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Bundestag passes Climate Protection Act: On Friday, the Bundestag passed a comprehensive reform of the Climate Protection Act, which distributes responsibility for reducing emissions across the entire federal government and abolishes specific sector targets. This new regulation will particularly benefit the transport and building sectors, which have not yet been able to achieve their climate targets. The review of the national climate targets is now not scheduled until 2026, which means that the government does not have to adopt any new climate protection measures in the short term. CDU politician Thomas Heilmann had previously failed in his application to the Federal Constitutional Court for a temporary injunction. Similar to his successful case against the Heating Act last year, he justified the move with an „extremely shortened consultation period“ and also with a feared weakening of climate protection. He argued that his right as a member of parliament „to consultation and to equal participation as a member of parliament in the parliamentary decision-making process“ had been violated. Criticism has come from many associations: „There are already enormous differences between the individual sectors in terms of efforts and successes in climate protection. While the energy sector has been meeting its targets for years, the transport sector has been lagging behind its targets for the third year in a row. The softening of the sector targets in the Climate Protection Act that has now been adopted takes the pressure off the individual sectors to implement the necessary measures in good time and to make the necessary investments,“ says Kerstin Andreae, Chairwoman of the BDEW Executive Board. At least eleven Green MPs voted against the law. , (Heilmann), (Verbändekritik)

Associations warn of „perpetual chemicals“ in water: The German Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation and the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management are sounding the alarm about so-called perpetual chemicals, also known as PFAS, which can be detected in almost all German tap and drinking water and remain in the environment for an extremely long time. These chemicals, which are used to impregnate jackets and coat pans, among other things, were found in laboratory tests in nine out of ten tap water samples and in three out of five mineral water samples, but always below the applicable limits. Despite the currently still safe concentrations, the associations are calling for a strategy to prevent further contamination and for chemical manufacturers to contribute to the rising costs of purifying drinking water. Furthermore, a planned EU ban on PFAS is not making any progress. It is recommended by the European Chemicals Agency (Echa). Authorities from Germany, such as the Federal Environment Agency, also support it. Now, however, the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, in agreement with the chemical industry, is calling for the German government to lobby in Brussels for a weakening of the ban. , (Chemical industry)


56 large corporations are responsible for half of the world’s plastic waste

A study published in „Science Advances“ and reported on by „The Guardian“ shows that a few large corporations are responsible for half of global plastic pollution, with Coca-Cola alone accounting for eleven per cent. Over a period of five years, international volunteers in 84 countries collected over 1.8 million pieces of plastic waste, mainly single-use food and drink packaging. Less than half of the waste could be clearly attributed to 56 multinational consumer goods companies, with a quarter of the total waste coming from just five companies, including Danone, Nestlé and PepsiCo.

EU leaves Energy Charter Treaty: Some things have simply become obsolete. Germany led the way back in December and now the EU is also pulling out of the controversial Energy Charter Treaty. This was confirmed by a large majority of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday. The EU energy ministers had already announced the withdrawal in March. The Energy Charter Treaty, which was concluded in 1994, was intended to promote and secure investments in energy supply. However, climate protection campaigners believe that it is blocking the transition to green technologies. In addition, the treaty has repeatedly been used by energy companies to take legal action against individual countries. Germany, for example, was taken to court over its decision to phase out nuclear power, while the Netherlands was taken to court over its decision not to use coal. This should now come to an end.

How the state is preventing the CO2 price from taking effect: Since 2021, a gradually increasing CO2 price has also been levied on petrol, an initiative of the last Merkel government that was intended to bring more transparency to the true costs of transport. This surcharge currently stands at 45 euros per tonne of the greenhouse gas emitted. However, a new study funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research reveals a sobering reality: transport subsidies such as the diesel privilege or tax benefits for company cars completely counteract these efforts by actually leading to „negative CO2 prices“ of between minus 70 and minus 690 euros per tonne of CO2. , (investigation)

How the climate targets for transport can perhaps still be achieved: The transport sector remains the problem child of German climate protection. Despite the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gases, there is a rather slow movement towards climate neutrality, exacerbated by legal loopholes that allow the sector to save fewer emissions than other areas of daily life. In addition, the recent modification of the Climate Protection Act, which allows emission reductions from different economic sectors to be offset against each other, has further reduced the pressure on the transport sector. Peter Kasten from the Öko-Institut in Freiburg criticises the fact that the new law hardly motivates the German government to make the transport sector fundamentally climate-friendly. A recent study now presents two scenarios that show how the existing gaps in climate protection could be closed effectively and without driving bans.

Prejudices about hydrogen that should be outdated: With hydrogen in particular, there are outdated ideas regarding this disruptive technology that should be overcome in view of its great potential. Fundamentally, while China is leading the way in battery, solar and e-mobility technology, Europe still has a head start in hydrogen, which it should use to secure its global competitiveness, writes Jorgo Chatzimarkakis against the backdrop of the European Commission’s publication of the results of the Clean Transition Dialogues, a forum to promote the European Green Deal through cooperation with industry and social partners. The review emphasises that the inclusion of all relevant technologies to increase system efficiency is crucial to ensure Europe’s global competitiveness. It also emphasises that excluding specific technologies, such as hydrogen, could increase costs, especially now that Europe is entering the crucial phase of the energy transition.


Der goldene Käfig des Digitalkapitalismus

Nothing costs more than free

Felix Sühlmann-Faul’s book „The golden cage of digital capitalism: nothing costs more than free“ takes a critical look at the far-reaching changes brought about by the digital revolution and their impact on our lives. Over 300 pages, Sühlmann-Faul examines how giants such as Apple, Google and Meta are having a lasting impact not only on the economy, but also on the structures of our working world and private sphere. With a clear and committed eye, the author explains how these companies, behind the appearance of progress and free offers, use our data as currency and thus potentially jeopardise our democratic and social structures.

The author proves to be a knowledgeable critic of digital capitalism by revealing the dark side of these developments without falling into pessimism. Instead, Sühlmann-Faul offers practical solutions, such as the „Priva Score“, an innovative tool that helps users to better protect and control their data in the digital world. This invention promises to make it easier for users to navigate the often opaque data protection jungle, making the book not only a critical analysis but also a practical guide.

Sühlmann-Faul’s book is therefore essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the mechanisms of digital capitalism and arm themselves against its abusive practices. It combines in-depth analysis with practical tips, making it an important contribution to the current debate on data protection and digital self-determination.

In a nutshell

EU: Parliament approves weakened supply chain law.
Packaging waste: EU Parliament adopts stricter rules for single-use plastic. 
Federal Ministry of Economics: Graichen allegedly suppressed criticism of nuclear phase-out.
AI: The big energy guzzler.
Bundestag: Adopts solar package.
USA: Coal-fired power plants to be obliged to store CO2 from 2032.
Asia: In 2023, the continent was once again in the spotlight as the region most affected by weather, climate and water events worldwide.
Borrowing instead of buying: How sustainable fashion consumption contributes to climate protection.

Electromobility: How the lorry industry is struggling with the traffic turnaround.
49-euro ticket: Where the biggest losers live.
Sunday party on the road: Driving bans were never really on the agenda for Transport Minister Volker Wissing. But they do exist: Paris, Mexico City and Athens show how it can be done.
Tesla: Profit report in. Musk promises new models.
The end of the combustion engine in the EU is certain, it will come in 2035: Or not? More and more voices are criticising the ban.
PwC Strategy& analysis: Global trend towards e-mobility continues despite German slump.

Energy transition: Germany lags behind with green hydrogen.
Study: Future grid utilisation costs for hydrogen significantly lower than for electricity.
PIK study: Importing steel is cheaper than importing hydrogen.
Ministry of Transport: Delays publication of information in the hydrogen affair although it is already available to other media.

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.



The endangered climate saviour

While forests around the world are seen as indispensable „green lungs“ that filter climate-damaging CO₂, they are also under increasing threat of destruction. According to a report by the environmental organisation WWF, around 6.6 million hectares of forest will be lost in 2022 alone, an area comparable to the size of Bavaria. Reforestation is a popular method in the debate about countermeasures, but experts warn that this can be counterproductive without careful consideration. Verena Tang from „Spektrum der Wissenschaft“ emphasises that, in addition to planting new trees, the protection of existing forests is essential in order not to jeopardise the positive climate effects of forests.

more on this in the current podcast


Climate policy decides on war and peace

In his opinion piece, Andrew Gilmour emphasises the urgent need for the West to take the consequences of its climate policy seriously, as these are directly linked to global conflicts. He emphasises that rising temperatures and the resulting natural disasters are increasing the risk of armed conflict, particularly in unstable regions such as the Sahel and Somalia. Gilmour calls for increased global cooperation and fair climate finance to combat the climate crisis while promoting geopolitical stability, specifically addressing the need to implement the Loss and Damage Fund in order to prevent violent conflicts in the long term and strengthen global cohesion.

the whole opinion article here:


Habeck – „Memos were not turned into the opposite“: At an urgently scheduled meeting of the Committee on Climate Protection and Energy, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck has responded to accusations that he had exerted political influence on expert assessments regarding the possible lifetime extension of the last three German nuclear power plants. Habeck vigorously defended himself against the accusations, which were first made public by reports in „Cicero“ and the „Bild“ newspaper: expert opinions had not been manipulated in any way, rather his ministry had carefully examined all options, taking into account the changing geopolitical situation following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Despite the public discussion about the alleged deception in the nuclear phase-out policy, Habeck emphasised that it was practically impossible to continue operating the nuclear power plants, as the fuel elements would soon have been used up and new ones would not have been procured for another 18 months. more at

Focus on the situation of indigenous peoples: In a public hearing of the Human Rights Committee on the global situation of freedom of religion or belief, experts emphasised the complex scope of the topic, which encompasses geographical and conceptual aspects as well as its significance in domestic and foreign policy. The report’s focus on indigenous peoples was praised as an important examination of the universality of freedom rights, but the neglect of global anti-Semitism and the tensions of the Middle East conflict were criticised. In addition, the experts called for comprehensive strategies to support indigenous peoples worldwide, in line with Germany’s obligations under ILO Convention No. 169, and emphasised that these strategies should permeate all policy areas due to the profound extraterritorial obligations resulting from the Convention. more at

Microorganisms instead of biocides for cooling water purification: Michael Simon from BlueActivity GmbH presented a new water treatment concept for evaporative cooling systems based on the use of microorganisms instead of biocides to the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development in Berlin. This method could not only significantly reduce water consumption and wastewater pollution, but also cut water treatment costs by 47 per cent and reduce water consumption by 38 per cent, offering economic and ecological benefits. During the same session, Thilo Panzerbieter from the German Toilet Organisation criticised the insufficient use of Germany’s political influence in global water management and called for a stronger political initiative to improve access to water as a human right and to make the global water sector more sustainable. more at



This is an important judgement for Germany, as Germany is also a party to the underlying set of rules – the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Its fundamental rights therefore also apply in Germany. There are three catalogues of fundamental rights in Europe. In addition to the ECHR, we have the fundamental rights in the Basic Law and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. All of them contain individual fundamental rights, such as life and health. The senior citizens from Switzerland who successfully brought the case referred to this and argued that the increasingly high temperatures affect them in particular, precisely because older people are more sensitive to high temperatures than younger people. And that is true. The circulatory system can no longer cope.

Dr Miriam Vollmer, lawyer and specialist in administrative law, explained that the process starts with a lawsuit at the lowest court level and emphasised that specific complaints are required for a successful lawsuit. Vollmer referred to the 2021 climate lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights to illustrate how such lawsuits can influence political standards and prevent environmental protection measures from being weakened. She also mentioned a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court, which criticised the Federal Climate Act for restricting the civil liberties of young people, which led to the law being tightened. She stated that similar adjustments could also be possible in the future. Vollmer also spoke about the challenges posed by the climate crisis in Germany, such as forest dieback and extreme weather conditions, and their socio-economic consequences. She discussed the need to reduce emissions before new EU regulations come into force in order to avoid economic shocks. Vollmer emphasised the importance of measures beyond electric vehicles, such as speed limits and the promotion of public transport, to reduce emissions. She argued in favour of viewing climate protection as a technical task rather than a cultural conflict in order to promote effective solutions. The whole interview is available here



Worst drought in 100 years in southern Africa: The southern region of Africa is experiencing the worst drought in 100 years, affecting more than 24 million people with extreme hunger, malnutrition and water shortages, according to the UN. This catastrophic situation, caused by the El Niño climate phenomenon, is leading to significantly higher temperatures and the lowest rainfall in 40 years. National states of disaster have been declared in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, while in other areas such as Madagascar and Mozambique, unusually heavy rains and flooding have led to further humanitarian crises, including a cholera outbreak. Aid organisations are calling for urgent action to counter the growing food insecurity and the dramatic impact on the farming population.

Funds for the protection of forests in Cameroon: Last year, the German government pledged 19 million euros for the protection and sustainable use of forests and protected areas in Cameroon. In addition, an amount of one million euros has been promised for a planned combined financing programme with the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), according to the answer (20/11106) to a minor interpellation. Of the 19 million euros, nine million euros had been pledged for the „Promotion of Forests, Environment and Climate“ project and ten million euros for the „Sustainable Resource Management in Cameroon VI“ project.

Far-reaching political and economic events are on the horizon in South Africa. Shortly before the national elections, the takeover of Anglo American by BHP is in the spotlight and is under intense scrutiny The election campaign is showing surprising efficiency and the population is experiencing an unexpected improvement in public services In addition, the African National Congress recently suffered a legal defeat, losing the battle over the name and logo of Zuma’s MK party Economic challenges remain present as central bank governor warns of risks from inflation and financial instability

In Tanzania, heavy rains have caused severe flooding that has claimed at least 155 lives, emphasising the urgency of more efficient emergency response and improved infrastructure In addition, the World Bank has suspended its funding for a tourism project in Ruaha National Park, prompting further discussions on the sustainable development of the tourism sector in the region.

Kenya also faces significant challenges. The ongoing threat of malaria remains a critical public health issue, although progress is in sight Severe flooding has caused chaos in the capital, emphasising the need for increased urban planning and better preparation for extreme weather events In digital policy, the government recommends regulation rather than a ban on TikTok, further fuelling the debate over freedom and control in the digital world

In Morocco, the national debate is increasingly focused on the water crisis, especially in the context of the national agricultural salon, where water shortages are at the centre of discussions rfi.afrique. In addition, the healthcare system is increasingly being privatised, leading to concerns about the accessibility and quality of medical care Le Monde Afrique


Dried-up Aral Sea – from a body of water to a source of dust: In the early 1960s, the Aral Sea stretched over an impressive 68,000 square kilometres and was one of the four largest lakes in the world. Today, only the swirling sediments of the former water surface bear witness to where ships once travelled. A team of German researchers recently reported on the drastic ecological consequences of the lake drying up at the Second Central Asian Dust Conference in Uzbekistan. The desert that has now formed on the former lake bed is stirring up huge quantities of problematic dust, which is having a significant impact on air quality not only in Central Asia, but also in distant regions. The particles polluted by agricultural residues could even influence weather patterns.

Study: Conservation measures are working – but not enough: The earth is facing an ecological crisis: more than 44,000 species, including the Chinese striped turtle, the Shenandoah salamander, the cactus plant Estevesia alex-bragae and the Sinai primrose, are on the Red List of endangered species. Experts are warning of an unprecedented mass extinction that is not only wiping out individual species, but also threatening genetic diversity and entire ecosystems. In view of this alarming situation, the international community has set itself the goal of intensifying nature conservation. Fortunately, these efforts are beginning to bear fruit: a recent study published in the renowned journal „Science“ found that global nature conservation measures are already having a positive effect on biodiversity. This progress signals a glimmer of hope in the ongoing fight against global species extinction.


Permanent red at AI traffic lights in Hamm

In Hamm, an artificially intelligent traffic light is attracting attention by mercilessly showing drivers a permanent red light, as if by a strict schoolmaster – and for no recognisable reason at all. Since April of this year, this second „intelligent traffic light“ has been located at the pedestrian crossing on Ostwennemarstraße, which has apparently decided to stubbornly stop cars even though there are no pedestrians to be seen for miles around.

It seems as if the traffic lights have developed a life of their own. While the city of Hamm is celebrating its first AI traffic light at the junction of Heßlerstraße and Marker Allee as a resounding success, the new traffic light seems to be displaying rather rebellious behaviour. The technology, which is supposed to recognise road users and set priorities, has apparently decided to practise its very own kind of traffic calming – namely by bringing traffic to a complete standstill. read more at

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