berlin. The results are rather sobering – and not just because new risks arise. According to one expert, the new reactors, for example, can no longer draw on the many decades of experience gained with the old types. ,

CO2 network for the whole of Germany costs around 14 billion euros: A new pipeline network must be built for the planned underground storage of carbon dioxide under the North Sea in order to transport the gas from cement works and waste-to-energy plants to the coast. A new study has now determined the infrastructure requirements.



Hier fließt die Liebe


Just before Easter and in the week after Nvaruz – a slightly different recommendation. In Berlin, twin sisters Forough and Sahar Sodoudi, once high-calibre scientists, have left their academic careers behind to pursue their true passion: Persian cuisine. Under the motto „Either with love or not at all“, they invite you on a culinary journey through the flavours of Persia in their „Culture and Food Lab“. The duo presents a cuisine that not only impresses with its variety of flavours, but also with its commitment to sustainability and cultural authenticity. Their first cookbook, a blend of traditional recipes with modern touches – from saffron-accented rice with lentils and golden sultanas to Persian meatballs in tomato and lemon sauce – is more than a collection of dishes; it is an invitation to explore the rich cultural history of Persia.

The Sodoudi sisters‘ transformation from science to gastronomy is not only a professional triumph, but also a personal one. With the aim of promoting tolerance and cultural exchange, they have created a platform that goes far beyond the boundaries of a conventional restaurant. Their work in the „Culture and Food Lab“ offers insights into Persian culture conveyed through the universal language of food. Their substantial online community and a special playlist to accompany the book emphasise the modern and accessible way in which they spread their message.

The Sodoudi sisters exemplify a growing movement of chefs and restaurateurs striving not only for culinary success, but also to use food as a medium for cultural understanding and sustainable practices. Their success in Berlin shows that the yearning for authentic, lovingly prepared cuisine that is both sustainable and all-encompassing is universal – proof that there is a profound message at the heart of Persian cuisine.

Habeck rejects funding for synthetic gas via climate protection agreement: The Federal Ministry of Economics is calling on companies to withdraw funding applications aimed at the use of synthetic gas.
Social compensation: Alliance calls for the immediate introduction of climate money.
CO2 price: The CO2 price in the so-called European emissions trading scheme is supposed to make it expensive to pollute the climate. But the price has collapsed by half within a year.
Saudi Aramco boss: Fossil fuels will be needed for a long time to come.
Munich: The Bavarian capital must implement stricter diesel driving bans. This was decided by the Bavarian Administrative Court.
Is the nationalisation of electricity grids inevitable? New power lines are needed for wind and solar power, but the operators cannot afford the costs.

The seventeen goals magazine tells inspiring stories about how people move the world and shows how everyone can make a contribution to achieving the sustainability goals.


Is climate protection strengthening Europe’s right-wing populists?

A shift to the right is looming in the EU elections. In the podcast, Stefan Brandt from Futurium explains the connection with the climate crisis, why he debates with populists and what makes us want to look to the future. With the European Parliament elections coming up in June, a shift to the right in parliament could be imminent, fuelled by the rise of right-wing populist parties in many European countries. This development is partly attributed to the right-wing populists‘ opposition to climate protection. In a climate podcast, Stefan Brandt, Director of Futurium in Berlin, criticises the current debate on climate protection as counterproductive and, instead of apportioning blame, argues for an inclusive approach that involves all levels of society in the necessary major changes. According to Brandt, the climate crisis offers populists an ideal platform, while at the same time he emphasises the importance of dialogue with right-wing populists under certain circumstances in order not to jeopardise the European Green Deal.


Shell and other energy giants are lowering their climate targets: The decision is a reality check for green activists among investors

from Gerald Hosp

The energy giant wants to expand its natural gas business. To achieve this, emission targets are being reduced. The bitter truth is that the companies do not know how they will survive the energy transition. Every now and then you get the suspicion that the energy transition is a sequel to the classic children’s book „Alice in Wonderland“. In this wondrous land, nothing is as it seems. A few days ago, Shell, Europe’s largest oil and gas company, lowered its climate targets in order to avoid having to limit the growth of its gas business. Group CEO Wael Sawan said that the changes made it more likely that Shell would achieve its targets. Well, that may be true with lower targets as a rule. Shell now wants to reduce the carbon intensity of its products by only 15 to 20 per cent by 2030 compared to 2016. Previously, it had been 20 per cent. The energy company is also abandoning its 2035 target of reducing relative emissions by 45 per cent. Such long-term targets do not make sense, it says. Nevertheless, net zero is to be achieved by 2050. … The energy giants are giving in to pressure from the majority of shareholders who want to see high returns and not vague promises with renewable energies. The European companies are lagging behind American companies such as Exxon-Mobil or Chevron, which were already more focussed on oil and gas and have made multi-billion dollar takeovers.

However, this tightening of emissions targets is also a reality check for the green activists among investors. Earning more with wind, sun and electricity? This idea is passé for the time being. Oil and gas companies have become more efficient in their fossil fuel projects in recent years and have also benefited from the geopolitical situation.

Energy policy must reconcile the demands for security of supply, sustainability and economic efficiency. The war in Ukraine has put the security issue in the spotlight – and has also led to higher prices. At the same time, it is also questionable whether a supposedly well-intentioned corporate objective may not at times conflict with social goals. … Oil and gas companies produce oil and gas. That’s what they do best. Shell, BP and their ilk are not currently among the best and most innovative investors in renewable energies. „Big Oil“ could also concentrate on using up the oil and gas reserves and distributing the profits to shareholders. The shareholders could in turn invest in new energies via clean-tech companies. However, one option would also be to push ahead with a consistent reorganisation for a low-carbon future. Above all, companies should decide in favour of one path.


How the transport transition can reduce energy demand: A new study, published by Berlin-based transport and energy economist Marlin Arnz and supported by the Reiner Lemoine Foundation, shows that a far-reaching mobility transition could reduce energy demand in passenger transport by up to two thirds. Despite previous efforts in transport policy, which have mainly focussed on technological innovations and incentives, Germany has the biggest gap in climate protection in the transport sector. The study emphasises the need for a change in mentality from car-centric to people-centric mobility in order to achieve the climate targets. The four main pillars of the transport transition include avoiding unnecessary traffic, shifting to more environmentally friendly modes of transport, more efficient drive technologies and the use of renewable energy sources. Implementing these measures could save up to 22 per cent of energy demand in a German energy system based 100 per cent on renewables, which in turn would significantly reduce the need for wind turbines and solar panels and improve quality of life.

Germany’s seaports and why they are so important: 60 per cent of foreign trade passes through German seaports. The coastal states therefore believe that the federal government must contribute significantly more to the national port task.

Deutsche Bahn loses billions: Deutsche Bahn has posted a loss of billions. The good news is that the company is finally investing in its ailing rail network.


The future of green energy: Oil and gas exporters face the challenge of the hydrogen transition: In the global debate on climate change, dependence on fossil fuels is increasingly becoming a risk for oil and gas exporting countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Nigeria. A new study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, conducted for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), sheds light on the potential of green hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels. The study, entitled „The role of green hydrogen in the energy transformation of fossil fuel exporters“, analyses the risks and opportunities arising from the transition to green energy sources and discusses the extent to which green hydrogen and its derivatives could replace these countries‘ traditional energy exports in the future. The results suggest that a strategic shift towards sustainable energy sources can make sense not only ecologically but also economically.

Market prices for green hydrogen are too expensive: A German-Canadian meeting in Hamburg revealed the challenges in the market for green hydrogen, including high costs and a lack of availability. Despite existing infrastructure and an energy partnership between Germany and Canada, investment in green hydrogen remains unattractive without government subsidies due to high prices and a lack of suppliers. Companies such as Aurubis AG are ready to switch to green hydrogen, but the economic viability is not given without massive subsidies. The discrepancy between the high world market price and what companies can pay is to be offset by financial support from both countries, but potential projects in Canada also face challenges.

Letter to German municipalities warns against gas lobby: Environmentalists and climate activists have issued a warning against the use of green hydrogen in the heat supply in an open letter to German mayors. Despite the open-technology approach of the new law on municipal heating planning, which obliges municipalities to draw up a heating plan based on renewable energies by 2028 at the latest, more than 200 associations have criticised the inefficiency and high long-term costs of hydrogen as a heating medium. They argue that while hydrogen can contribute to decarbonisation in industry, it is unsuitable for heating buildings and jeopardises national climate targets. This position is supported by the scientific consensus that hydrogen for heating purposes is too inefficient, available too late and probably too expensive. The gas lobby is accused of protecting its business model by promoting hydrogen heating, while experts and consumer advocates warn that heating with hydrogen is as excessive as showering with champagne.


Expansion of wind and solar energy lags behind targets: The expansion of wind and solar energy has gained visible momentum in the last two years, but has not yet reached the targets set. This is according to the Federal Government’s briefing (20/10478) on the 2023 monitoring report on the expansion of renewable energies in the electricity sector and the 2023 progress report on onshore wind energy. According to the report, the installed capacity of wind energy and solar plants at the end of 2022 was as follows Onshore wind energy 58.0 gigawatts (GW), photovoltaics (PV) 67.5 GW and offshore wind energy approx. 8.1 GW. Gross electricity generation from renewable energies (RE) in Germany amounted to 254.2 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2022. This means that the share of renewable energies in total electricity consumption rose to 46 per cent in 2022 and to over 50 per cent at the end of 2023. New PV installations in 2023 are expected to increase by 90 per cent and new approvals for onshore wind energy by 83 per cent compared to the same period last year. The report concludes that the momentum is clearly visible, but against the backdrop of the increased expansion targets, it is clear that this is not yet sufficient – especially for onshore wind energy – to reach the target path of the EEG 2023.

More sharing opportunities in rural tourism: The great potential of sharing projects in tourism, particularly in rural areas, was emphasised at a public hearing of the Tourism Committee. However, experts emphasised the importance of the economic viability of such initiatives. The German Taxi and Rental Car Association called for transparent fixed prices for taxi journeys to make them more attractive as part of mobility chains. In addition, the idea of ridepooling was presented as a sustainable and cost-efficient mobility solution, although this requires the expansion of data networks. An example of successful shared mobility in rural areas was given with the use of an electrified vehicle in Herzebrock-Clarholz. Sixt SE pointed out the challenges of making sharing models profitable in rural regions, while Airbnb emphasised the positive role of home sharing for the local economy. Meanwhile, the German Hotel Association warned of the negative effects of the increase in private short-term rentals on the social and economic sustainability of destinations.

AfD calls for an end to the „socio-ecological transformation“: In a motion (20/10729), the AfD parliamentary group calls on the German government to „immediately end the ’socio-ecological transformation‘ project“. Furthermore, all „interventions“ in private ownership of the means of production in the name of transformation should be refrained from and interventions that have already taken place should be cancelled immediately. To justify its demands, the AfD parliamentary group writes in its motion that the German government is proceeding with the „socio-ecological transformation“ in a similar way to the socialist government in East Germany at the time. „Through various measures, for example the planned increase in the CO2 price, the ‚transformation of industry and especially the manufacturing sector‘ is to be accelerated,“ write the MPs. This is a case of „cold expropriation“. Furthermore, the MEPs demand that the German government advocate at European level, „including the threat and, if necessary, implementation of an exit from the euro“, that the European Central Bank’s monetary policy should be geared towards ensuring monetary stability. This should ensure planning security for industrial and real economic enterprises and put an end to „the lasting damage to the German economy and in particular to small and medium-sized enterprises“.



Yes, it is possible. (to achieve the two-degree target ed.),Germany has brought about a decisive positive turnaround here, through the Renewable Energy Sources Act, the EEG. Hermann Scheer, then an SPD member of the Bundestag, was the inventor in 2000. He knew that from then on, a kilowatt hour of solar power would no longer cost one euro, but would become cheaper and cheaper year after year. Now a solar kilowatt hour only costs around four euro cents and in North Africa and the Middle East just one euro cent. So much cheaper than coal, oil and natural gas. The day may come when, for purely economic reasons, the countries of the world will only purchase electricity from renewable energies.

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker. Three problems stand in the way: the oil countries want to continue living off oil sales, industry does not want to cope with the transition to climate neutrality too quickly, not even in Germany, and eight billion people are a little too many for our small planet…. Stopping growth is extremely unpopular. We need to ensure that the right things, such as renewables, grow and the wrong things, such as resource depletion, shrink. A circular economy as a guiding principle sounds better. The principle of a throwaway society has been very lucrative for manufacturers for a long time, but it has to stop….The traffic light parties need to cooperate better and remember their coalition agreement. There are a lot of good things in it, for example the introduction of climate money. The global climate convention also applies to all of them.



Climate change threatens Kenya’s elephants: The iconic image of a herd of elephants travelling through the savannah in front of the snow-capped Kilimanjaro – the highest peak in Africa – could soon be a thing of the past. The climate crisis is also affecting the East African glacier, and the dwindling ice masses are not only threatening this world-famous panorama, but are also having a dramatic impact on the local wildlife. According to climatologist Thomas Mölg from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, satellite images indicate that the Kilimanjaro glacier could disappear completely by the 2040s – an alarming sign of the ongoing climatic changes on the African continent.

Every second baby will come from Africa: According to a study in the medical journal Lancet, the global population will decline again in the long term. At the same time, there is a massive shift towards Africa.

Military government in Niger cancels military cooperation agreement with the USA: The military government in Niger cancelled a military cooperation agreement with the USA with immediate effect on Saturday. This was announced by the spokesman of the military junta Conseil national pour la sauvegarde de la patrie (CNSP), Amadou Abdramane, in a corresponding statement on state television. Among other things, he described the surveillance flights by the US military in recent weeks as illegal and criticised the agreement, which has allowed US military and civilian personnel to stay and work in the country to date, as unfair and unilaterally imposed. However, Abdramane did not call for an immediate withdrawal of US troops.

South Africa’s People’s Party – The ANC lacks new blood: South Africa will elect a new parliament on 29 May. According to polls, the African National Congress, which has been in power for 30 years, could lose its absolute majority for the first time. Young people in particular are losing confidence in party politics.


Despite massive rainfall in winter – Germany has a shortage of water: Despite one of the wettest years in history, Germany’s water reservoir remains in deficit, according to the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam. The year with its high rainfall was unable to compensate for the effects of the severe droughts of the previous five years, resulting in a shortfall of around ten billion tonnes of water in the total national water reservoir. This reservoir includes glaciers, snow, soil moisture, groundwater and surface water in lakes, rivers and reservoirs and thus has more than a fifth of the volume of Lake Constance. The data, collected by the Grace satellite missions using gravity field measurements, provide precise insights into the global water balance. However, a study by the GFZ revealed that Germany has lost an average of 760 million tonnes of water annually over the last two decades, a figure that was classified as significantly lower than previous estimates, which assumed a threefold higher loss, due to different evaluation methods. ,

Climate change threatens the Wadden Sea habitat and its inhabitants: In the Wadden Sea, the well-known lugworm could be jeopardised by rising temperatures as a result of climate change. A new report on the state of the Wadden Sea shows that sea water temperatures reached record levels in June last year, leading to a dramatic change in the species spectrum. Experts such as marine ecologist Dr Christian Buschbaum from the Alfred Wegener Institute express concern that the rapid pace of human-induced climate change leaves little time for organisms in the Wadden Sea to adapt. In addition, the spread of non-native species, such as the Pacific oyster, is affecting the ecosystem and therefore also the local economy and fisheries. However, the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Areas, Europe and Consumer Protection emphasises that aquaculture and fisheries play a lesser role in the introduction of new species, as strict national park guidelines apply.

Scotland: Forest planting for a better climate.
Road construction: Self-healing concrete also melts ice on the carriageway.
Consequence of the climate crisis: Only four olive oils are still „good“.


How AI can lead to a windfall:

Anguilla, a small Caribbean island, is experiencing an unexpected windfall thanks to the AI revolution. The island, normally an idyllic holiday destination with sandy beaches and turquoise waters, has suddenly become a hotspot for AI companies, all lured by the coveted .ai domain. According to the New York Times, this digital boom brought Anguilla a whopping 35 million euros last year – that’s music to Prime Minister Ellis Webster’s ears and equates to more than a tenth of the gross domestic product. This windfall is now being channelled into charitable projects: from financing health insurance for senior citizens to building schools and renovating airports. While some speak of a stroke of luck, Webster sees it as a divine smile. Anguilla is not alone; there are similar stories of unexpected income from top-level domains in other island states such as Tuvalu and Micronesia. However, Anguilla remains cautious and is not banking on the source of money flowing forever – but at least for 2024 things look rosy.

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