to the GERMAN EDITION
OECD reprimands German climate policy: The OECD has called on Germany to make more efforts in climate protection. In order to become climate neutral by 2045, two sectors in particular would have to quickly become more ambitious. Minister of Economics and Climate Protection Robert Habeck (Greens) said at the handover of the OECD’s economic and environmental assessment report in Berlin on Monday: „In the past, we were too slow in climate protection. We now have to catch up with determination. […] Only if we take timely and continuous action can we achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045. The OECD appealed to the German government to accelerate the implementation of existing climate measures and to take new ones – especially in sectors that have not met their targets. zdf.de , klimareporter.de , dlf.de
Distress call from the south: The price of electricity is dividing the country. Although green energy is primarily generated in the north, grid fees in particular are significantly more expensive there than in the south. Now the northern states are fighting back – and those in the south and west are afraid of falling behind. For years, they actively stalled the expansion of grids and wind power, and now they are warning of the economic consequences. Seen in this light, it was almost a cry for help from the otherwise so self-confident and vigorous southern minister presidents from Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, this time supported by their colleague from North Rhine-Westphalia. It was a warning cry against the imminent division of the country into different electricity price zones. „The separation of price zones would result in serious negative effects,“ the paper said. Small markets are „more inefficient than large ones,“ it said. The conversion costs would not only damage „Germany as a whole as a business location,“ they would also mean „a structural disadvantage for the industrial centers in the south and west of Germany. table.media
50 per cent of plans for new coal-fired power plants cancelled
For the climate, it is a horror number: the capacity of new coal-fired power plants under construction or planned worldwide added up to 476 gigawatts in the middle of last year. If all of them were completed and operated to the end of their economic life, the international goal of limiting global warming to below 2 and preferably 1.5 degrees would be unattainable. But a study is now knocking down the official announcements, balanced by the US information service Global Energy Monitor, for their implementation – and comes up with around 50 per cent cancellation.
Geywitz distances herself from the Greens: the German government is working on strict heating regulations, the EU is planning efficiency regulations for buildings. Construction Minister Geywitz now lets it be known that she thinks little of the idea of renovating every single building to top standards – and is counting on resistance from the Greens. Federal Minister of Building Klara Geywitz (SPD) suddenly contradicts her Green coalition partner when it comes to the ever stricter efficiency regulations for buildings. „I am not convinced that we have to do everything to make every single building as efficient as possible,“ Geywitz said on Wednesday at an association conference of the real estate industry in Berlin. This, she said, primarily concerns insulation, but also technical systems, for example for heat recovery. The Minister announced that she would raise the efficiency issues more strongly in the Federal Government, but was also expecting resistance from the Green-led Federal Ministry of Economics: „If Mr Habeck were here, he would probably contradict and emphasise that as much energy as possible that can be saved in buildings should actually be saved.“ In her view, however, this approach is not only difficult to finance, but is also not „extremely sensible on balance when it comes to decarbonising the building sector.“ welt.de
„Warning for the world“ – Heat wave has Southeast Asia in its grip: Large parts of Southeast Asia have been sweating under an unusually strong heat wave for weeks. An emerging El Niño phase is responsible for the extreme temperatures, wrote the newspaper „Bangkok Post“, citing meteorologists. Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines are currently particularly affected. The „brutal heat“ must be interpreted as an „ominous sign“ before summer in the northern hemisphere and is „a warning for the world“, it said. zeit.de
The government wants to ban oil and gas heaters, triggering a boom for these heaters of all things: The government wants to ban the installation of new oil and gas heating systems in order to protect the climate. First, however, it has triggered a boom in oil and gas heating. Heating engineers report an enormously high demand for fossil-fuel heating systems. Delivery times are already getting tight before the law comes into force on 1 January 2024. The most important reason cited by tradesmen is the cost of climate-friendly heat pumps. Private homeowners and housing associations are overwhelmed and very uncertain. businessinsider.de
Climate passport for climate refugees: Those who lose their homes due to the consequences of climate change should receive a „climate passport“ for permanent residence in Germany. This is what the German Council of Experts on Integration and Migration (SVR) proposes in its annual report; the independent body advises the Federal Government. The climate passport, a proposal of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), which the SVR took up and specified in the report, is designed for people from countries that are losing their entire territory due to climate change. They receive a permanent right of residence. The Climate Card is intended for people who have to leave their country temporarily due to severe destruction; due to the broader scope of application, a country-specific quota is required here. This is a temporary residence title modelled on humanitarian admission programmes; in parallel, adaptation measures must be implemented in the country of origin so that a return is possible in perspective. spiegel.de, fair-economics.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Atlas der Zivilgesellschaft
Focus Migration – Numbers. Analyses. Interviews. Worldwide.
Persecuted, discriminated against, arrested, killed – only about three percent of the world’s population enjoys full civil society freedoms. In many countries, the conditions under which people can express their opinions or fight for their rights have deteriorated in 2022. Bread for the World publishes the Civil Society Atlas annually, using data from CIVICUS, a global network for citizen participation, as well as its own research. In this edition, reports from all five world regions illustrate the situation. One focus illustrates how governments and security forces are increasingly repressing not only migrants and refugees, but also those – activists, volunteers, churches and NGOs – who support them. The focus is on Greece, Mexico, Pakistan and Niger. In more than 90 countries, Bread for the World empowers poor and marginalised people to improve their lives through their own efforts. The focal points of its work are: overcoming new poverty and hunger crises, combating climate change, overcoming violence, fragility and conflicts over resources and common goods, strengthening women and women’s rights, and shaping the digital transformation in a just way. oekom.de
Sustainability in the construction industry: Innovations in the construction sector are making slow progress. Yet the industry is crucial for sustainable transformation. Start-ups with good ideas do exist. absatzwirtschaft.de
Heat pumps: Viessmann pays only 1.5 per cent tax on billion-euro deal. capital.de
Shell: Court rejects suit over oil spill in Nigeria. tagesschau.de
Expansion plans for wind energy: What this means for migratory birds. abendblatt.de
France: Water shortage leads to drastic measures. tagesschau.de
Methane emissions: A new law to reduce methane emissions in the energy sector was approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday. euractiv.de
Expert opinion: Politicians in duty, they must facilitate environmentally friendly behaviour. umweltrat.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.
PODCAST OF THE WEEK:
Bees – What you should know about them
As soon as the days get warmer, it hums and buzzes everywhere. Bees also find pollen and nectar on the first flowers. What can be done to protect these important insects or which flowers are actually approached by the industrious honey-gatherers? What can be done to prevent bees from dying of thirst, and why is it gradually becoming scarce for them in the countryside? These and many other questions are answered by Frenzy and Lena from the Utopia editorial team in this episode of the Utopia Podcast. What else you can keep in mind when dealing with bees, why you should also be careful when buying honey and what you can do against a bee sting, we also tell you in this episode about bees.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
Even if they are a nuisance: Vigilante justice against climate stickers is a taboo
by Antonia Rauth
Violence by car drivers against activists is also fuelled by politics and some media
Wednesday morning at the Verteilerkreis in Vienna: Young people in high-visibility waistcoats block the road. Powerful car drivers forcibly drag them off the road. A video documents how the angry road users tackle the Last Generation activists. The police confirmed that there were charges of attempted bodily harm and aggravated coercion. The fact that the protesters are attacked is also due to politics and the media. Violence against them is trivialised: „Slap the climate stickers: Can I do that?“ was the headline of the Kronen Zeitung recently. The Viennese FPÖ leader Dominik Nepp posted a picture suggesting that he wanted to urinate on the heads of climate activists. A double standard is evident in the way the protesters are treated: headlines like „Can I throw mask refusers out of the metro?“ were not read during the Corona pandemic. And it was precisely the FPÖ that stood up for those who practised „civil disobedience“ during this time. The fact that violence is now being discussed as a tried and tested means among young people of all people who are protesting with scientifically sound demands for climate protection is a warning signal. It is hard to believe that this appeal is even necessary, but: Stay cool, even if you are late for work. Vigilante justice must remain a taboo. derstandard.at
Germany wants to do more for cyclists: But when motorists have to give up space, conflicts often arise. At the world’s largest cycling conference in Leipzig, solutions for the future were discussed until Friday. Even the ADAC, the motorists‘ lobby association, is of the opinion that more should be done for cyclists. Surveys have shown that only every third motorist supports the conversion of traffic areas. But: „Basically, I think it is necessary to give up space at one point or another,“ says Ronald Winkler, specialist for urban traffic. Accordingly, the conversion should be fair, i.e. it should not happen overnight, as with the so-called pop-up cycle paths that were created in the Corona pandemic in Berlin, for example. It is important to include the interests of all road users. Where possible, cycling and car traffic should be spatially separated, for example by bicycle lanes. However, the development of a better cycling infrastructure will take time, says Winkler. Even cycling strongholds like Münster have taken decades to build a high-quality network. rheinpfalz.de
Transport companies: Don’t want to be the scapegoat of climate policy. faz.net
No climate protection on the world’s oceans: Wind-powered freighters? Green ammonia? Ships with climate-friendly propulsion have so far mainly sailed in the media. The most important alternative fuel is fossil. On the one hand, these fuels, like bio- and e-fuels, are not available in the necessary quantities or there are no supply chains for the ships that travel the world. On the other hand, completely new fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia have not even been approved for everyday use by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the regulatory body appointed by the United Nations. This makes ships with alternative propulsion systems expensive one-offs. And while around 33 percent of all new ships laid on keel use alternative propulsion systems, the word „alternative“ is deceptive here. What is meant are alternatives to conventional diesel engines powered by heavy oil – and the most important of these alternatives is fossil liquefied gas. At less than one percent, its share of the global fleet is still rather tiny – but such ships already occupy a large place in the order books of shipping companies. Around one third of all new orders in 2022, in terms of tonnage, are freighters with LNG burners. spektrum.de
Deutsche Bahn: Curious bonus calculation, Deutsche Bahn pays out over 100 million euros. focus.de
How expensive will flying become? The EU wants airlines to use more and more sustainable fuels in the future to reduce emissions. What does this mean for ticket prices? At the start of this year’s holiday season, airlines are expecting a boom in the travel sector. To improve the environmental footprint of air travel, airlines are focusing on switching to sustainable fuels, in addition to more fuel-efficient engines and aircraft powered by electricity or hydrogen. Synthetic and biofuels are to replace fossil paraffin in the coming years. But these are more expensive to produce, which is likely to have an impact on ticket prices. tagesschau.de
Copenhagen: Copenhagen is considered exemplary when it comes to cycling infrastructure. Now the city council of the Danish capital is planning the next step towards a traffic turnaround. From 2030, all vehicles with combustion engines are to be banned from the city. This is what all parties represented in the council have decided. golem.de
Infrastructure in Germany – convertible from gas to hydrogen? A research project commissioned by the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) is now providing initial answers to this question. For the „SyWeSt H2“ project (random testing of steel materials for gas pipelines and systems to assess their suitability for hydrogen), employees of the transmission system operator Open Grid Europe and the Materials Testing Institute of the University of Stuttgart exposed a representative cross-section of the steels used in German (and in some cases also European) pipelines to extreme operating and ageing influences under hydrogen and tested them technically. Samples of the steels used in German pipelines were subjected to comprehensive measurement methods which, compared to previous studies, take into account additional variables such as the influence of hydrogen pressure. This makes it possible to make more accurate service life predictions and to forecast the operating times of pipelines for longer. The result: the steel pipelines installed in the German gas network are suitable for transporting hydrogen. They do not show any differences in terms of fundamental suitability for the transport of hydrogen compared to natural gas. Both operational ageing and the required fracture toughness meet the expectations for safe availability over decades. ingenieur.de
The Federal Ministry of Economics has presented a draft law for a hydrogen core network: The aim of the regulation is to set a legal framework to establish a corresponding start-up network in a timely manner. As previously announced, the responsibility for the first nationwide hydrogen network is to lie primarily with the transmission system operators (TSOs). Thus, the draft provides, among other things, for a joint application by the FNB for a hydrogen core network as well as a cooperation and implementation obligation for the FNB. The network operators are to submit the application to the Federal Network Agency as early as three weeks after the law comes into force. If this does not happen within the deadline, the regulatory authority itself is obliged to designate a hydrogen core network within four months. energate-messenger.de
Condor H2 wants 50 ships to run on hydrogen: The project „Condor H2 “ aims to establish hydrogen as an energy carrier in both short-sea and inland shipping. By 2030, fifty emission-free ships are to operate and around 100,000 t CO2 per year are to be saved. Via „Condor H2 „, hydrogen in tank containers and fuel cells including batteries are to be made available according to the „pay-per-use“ model. This will keep the investment costs for ship owners or charterers manageable, according to a statement by the Port of Rotterdam. To implement this, the project brings together six ports and more than 40 partners from the entire value chain. The spectrum along the Rhine from the Netherlands to Switzerland ranges from hydrogen suppliers to traders and technology providers to shipowners. From Germany, the Port of Duisburg is among the participants. binnenschifffahrt-online.de
How dangerous is oxygen as a waste product? By the middle of the century, the demand for green hydrogen will increase significantly worldwide – during production, huge amounts of oxygen will be produced as a waste product, because electrolysis plants release oxygen into the environment. However, lung doctors do not see any danger for residents. mdr.de
„New gases are our future“ – Natural gas industry focuses on hydrogen in the future: The German gas industry does not see itself as a discontinued model. After the end of fossil fuels, the natural gas grid in particular must be converted for the transport of hydrogen, the industry associations emphasise. They see politicians as being responsible for this. In a joint position paper, the gas industry, which has so far focused on natural gas, has underlined its desire for conversion towards climate neutrality in 2045. In the future energy system, leading associations see a „decisive role“ for renewable, „new“ gases such as climate-neutral hydrogen or biomethane. The energy industry associations BDEW, Zukunft Gas and DVGW presented their joint considerations for the future of the gas industry in Germany. n-tv.de
Port of Wilhelmshaven: To turn a project into a pipeline network or a factory, companies need an H2 Acceleration Act modelled on the LNG Acceleration Act, faster approval processes and a suspension of the need for EU-wide tenders. They do not want subsidies, but political risk coverage. In addition, companies need a model that allows costs not to be passed on to the first customers. Finally, the production, transport and use of hydrogen is not yet a viable business model. Hydrogen is uncharted territory. It is difficult to assess the risks – the companies alone cannot foot the bill for the development of the infrastructure if perhaps other technologies will prevail after all. Lower Saxony’s Economics Minister Olaf Lies sees risk hedging as a good way to support companies in building an H2 infrastructure. After all, he has a great interest in seeing his region develop into an energy hub for Europe. However, he also knows that there are problems with budgetary law with a risk cover. But he promises to think about a solution. businessportal-norwegen.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG:
By omnibus to the organic label: In the omnibus procedure, the Committee on Food and Agriculture voted for an organic label for canteens and restaurants as well as for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act to ban the killing of chicks. On Wednesday morning, the majority of MPs passed the federal government’s bill (20/6313) in amended form. With the introduction of the organic label, the federal government plans to increase the share of organically produced food in canteens, dining halls and restaurants. The levels envisaged are gold with 90 to 100 per cent organic, silver with 50 to 89 per cent and bronze with 20 to 49 per cent. This would allow providers to voluntarily label their commitment to sustainable catering and thus promote themselves, according to the idea of Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen). The draft provides for the entire area of so-called out-of-home catering, so that schools, old people’s homes and nursing homes as well as public authorities would also have the possibility to show how high the organic share in the offer is by means of labels.
EU-wide tenders for renewable energies: The EU-wide expansion of renewable energies not only makes a central contribution to a successful energy turnaround, but also to the achievement of climate protection goals – cooperation between the Member States would help in this regard, according to the Federal Government’s answer (20/6638) to a minor question by the AfD parliamentary group (20/6489) on the subsidisation of Danish photovoltaic plants by Germany. A total of five plants in Denmark were subsidised with 2.16 million euros so far; these had been determined within the framework of a joint tender with the Kingdom of Denmark. At present, no new projects in other countries were being subsidised via the EEG and no more were being planned so far, the government explained.
UN development programmes urge more support: The heads of the UN World Development Programme UNDP and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation UNIDO, Achim Steiner and Gerd Müller, called for more support in the Development Committee on Wednesday morning. As the most important organisation in UN development cooperation, the UNDP is chronically underfunded, Steiner stressed. Every euro invested in the UNDP generates another 55 euros worldwide, multiplying the possibilities, scope and competences in the field of development cooperation many times over. In view of the current negotiations on the 2024 federal budget, former German Development Minister Müller, who has been Director-General of UNIDO since December 2021, also appealed to the German government and the Bundestag to invest more in the economic development of poor countries. In view of the geostrategic changes in the world, the strong appearance of China and climate change, the transfer of knowledge and technology to developing countries is also of great importance for Germany, he explained. The energy issue in Africa also determines the climate in Europe. Müller referred to the plans of African states to build new coal-fired power plants and stressed that CO2 emissions could be massively reduced there by investing in renewable energies. According to him, 600 million people on the African continent have no access to electricity so far. more at bundestag.de
Use of recycled materials for sustainable construction: In the interest of sustainable construction, there is a need for increased use of recycled materials in the building sector. This was the view of the experts invited to a public expert discussion of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Sustainable Development on Wednesday evening. „We absolutely need quotas for recycled materials,“ said Stanimira Markova, head of the research area „Future Technologies Building Sustainability“ at the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen. In Switzerland, she said, the introduction of a 20 per cent minimum use quota for recycled concrete has made it possible to create dozens of buildings made entirely of recycled concrete that still meet the highest requirements for load-bearing capacity. „This is now quite normal standard,“ she said. Volker Thome, head of the „Mineral Materials and Building Material Recycling“ department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, took a similar view. Recycling processes would only be used by building material processors if they were also economically worthwhile. However, as long as waste exports abroad or landfilling are cheaper, new processes would have a hard time establishing themselves on the market. more on bundestag.de
LNG sites cost the federal government around nine billion euros: The total costs to the federal government for the LNG sites Wilhelmshaven I, Wilhelmshaven II, Brunsbüttel and Stade as well as the charter costs for a fifth tank storage unit (FSRU) ) and partial costs for the construction of the connection pipeline to a Baltic Sea site amount to about nine billion euros. This is stated in the answer (20/6675) of the federal government to a small question of the parliamentary group Die Linke (20/6290) on the „Current planning of LNG terminals in Germany“. In addition, about 550 million euros of blocked funds originally earmarked for the chartering and operation of a sixth FSRU remain in the budget, the answer continues. After a final decision on a location for the fifth federal FSRU in the Baltic Sea region, further funds would have to be applied for to operate the terminal and complete construction of the pipeline, the government adds.
Controversial appointment – Habeck and Graichen questioned: In a joint meeting on Wednesday, the Committee on Economic Affairs and the Committee on Climate Protection and Energy questioned the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK), Robert Habeck (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), and the State Secretary in the BMWK, Patrick Graichen, on the mistakes made in the awarding of posts at the German Energy Agency (Dena). Habeck emphasised that the decision had been a personal mistake and not an error in the application of compliance rules. He said that mistakes had been admitted where they had occurred. Habeck said that this could not be undone by re-advertising the post. However, he forbade attacks on individuals in the debate, as had happened in the past days and weeks. Graichen told the meeting that he had made a mistake that he regretted. He should have withdrawn from the search committee. However, Graichen said, he had not given Michael Schäfer or anyone else an advantage in the whole procedure. He had only been interested in finding an excellent managing director for Dena. more at bundestag.de
„Mothers who suffer from burnout symptoms often find it difficult to admit their exhaustion. They are plagued by a guilty conscience and often the feeling that they can’t do anything about their situation anyway“.
Dr. Hanne Horvath, psychologist, She finds the more care work that most women with children take on compared to fathers in Germany decisive. On average, that is six to seven hours, and during the pandemic, three hours were added on top of that. It was easy to calculate that a lot of things had been missed out, especially moments of rest and relaxation, time for oneself, which had not been possible for a long time and had put a lot of strain on many mothers.
But even before the pandemic, many women would have felt tense, mostly due to the double burden of child and career. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 65.5 percent of mothers work part-time, while only 7.1 percent of fathers take advantage of this option. These figures have remained almost unchanged since 2010. So we still have a rather classic distribution of roles in families. Fathers are fully focused on their careers and tend to let the family run alongside, while mothers divide their time more between their jobs and childcare.
„Coffee is sustainable when it is grown organically. When people involved in the entire value chain are fairly involved and consumers can still be offered the most affordable price possible.
Marcel Lorenz, coffee specialist and founder of Coffee Annan, An efficient supply chain is crucial for the quality and sustainability of coffee. Through direct trade, money is spent in the right place and traders can actively participate in improving the quality of green coffee. High-quality coffee fetches higher prices on the market and consumers can contribute by choosing coffee roasted in the country of origin. This creates skilled jobs and has a direct impact on the lives of local people. The international coffee trade poses a challenge when it comes to promoting justice. Small farmers, especially women, who have a large share in coffee production, receive only a minimal share of the profits. To address this inequality, coffee companies could, for example, ensure that they buy fair trade coffee directly from smallholder farmers and give them a fair share of the profits. Companies could also invest in programmes that support smallholder farmers, especially women, in the areas of finance and education to strengthen their position in the market and increase their chances of success.
Scholz in Africa: Making friends before you need them. With his second trip to Africa, Olaf Scholz is pursuing a new North-South strategy. It’s about aid. But also about preparing for global competition. zeit.de
Africa’s population will double by 2050: A visit to the continent’s largest country, where many want to leave and others are fighting for a better future. With an average of five children per woman, Nigeria has one of the highest birth rates in Africa. Will the growth become a nightmare for the continent, or does it offer an opportunity for a better future? Africa’s population growth will have an impact on the whole world. According to Jakkie Cilliers of the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, CO2 emissions will surpass those of America and China. This endangers climate targets and accelerates climate change. nzz.ch
Sudan: According to UN figures, more than 700,000 people have now fled the ongoing fighting in Sudan. At least 600 have been killed, but the actual numbers are likely to be far higher. tagesschau.de
Vaccines produced in Africa have difficulties entering the market: The tender decision raises important questions about local production and its inextricable link to market access. Since 2021, there have been initiatives on vaccine production in Africa mainly focused on funding and partnership building, leaving aside the key issue of market access for products produced in African countries. Market access is crucial for local vaccine production. First of all, the competitiveness of production in the vaccine sector depends on the volume produced. The larger the production volumes of the company, the lower the price. However, to achieve this, local companies must have access to the market. Secondly, market access is key to the survival of new entrants. It allows them to cover their working capital and helps them to reinvest for business expansion. But the current vaccine supply systems in the region do not leave much room for African companies. Forty-four 54 zahlt of the continent rely on vaccines provided by Gavi, the global alliance that supplies eligible low- and middle-income countries with vaccines. The vaccines provided by Gavi represent almost 85% of all vaccines provided in the Region. This leaves little room for procurement through other channels, where African companies have to compete with all other global companies. lejournalafrique.com
Chip fat, dandelion, grain waste: How renewable raw materials are replacing petroleum: Start-ups and corporations are driving the bioeconomy forward. Valuable raw materials are to be obtained from plants and waste. But there are pitfalls in its use. The basic idea is to stop extracting the carbon needed in the economy from fossil raw materials. For 150 years, the chemical and materials industry perfectly geared its production to the processing of crude oil and natural gas. Now it faces a huge challenge: driven by climate protection goals and constraints, the industry is looking for renewable sources with a better carbon footprint. As innovative and sustainable as the processes appear: The material use of biomass also meets with criticism. The Freiburg-based Öko-Institut, for example, considers the availability of biomass to be limited because global arable land is limited. In many cases, there is competition for land, for example for the production of food. The key question is: Does food production have priority over the cultivation of plants for industrial use? handelsblatt.com
The new power of research: The world is shaken by multiple crises that seem to have no end: viruses, climate, wars. Science is immediately on hand to measure the extent of the damage and analyse the causes. But can it also help prevent natural and social disasters with its wealth of knowledge? „These three converging and mutually reinforcing crises made it clear that there is an urgent need for action,“ says the statement of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. In climate protection, for example, there are „currently considerable deficits on the way to the Paris climate goals“. What is needed is „rapid and decisive action to deal with multiple crisis constellations and promote the development of resilient societies“. taz.de
Smoke plumes from Africa on the Amazon: The dirty plumes travel around 10,000 kilometres: Transatlantic air currents often transport large quantities of soot particles from bushfires in Africa to the central Amazon rainforest, a new study shows. The contribution from far away can even significantly exceed the pollution from the regional fires. „Our results can therefore now help to improve climate and Earth system models that have so far inadequately reflected the African smoke component,“ says senior author Christopher Pöhlker of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry. „The rates of deforestation and the number of fires, as well as the resulting soot, in recent years are unprecedented and can have serious consequences for regional and global climate change.“ wissenschaft.de
Hydropower in Germany: Makes sense only at the local level. focus.de
Oil companies under obligation: Why 14,000 active oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico are uncapped. welt.de
200 megawatts: Huge „water battery“ on Gran Canaria to secure energy transition. t3n.de
16, May 2023 11:00
Federal President Steinmeier
Talk with tribal leader Raoni Metuktire, a representative of the concerns of indigenous Amazonian peoples as well as rainforest protection.
16, May 2023, 1:30 PM ET
Towards a renewed multilateralism with German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze
Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze joins a panel discussion on the multilateral reforms needed for the success of the development agenda.
Commercial roofs: wasted space for photovoltaics
There is plenty of space for solar modules on the huge roofs of warehouses and logistics centres. Nevertheless, only very few are equipped with them. Often they offer several thousand square metres of space. This makes installation per kilowatt much cheaper than on small, fragmented private roofs. And unlike ground-mounted systems, no new areas have to be developed. One problem: „About half of the halls do not have the technical requirements,“ says Christian Helbig, Head of Real Estate & Facility Management at the logistics company Hermes Germany. In most cases, the permissible roof load is not sufficient. In addition, there is much less money for a feed-in than can be saved through self-consumption. For this reason, the systems are largely designed for self-consumption and not for optimal utilisation of the roof area. „We don’t really want to feed into the grid. That doesn’t make sense for us,“ says Andreas Maak, Technical Energy Manager at Hermes Germany. From the operator’s point of view, the focus on self-consumption is understandable – but from an economic point of view, it is disastrous: relatively easy and cheap sources of electricity are lost. heise.de
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