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Activists on climate hunger strike appeal to Scholz: In Berlin, climate activists, including 49-year-old engineer Wolfgang Metzeler-Kick, who has been on hunger strike since 7 March, have called on Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz to make a clear commitment to radical climate change. Metzeler-Kick, who is camping in the government district near the Bundestag and Chancellery, is prepared to risk his life for more honesty in the climate debate. Under the slogan „Starve until you are honest“, the strikers are demanding a government declaration from Scholz that recognises the extreme threat to human civilisation posed by the climate crisis and calls for drastic measures. Metzeler-Kick is considering escalating its protest by abstaining from all food intake, including juice, to draw attention to the serious consequences of global warming. A doctor looking after the activists says their health is stable, but that a hunger strike can be survived for a maximum of 50 to 70 days. The climate group Scientist Rebellion has called on sympathisers to also give up food for a short time out of solidarity. , ,

Climate justice – from the street to the courtroom: The fight against climate change is increasingly shifting from public protests to legal disputes, as the case of the Swiss Climate Seniors shows. This group of older women has taken Switzerland to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for inadequate measures against global warming in the hope of setting an exemplary precedent. Their case, which aims to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees, is based on the Paris Agreement and emphasises the health risks to which older women are particularly exposed as a result of climate change. A favourable ruling in favour of the climate seniors could have groundbreaking consequences for climate policy not only in Switzerland, but also throughout Europe.

3,700,000 hectares of tropical rainforest destroyed in 2023

According to the latest findings from the World Resources Institute (WRI), the planet experienced a shocking reduction in its tropical rainforests by around 3.7 million hectares last year. Despite a slight decrease in destruction compared to 2022, when losses were 400,000 hectares higher, the situation remains serious. While fires are partly blamed for the decline, the report identifies deforestation as the primary driver of these losses. With an area larger than the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg or the country of Taiwan, the loss represents a significant environmental problem. Over the last two decades, the loss of tropical forest has amounted to between three and four million hectares per year, an alarming signal for global biodiversity and the climate.

EPP leader Manfred Weber backs away from the ban on combustion engines: European election campaign bluster or not? Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People’s Party (EPP), warns against the loss of Europe’s competitiveness in future markets and criticises the EU ban on combustion engines from 2035 as an industrial policy mistake. He emphasises the need to protect European economic interests against unfair competition, particularly from China, and calls for a review of the ban on combustion engines after the European elections. Weber sees the current development as a threat to European prosperity and warns that the „Green Deal“ must not become an advantage for China while European jobs are at stake.

Why Shell is challenging a judgement in the Netherlands: The appeal process has begun in the Netherlands against the energy company Shell, which was previously sentenced in a landmark judgement to reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030. Climate activist Winnie Oussoren from Milieudefensie sees the proceedings as an opportunity to advance the fight against the climate crisis and emphasises the stronger evidence base since the 2021 ruling. While Shell recently toned down its climate ambitions, Milieudefensie is seeking a judicial obligation for the company to contribute to the fulfilment of the Paris Climate Agreement, which is increasingly shifting the fight for climate protection in the Netherlands into the legal arena.

EU launches subsidy investigation against Chinese solar companies: The EU has launched a subsidy investigation into two Chinese solar companies involved in a 110-megawatt solar park project in Romania to check whether they have benefited from foreign subsidies. This measure follows the 2023 EU regulation on subsidies from third countries, which allows Brussels to monitor the participation of companies in EU tenders over 250 million euros. The investigation aims to protect Europe’s economic security and competitiveness in the strategically important solar module sector, with possible consequences such as the rejection of bids or the demand for compensatory measures. ,

What CO2 certificates do for the climate: In order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, the EU is relying on trading CO2 certificates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Companies that emit more CO2 than permitted must purchase certificates, which should motivate them to invest in climate-friendly technologies. However, the current prices for these certificates are so low that they hardly provide any incentive. Experts, including scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, are therefore calling for certificate prices to be regulated by a kind of „carbon central bank“ in order to create an effective financial incentive to reduce emissions. While emissions trading at EU level mainly affects large industries, there is a similar mechanism at national level in Germany, but it is more like a tax. The current system has been criticised and there are calls for more transparent and effective measures to reduce CO2 emissions. ,



Eco-imperial tensions, contested crisis politics and solidarity perspectives.

In their latest work, Ulrich Brand and Markus Wissen provide an astute analysis of today’s social and ecological challenges. Their analysis reveals how capitalism is increasingly reaching its limits, pressurised by social and ecological crises and a growing movement that opposes the exploitation of people and nature. The authors of the bestseller „Imperial Way of Life“ critically scrutinise which paths to the future are possible: Will the world insist on the status quo with increasingly authoritarian traits, will a „green capitalism“ develop in Europe with uncertain global consequences, or will the move towards a fairer, more sustainable economic and living model succeed? The book is praised by Jean Ziegler as a „brilliantly written contemporary document“ and by Eva von Redecker as an indispensable „guide to solidarity-based self-limitation“ and offers systematic answers to the pressing questions of our time.


EU agriculture: agricultural subsidies are fuelling the climate crisis.
Change in agriculture: More and more organic farms.
Mining: Destroys habitats and threatens great apes in Africa.
Declaration for the ocean: Whales are declared legal persons.
Energy transition: The plan to phase out coal-fired power generation.
Gift from Botswana: Why 20,000 elephants for Germany are putting Environment Minister Lemke in a tight spot.
Liquefied natural gas: LNG terminal on Rügen to receive operating licence.

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.



Can art do anything for the climate?

The Climate Biennale is starting in Vienna these days. It’s time to ask what role art actually has in connection with the climate crisis. For a few years now, it has been impossible to avoid contemporary art that deals with climate and environmental issues. But what role does art actually have in connection with the climate crisis? And where have the ecological themes in art actually been all these years? Are climate activists allowed to draw attention to their concerns in museums in particular? And how sustainable is the art and culture industry? Matthias Auer, Christine Mayrhofer and Teresa Wirth talk about this.


Wissing’s speed limit

by Joachim Wille

Transport Minister Wissing considers it necessary to reaffirm his blockade of a moderate speed limit of 120 km/h on motorways. Apparently, the climate policy pressure on his organisation is increasing. Volker Wissing is in favour of a general speed limit. Excuse me? Of course not. Even one on the motorway would contradict the pure horsepower doctrine of the FDP, which its Federal Minister of Transport naturally represents. He has just told another media group that a speed limit is „not a solution“. In Wissing’s case, it is an intellectual speed limit. A kind of thought brake that prevents arguments from being quickly incorporated into German transport policy. A general speed limit on motorways, as almost all countries worldwide have introduced, is the order of the day. One thing is clear: it would improve traffic flow, reduce CO2 emissions and help to make cars – especially those with ‑electric drives and heavy batteries – more economical. However, Wissing allows himself the luxury of ironing out findings if they don’t fit in with his world view. A ‑current example: in response to last year’s study by the Federal Environment Agency – an agency of his government – according to which a speed limit of 120 km/h on motorways could reduce annual ‑CO2 emissions by 6.7 million tonnes in ‑one fell swoop and thus boost the climate protection laggard of transport, he said: „There are so many figures floating around.“ Just as an aside: with the 120 km/h speed limit alone, the minister could halve the 13 million tonnes of CO2 by which transport exceeded its statutory emissions budget in 2023 in one fell swoop. The radio warns of wrong-way drivers on motorways. They can be just as dangerous in politics.


The plug pulled on e-mobility: Number of newly registered electric cars declines significantly.
Climate-neutral shipping: In the wake of ammonia and methanol.
Speed limit and climate protection: An ongoing issue, but no solution: this is how Transport Minister Volker Wissing assesses the debate on speed limits. Due to a lack of acceptance among the population, it is not effective, a scientist disagrees.
Traffic turnaround: How the federal government is slowing down the transport transition by cancelling bicycle


350 million euros: EU Commission authorises German state aid for green hydrogen industry. The EU Commission has authorised Germany to support the production of climate-friendly hydrogen with state aid amounting to 350 million euros.

BDEW welcomes agreement on financing the hydrogen core network: Kerstin Andreae, Chairwoman of the Executive Board of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), has welcomed the agreement reached by the energy policy spokespersons of the government parties on a legal framework for the financial structure of the hydrogen core network. This agreement is an important step for the development of a hydrogen economy in Germany. Andreae emphasised the need for clear framework conditions for billion-euro investments in the hydrogen core network in order to balance out the risks for investors. However, she noted that some of the Federal Council’s demands had not been taken into account, which she found regrettable. It is crucial that investors do not bear the risk of capital loss. The greater involvement of distribution system operators in the preparation of grid development plans and the consideration of local transformation plans were welcome developments. Andreae emphasised that the expansion of the hydrogen core grid is central to the energy transition and the economic transformation.

Capital is still shying away from hydrogen: the hydrogen infrastructure is to be built up with a lot of private capital, both globally and nationally. However, despite enormous public advance payments, investors are reluctant to invest billions in electrolysers and networks. In Germany, the coalition has now reached an agreement on financing the core network.

H2 funding could fuel regional inequality: The discussion about the ramp-up of the hydrogen industry in Germany continues. Several federal states have now approached the Federal Minister of Economics.


Fast-charging infrastructure for commercial companies: 12.3 million euros have been approved for the „Non-public fast-charging infrastructure for commercial companies“ funding programme of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), although the funding has not yet been disbursed as the programme is funded in arrears. The programme, which is attracting broad interest from various sectors, aims to make it easier for commercial companies, especially SMEs, to set up fast-charging infrastructure. A total of 1,055 companies have applied for funding, of which 136 funding decisions have so far been issued to large companies and SMEs to install a total of 924 fast-charging points. The funding will only be paid out once the projects have been completed and the applicants have submitted their application for payment. In addition, the companies must confirm that the charging infrastructure is operated with 100 per cent renewable energy, whereby corresponding proof can be requested on a random basis. 20/10847

South Africa’s genocide accusation against Israel: The German government strongly condemns radical calls for the expulsion of the Palestinian population and the resettlement of the Gaza Strip by sections of Israeli politics and society. In its response to a question regarding the accusation of genocide against Israel before the International Court of Justice, it emphasises that the intention to exterminate a group cannot be equated with the right to self-defence. Israel has the right to defend itself against attacks, especially from Hamas, but must observe the rules of international humanitarian law when doing so. The German government is calling on Israel to comply with international humanitarian law, to allow more humanitarian aid in Gaza and to create a system for securing aid workers on the ground.


„The EU’s Critical Raw Material Act stipulates that 10 per cent of critical raw materials should be mined on European soil and 40 per cent of critical raw materials should be processed here. But it doesn’t show how to get there.“

Konstantin Deichsel, Head of Strategy & Business Innovation at Rock Tech Lithium Inc., said his company is planning to supply the e-car industry with lithium hydroxide from Germany. However, the start of the construction project for a lithium converter in Guben is being delayed by political and regulatory challenges. The 200 million euros in subsidies promised by the German government, without which the project would not be competitive and therefore could not be financed, played a key role. Deichsel also criticised the EU Critical Raw Material Act for its shortcomings in the concrete implementation of the defined goals. He compared the funding policy in Germany with that in other G7 countries and China, where projects receive more support. Nevertheless, the company expects to be able to put a plant into operation by 2026 that could produce enough lithium hydroxide for up to 600,000 electric cars per year. Rock Tech is also involved in Canada, where it plans to build a lithium plant alongside a mining project to supply the North American market. Deichsel emphasised the sustainability of spodumene mining and the use of green energy. Although production in Europe is more expensive than in China, the company expects demand for European lithium hydroxide to remain high. In the long term, Rock Tech also plans to recycle lithium in Guben and remains convinced of the supremacy of lithium-ion technology.


Ghana wants to pay cocoa farmers more to curb smuggling: Farmers are to receive up to 50 per cent more money for their cocoa. The price of cocoa has risen sharply in recent months. This has not yet been passed on to the farmers.

Zimbabwe: State of disaster declared due to drought.

South Africa: More than 24 million people in South Africa are struggling with hunger and water shortages as a result of extreme weather. The country is facing an „unimaginable humanitarian situation“.

Sustainable mobility: Green hope in Africa: While millions of ageing and fuel-guzzling cars are on the road in Africa, a drive revolution is emerging in between: The electric motorbike is coming into fashion. And the car market is also facing major changes.

Tanzania – severe power outage: Power has been restored in Tanzania following a massive nationwide blackout that affected several islands and most of the mainland last Monday. The blackout occurred shortly after 02:00 local time on Monday, as reported by the privately-owned Daily Citizen newspaper. State power company Tanesco attributed the outage to a technical fault at the Kidatu hydropower plant.

Ex-president disqualified from the election: The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has disqualified former president Jacob Zuma from contesting the general election on 29 May, based on a constitutional provision that bans people from holding public office if they have been sentenced to more than 12 months in prison without the option of a fine. Zuma, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2021 for refusing to testify before a corruption investigation, was released after two months on health grounds and was later briefly re-imprisoned before being granted amnesty. The uMkhonto We Sizwe (MK) party appealed against Zuma’s disqualification, arguing that his conviction did not fall under the said constitutional rule and that the IEC had no jurisdiction to implement it. The IEC defended its decision as constitutional. The upcoming elections pose a challenge for the ANC, which runs the risk of falling below 50%, which could necessitate the formation of a coalition. Allegations of mismanagement and corruption are plaguing the ruling party. The MK party, founded as the successor to the militant wing of the ANC, has positioned itself through legal disputes with the ANC and by supporting Zuma, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Polls indicate significant support for the MK, while the ANC is declining in voter favour.


The devastating activities of the sand mafia: criminal cartels steal valuable sand from rivers and oceans to meet global demand from the construction industry. In doing so, they are ruining ecosystems and the livelihoods of local populations. How can they be stopped?

Study identifies high savings potential for sustainable households: Households with photovoltaic systems, battery storage, heat pumps and electric cars also have a major economic advantage over users of fossil fuels, at least in the statistical model. These are the findings of a study carried out by DIW Econ on behalf of Enpal.

Disasters caused by climate change: Deforestation in Indonesia increases the impact of extreme weather events.
Climate change and winter sports: Is that it for skiing in Germany?
Supermarket: Why you shouldn’t buy strawberries in April yet.


Consultation on agroecology and seed banks

Time: Wednesday, 10 April 2024, 9.30 a.m. to 12 noon
Place: Berlin, Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, conference room 1.302

The Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development will discuss the topic of „Agroecology and seed banks“ on Wednesday, 10 April 2024. The public hearing will last around two and a half hours.

The session will be broadcast live on parliamentary television and online at

The Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development deals with issues of global economic cooperation and social justice as the basis for peaceful coexistence. The topics of German development cooperation are: Education and training for all, decent work and sustainable growth, combating disease and gender equality, urban development and climate protection, infrastructure and rural development, strengthening public administrations and good governance. The 24 MPs also review the implementation of German development projects in the partner countries. (03.04.2024)

Public agenda item on the World Bank and IMF

Time: Wednesday, 10 April 2024, 12 noon to 12.50 p.m.
Place: Berlin, Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, conference room 1.302

Briefing by the Federal Government (oral)

in the run-up to the spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF and an outlook on the 4th International Development Finance Conference 2025 in Madrid in conjunction with a discussion with Dr Katrin Berensmann (IDOS) and Dr Dustin Schäfer (urgewald e. V.)


Green Football EM

UEFA is endeavouring to make the 2024 European Football Championship in Germany the most sustainable European Championship to date. This includes a wide range of measures, including the provision of unisex toilets in all stadiums, vegan and vegetarian food options, a ban on cigarettes, the use of grey water and the use of renewable energy. UEFA also aims to reduce its carbon footprint through climate-friendly travel options, combat discrimination and promote diversity and inclusion. This strategy is supported by the Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, who is in favour of a sustainable organisation of the European Championship.

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