FAIReconomics Newsletter Week 19/21

to the German edition

Climate targets tightened – Germany also follows suit: There is now almost a race to tighten the climate targets. Now the German government wants to go further. Compared to 1990, 65 percent less greenhouse gases are to be emitted. This was declared by Federal Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) after a top-level meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). The Federal Cabinet will decide this week. A reduction target of 88 percent will be set for 2040. At the Petersberg (Climate) Dialogue, Chancellor Angela Merkel called on countries around the world to also set stricter climate protection targets. „From my point of view, it would be very desirable if we also had a CO2 priceworldwide.“ This would have to be „established step by step“. The Chancellor also called this measure „market-based and thus very efficient“. br.de, zdf.de

Climate protection – business calls for more support: With the new climate targets, the German government wants to decarbonise the economy faster. Companies such as Thyssen-Krupp, BASF and Lanxess are calling for more support. „What is needed are realistic strategies on how we can jointly achieve the best possible effect for climate protection and at the same time maintain our competitiveness,“ says Thyssen-Krupp, for example. handelsblatt.com

151 billion euros

is the annual cost of allergies in Europe. And the sum will rise. Experts are talking about an allergy tsunami.  Global warming could lead to even more dramatic consequences. The temperature for the human brain to function properly is around 22 degrees Celsius. Strokes will increase, warm, humid weather causes changes in the fine blood vessels, then brain arteries clog, tissues are no longer properly supplied with blood. Wounds heal worse at temperatures above 40 degrees, recovery from operations takes longer. Type 2 diabetes increases. taz.de

The implementation of the European Green Deal: 54 different laws need to be rewritten and reformulated to implement the European Green Deal, the EU Commission’s promise for a climate-neutral Europe 2050. The most important legislative package will be published on 14 July.  „Fit for 55“ – is its title and describes the implementation measures, for the planned minimum 55 percent emission reductions by 2030. tagesspiegel.de

Trittin criticises the others: Jürgen Trittin (Greens), once a contentious environment minister in the Schröder cabinet, is critical of the climate initiatives of other parties.  He said that the CDU/CSU and the SPD had made „a fool of themselves“. „This is a desperate attempt to say goodbye to years of denial of reality.“ On the other hand, he does not put much stock in the Greens‘ rising poll numbers: „We know that you can’t rely on anything – neither for good nor for bad.“ However, he says, „for the first time it is black or green“. Trittin denies that the coalition parties could be dangerous to the Greens on their core issue. t-online.de

Bundestag elections cast shadows ahead: An action alliance of Verdi, Fridays for Future and the Alliance Indivisible are planning decentralised actions for a socio-ecological transformation in the run-up to the Bundestag elections in order to introduce their demands for more climate protection and for a solidary, sustainable society into the political debate. For example, it is about a higher, but socially cushioned CO2 price.  Fridays for Future and Verdi have already organised a joint campaign for better working conditions in public transport. taz.de

Water scarcity and climate change: Climate conflicts will increase in the future. One example: More than 50 people died in the fighting over a water distribution station on the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Climate change exacerbates the problems of an already dry region. faz.net


Sub-Saharan Africa:

Edited by Philipp Meuser and Adil Dalbai

Despite the growing interest in Africa, the continent’s built environment is still largely unknown in many parts of the world. The seven volumes of the Sub-Saharan Africa Architectural Guide form the first comprehensive overview of sub-Saharan architecture that does justice to the region’s structural wealth. In 49 chapters, each dedicated to one country, the richly illustrated texts by more than 350 authors from Africa and the whole world come together to form a work of superlatives. On the basis of 850 selected buildings and over 200 thematic contributions, the building culture of the continent is illuminated and contextualised. The diverse contributions paint a multifaceted picture of Africa’s architecture in the 21st century, which is shaped both by traditional and colonial roots and by today’s global interconnections and challenges. An introductory volume on the history and theory of African architecture provides the necessary background knowledge. dom-publishers.com

France: National Assembly passes climate law. deutschlandfunk.de
Defamation: Hydrogen Europe defends itself against false accusations. fair-economics.de
Pellworm: How a young woman fights for climate change. stern.de
RWE: Wants to become market leader in green energy. welt.de
National CO2 price: The Greens want to increase the national CO2 price earlier than planned so far. Without more wind and solar parks, the climate target would not be achievable. faz.net , bundestag.de (document)
Climate policy – Bundestag elections:  Climate becomes a question of existence for the Union. tagesschau.de

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.


Scheuer promises tax bonus for sustainable mobility: Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) wants to provide tax relief for citizens who rely on climate-friendly means of transport. Those who buy an e-bike or take the train, for example, should in future be able to claim up to 1,000 euros per year in income tax. automobil-produktion.de

Ifo – Study: Automotive suppliers have their best times behind them. IG Metall calls for an active industrial policy to create new perspectives for employees. telepolis.de

Hydrogen and the automotive industry: Electromobility is an important component of the energy transition and electric vehicles are the key to climate-friendly mobility. According to the BMWi’s national hydrogen strategy, hydrogen plays a central role in the further development of the energy transition. But is hydrogen technology also the right solution for the automotive industry? industrie.de

Electromobility: Growing thanks to company cars. vision-mobility.de
E-bikes: Important building block in urban mobility. springerprofessional.de

Ship propulsion: In addition to hydrogen, research is currently being conducted into forms of propulsion with ammonia. The first ship could set sail in three years. golem.de

Smart mobility: Mobility is one of the most important basic human needs. For smart, digitally driven mobility concepts, however, it is no longer sufficient to consider individual sectors and technologies in isolation. Mobility, IT and manufacturing should now go hand in hand to ensure end-to-end and holistic solutions. e-government-computing.de

Future pact for maritime training demanded: „Future pact for maritime training for more know-how in maritime shipping“ is the title of a motion by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group (19/29284), which is on the agenda of the Bundestag on Thursday. The motion calls on the federal government, in cooperation with the federal government and the coastal states, to reorganise maritime training in a „Future Pact for Maritime Training“ and thus create more attractive offers for school leavers and shipping companies. In addition, according to the Greens, the conditions of the maritime professions and the training paths should be adapted to family-friendly employment models „in order to inspire more women for shipping and to significantly increase the proportion of female employees on board“.


Higher subsidies for small hydropower plants: According to the Federal Government, 6,462 plants have benefited from the increased subsidy rates for small hydropower plants since January. This is the result of the answer (19/29169) to a small question (19/28226) of the FDP parliamentary group. The Federal Government refers to data from the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) annual accounts of transmission system operators from 2019. Specifically, it concerns higher subsidy amounts for existing plants with an installed capacity of up to and including 500 kilowatts, which were introduced in the course of the EEG 2021. The vast majority of these plants are located in Bavaria (3,348), followed by Baden-Württemberg (1,306). The federal government expects additional costs („EEG differential costs“) of about 43.2 million euros per year.

Role model function of the Federal Government in climate protection: In a small question (19/29131), the FDP parliamentary group inquires about the role model function of the Federal Government in CO2 emissions. In particular, it wants to know what measures the Federal Government has taken since 2015 to reduce the CO2 emissions of the Federal Ministries and the downstream authorities. In addition, it is interested in which criteria the Federal Government applies when using and procuring company cars and when carrying out business trips that are conducive to climate protection.

Greens demand changes in the Carbon Leakage Regulation: The parliamentary group Bündnis 90/Die Grünen makes proposals for the design of the Carbon Leakage Regulation in a motion (19/29295). In this motion, the Greens demand that comprehensible sector-specific compensation solutions be defined for companies that are in international competition and are demonstrably subject to disadvantages due to CO2 pricing, which are not compensated in return by the reduction of the EEG levy. The maximum extent of compensation should not exceed 75 percent, according to the applicants‘ ideas.

Contaminated munitions in the North and Baltic Seas: The parliamentary groups of CDU/CSU and SPD have submitted a motion (19/29283) entitled „Responsible handling of explosive ordnance in the North and Baltic Seas – using maritime technologies“. In it, they point out that there are still up to 1.63 million tonnes of munitions in German waters of the North and Baltic Seas. These war legacies pose an increasing danger to the marine ecosystem, the motion states.

Funding programmes for CO2 – targets: In its answer (19/29113) to a minor question (19/28157) of the FDP parliamentary group, the Federal Government lists funding programmes with concrete targets for CO2 savings. It also lists how much carbon dioxide has been saved by each programme since 2016.

Deposit obligation for disposable bottles to be extended: The Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety has cleared the way for the extension of the mandatory deposit to almost all disposable beverage bottles and cans. On Wednesday morning, with the votes of the coalition factions, it approved the draft law on the implementation of requirements of the Single-Use Plastics Directive and the Waste Framework Directive in the Packaging Act and other laws (19/27634). The opposition factions voted against. Previously, the committee had adopted an amendment by the coalition factions providing for a transitional period of several months for the implementation of the comprehensive deposit obligation.

Debate on measures to avoid carbon leakage: There was both praise and criticism for the planned measures to avoid carbon leakage in a public hearing in the Committee for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety on Monday, 3 May 2021. In the hearing chaired by committee chair Sylvia Kotting-Uhl (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), some experts assessed the Ordinance on Measures to Avoid Carbon Leakage through National Fuel Emissions Trading (BEHG-Carbon Leakage Ordinance, 19/28163) as too industry-friendly, while others criticised insufficient relief for energy-intensive businesses. More on bundestag.de



Dr. Matthias Afting ist CEO von COGNOS International

„Education is one of the key factors for a self-determined economic life for the people in Africa. It is not for nothing that education is ranked fourth in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals after freedom from poverty, hunger and disease.

Dr Matthias Afting, CEO COGNOS International, … people in Africa feel every day that education and training make the real difference – but not everyone has access to or can afford really high-quality education. In the field of primary education, a lot has been achieved in the last decades. In the area of higher education, however, this has yet to happen. Unfortunately, many school leavers do not have the formal requirements for university studies, for example. Innovative educational formats are needed. fair-economics.de


Hunger in Madagascar: Drought, climate-related shocks and growing poverty in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic threaten the lives of children in Madagascar. The United Nations warns of impending famine in parts of the country in view of rising child malnutrition. unicef.de

Bush wood utilisation in Namibia: In a small question (19/29059), the parliamentary group Die Linke asks about the background of the „Promotion of bush wood utilisation in Namibia and Hamburg by German development cooperation“. Among other things, the MPs want to know to what extent the Federal Government can rule out that funds from the project „Bush Control and Biomass Utilisation“ (BCBU) have been or are being used for activities aimed at the use of Namibian bush biomass in German power plants or the export promotion of bush biomass.

Lesotho – Ambassador Masupha is attracting investment: Investment opportunities exist in renewable energy, mining, tourism, manufacturing, health, education, agribusiness, infrastructure and construction, ICT, financial services and many more fields.  The Continental Free Trade Area and the USA AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT offer a broad market beyond South Africa. wallstreet-online.de



US Africa policy: After Trump’s scandalous ignorance of Africa, the US under Joe Biden is returning to old values. These include a good tone and new commitments. There is plenty of room for improvement – not only in competition with China. dw.com

South Africa: Suspension of ANC Secretary General. In the wake of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s efforts to expose and fight corruption networks in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule was suspended on Monday. africa-live.de

Algeria: Algeria’s regime is committed to confrontation with the protest movement. Instead of implementing reforms, a hard line is being taken. The number of political prisoners has almost doubled since March. derstandard.at

Burkina Faso: According to media reports, at least 30 people were killed in an attack on their village in the West African country of Burkina Faso. Already at the end of April, suspected Islamists had perpetrated a bloodbath in the country. dw.com

Congo: Martial Law in Congo: No Peace for the Peaceful Martial law in eastern Congo follows violent action against peaceful protests. The death of a prominent imam also raises questions. taz.de

Morocco: Recalls ambassador from Berlin. Annoyed with Germany, the North African country summons its ambassador home for consultations. Among other things, it is about the Western Sahara and the Moroccan claim to the territory.dw.com

Uganda: 25 years in prison for ex-child soldier. The International Criminal Court sentences Ugandan Dominic Ongwen to a long prison term. He was once a commander of the LRA rebels. taz.de



Melting poles shift Earth’s axis: A new study shows that melting glaciers on Earth began shifting the geographic North Pole as early as the mid-1990s. In the last twenty years, glaciers worldwide have lost 200 to 300 gigatonnes of ice per year. As a result, the mass distribution on Earth has changed and the poles are shifting. br.de

Migratory birds and climate change: they no longer migrate to Africa, but spend the winter in the English Garden in Munich, for example. Due to climate change, everything is happening earlier and earlier in the year. Many migratory birds cannot keep up and arrive too late at their breeding grounds, says bird researcher Miriam Liedvogel. But there are also climate change winners, such as the blackcap. deutschlandfunkkultur.de

Energy from wood: Energy providers want to produce electricity from wood on a large scale – but the amount of wood required for this would be enormous and a threat to forests and the biosphere worldwide. Nevertheless, this type of energy generation could soon be promoted in the EU as „renewable energy“. nano.de

Florida: Genetically modified mosquitoes exposed. fr.de
Textile seals: Which seals can you trust. sueddeutsche.de
Plastic waste: Yesterday was Mother’s Day, chocolate wrappers in particular still contain a lot of plastic. fair-economics.de
Scotland: 97.4 per cent of the electricity it needs comes from renewable sources. This could be a building block for independence from England. welt.de



AFRICA EUROPE FORUM – Global Virtual Conference – 17 – 18 May 2021: 

Africa has the potential to become the largest growth region in the world. With a growing middle class, a young population and many investment projects, it offers diverse opportunities for European companies in Africa. The conference series, AFRICA EUROPE FORUM, a platform to promote dialogue between the economic partners of both continents, will continue as an important meeting point for entrepreneurs, top managers of leading entrepreneurs, SMEs, banks, financial institutions and decision makers.This year, the Forum will bring together opinion leaders in African-European economic relations virtually. Leading representatives from industry, finance, trade, and academia, will discuss current issues in economic relations and development. zur Anmeldung


On the dog: 

An average domestic dog emits 8.2 tonnes of CO2 in its lifetime and thus has a not inconsiderable impact on the climate. Kim Maya Yavor+ and her colleagues at the TU Berlin have now calculated these figures. For their calculations, the researchers took a 15-kilogram dog that lives for 13 years as a basis. They included its entire life cycle in their calculations – from the resources and raw materials of its food, its packaging and transport to the environmental impact of its excrement. . welt.de

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All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com

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