to the German edition

Climate dispute between German government and EU Council President: The German government has sharply criticised EU Council President Charles Michel’s draft of the new „Strategic Agenda“, as it almost completely ignores the climate crisis and the Green Deal. Minister of State for Europe Anna Lührmann is calling for climate protection and competitiveness to take centre stage, while Michel appears to be aiming to tone down climate protection measures and the Christian Democrat majority in the European Council. There are also differences on EU enlargement and funding strategy, with Berlin emphasising a performance-based approach and the effective use of the EU budget.

Driving in Germany may soon no longer be affordable: From 2027, costs for motorists in Germany could rise considerably as the CO2 levy is further increased and defined by a new emissions trading system. This could lead to a massive increase in petrol prices, which would particularly affect drivers of combustion engines, while electric car owners would benefit for the time being. The German government is planning to use rising CO2 prices to promote the switch to climate-neutral alternatives, although this could be problematic for lower-income citizens. A so-called climate social fund is intended to cushion social hardship, but the practical implementation of this relief is still pending.

Thousands of tonnes of CO2 to be saved by cattle of all things

Bison save CO₂ by evenly grazing grassland, fertilising the soil through their digestion and recycling nutrients. This reduces the release of carbon dioxide. A study by Yale University found that a bison herd of 170 animals in Romania’s Tarcu Mountains stores 54,000 tonnes of CO₂ annually. This restoration of ecosystems also promotes biodiversity. However, the results are region-specific and cannot be directly transferred to other areas.

International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea presents legal opinion on climate change: The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg has established that states are obliged under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to take measures against marine pollution caused by greenhouse gases. This is the result of a legal opinion drawn up on the initiative of nine small island states in the Pacific and the Caribbean that are threatened by rising sea levels. The court emphasised that other international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement on climate change, do not remove this obligation.

For net zero emissions by 2050, renewable energies must triple by 2030: According to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, solar PV and wind energy capacity will need to triple by 2030 to meet the 2050 net-zero emissions target. The report emphasises that decarbonisation of the power sector and energy efficiency improvements are crucial, with renewables being the main source of emissions reductions by 2030. An estimated 215 trillion US dollars will be needed to fully decarbonise the global energy system by 2050, with a later focus on electrification and other technologies such as hydrogen. , bloomberg.nef

Friedrich Merz calls for withdrawal of the ban on combustion engines: CDU party leader Friedrich Merz has called for the EU ban on combustion engines, which will come into force in 2035, to be withdrawn, as it is unclear what kind of mobility will be truly environmentally neutral and climate-friendly in the future. At a CDU election campaign event in Saarlouis, he emphasised that neither he nor Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck had sufficient technical knowledge to make such long-term decisions. Instead, politicians should create the framework conditions so that experts can develop the best technological solutions.


Musik und Klima

Bernhard König’s new book „Music and Climate“ will be published on 6 June 2024 and is dedicated to a highly topical subject: how climate change is threatening our musical heritage. Over 520 pages, König examines the effects of rising temperatures on music and asks whether music can be part of the problem or the solution. König links the perspective of music-making and musical aesthetics with climate protection. He shows that a climate and environmentally friendly musical life could be richer and livelier than some of our current musical life. Two central questions raised by the book are:

  1. Can music help combat climate change? König discusses environmentally friendly concert practices, sustainable instruments and the integration of climate protection issues into music education.
  2. What impact will climate change have on musical culture and infrastructure? He asks whether there will still be concert halls and festivals in the future and how they can adapt to new climatic conditions.

„Music and Climate“ encourages reflection and discussion and offers practical solutions for a sustainable musical future. Bernhard König shows that music and climate protection can go hand in hand and challenges readers to rethink these connections.


In a Nutshell:

New law on waste separation: New regulations on organic waste affect both tenants and owners.
Natural gas wells: Should be used for geothermal
Wants to make overhead lines the standard for grid expansion
60 days without food:
What drives a climate activist to go on hunger strike?
Asse nuclear storage facility:
Could flood
Anti-Tesla occupation in Grünheide:
Tree houses remain.
Last generation allegedly formed a criminal

„Rhythm of growth is no longer sustainable“: Mallorca is looking for solutions for mass tourism.
International Transport Forum sheds light on current mobility challenges: In Leipzig, transport ministers from all over the world discuss climate neutrality, artificial intelligence and road safety.
A road construction project against all reason: Although the age of automobility has long since passed its peak, it is to be artificially revived in the east of Berlin with a four-lane quasi motorway.
Survey: 68 percent rate transport infrastructure as poor: trains not running on time, traffic jams and roadworks on the motorways, shortage of doctors in rural areas – infrastructure has long been a poor relation. The citizens‘ judgement is correspondingly critical.
Europe is taking cycling seriously: For a long time, cycling was considered irrelevant in the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). The revised regulation promises change: for the first time, cycling and active mobility are anchored in the objectives of the TEN-T network. Expensive subsequent corrections can thus be avoided.
Industry increasingly focussing on hydrogen drives: Politicians are putting increasing pressure on truck manufacturers and haulage companies. The industry must become more climate-friendly. The industry is calling for the rapid expansion of the charging infrastructure for hydrogen too.
Wissing de facto dissolves hydrogen department: The Federal Ministry of Transport (BMDV) has restructured sub-division G2 (Climate Protection in Mobility) and changed the responsibilities of the division in the process. Division 25, responsible for hydrogen and fuel cells in mobility, was dissolved in the process.
China: Declassifies German hydrogen industry.

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.


Desire to have children between end-of-life mood and hope

There are many reasons to be pessimistic about the future and to doubt that the world is a good place for children. Scientists are trying to find out how young people view the future and, in view of the climate crisis and increased fears, many women are deciding not to have children – three million of them in Germany. Those who are already mothers have their lifestyles scrutinised by those around them.


„Climate Chancellor Olaf Scholz? No way!“

Kathrin Hartmann strongly criticises the climate policy of Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the coalition government in Freitag. Following renewed flooding in Saarland, Scholz is once again having to act in rubber boots, which Hartmann sees as a symbol of the government’s inadequate measures. The recently passed climate protection law, which no longer sets binding sector targets and abolishes the obligation for individual ministries to implement immediate programmes, is described as a step backwards. The Ministry of Transport in particular is benefiting from this „licence to calculate“, even though it continues to produce too many CO₂ emissions.

Hartmann lists further examples of how the government is weakening climate protection measures: the speed limit has been cancelled, the Heating Act has been relaxed and the EH40 energy standard for new buildings is not being introduced, even though the building sector is responsible for a third of emissions. The German government is also torpedoing EU regulations on the climate-friendly refurbishment of residential buildings, which would particularly benefit people on low incomes. The construction of new LNG terminals, which are to be operated with climate-damaging fracking gas from the USA, has also been sharply criticised. These infrastructure projects are being pushed ahead despite protests from citizens and environmental concerns. Hartmann points out that the Grand Coalition’s Climate Protection Act of 2019 has already been declared unconstitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court. The new law from the coalition government even falls short of this. Environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe has also successfully challenged the inadequate climate protection measures in court.

According to Hartmann, the increasing number of storms and floods, most recently in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, emphasise the urgency of serious climate protection measures. Without significant improvements, the situation will continue to worsen and Scholz will symbolically no longer be able to take off his wellies.


Measures to improve food safety: The Federal Government has set up a National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for food additives and flavourings at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in order to improve food safety. The NRL continuously develops analytical methods to determine the content of flavourings and additives in food. These methods help to implement the EU recommendation on monitoring the intake of food additives. In addition, the food warning portal was revised in cooperation with the federal states and made more user-friendly in order to strengthen consumer health protection.

Misuse of funds in development cooperation: There are only isolated cases of misuse of funds in German development cooperation, whereby prevention and monitoring are effective. Funds not used in accordance with the contract are reclaimed in accordance with legal requirements. GIZ also records minor misuse of funds of less than EUR 5,000 and has reported 35 such cases to the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development since January 2023. Misuse of funds is reclaimed, while cases without criminal relevance, such as accounting errors, are clarified internally.


„Our value chain should be climate-neutral by 2040“

Arjen van der Woude, Global Director Strategic Supply Chain at Heineken, explained in the interview that Heineken has been tackling the issue of sustainability across the company for years and is looking for ways to generate sustainable growth as part of its global „Evergreen“ strategy. The company has set itself the goal of achieving net zero emissions from its own operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 2030 and also becoming climate-neutral throughout the entire supply chain (Scope 3) by 2040. To achieve these goals, Heineken is cooperating with a freight technology provider and plans to save 930 tonnes of CO2 annually by using electric trucks on the route between the brewery in Den Bosch and the central warehouse in Duisburg. Van der Woude emphasised that the technology provider not only provides electric trucks, but also sets up the charging infrastructure and offers an AI-driven operating system.


Ruto with Biden: Kenyan President William Ruto was received by US President Joe Biden at the White House, the first African head of state to do so in 16 years. The visit marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between the US and Kenya and strengthens bilateral co-operation, with Kenya gaining the status of a major non-NATO ally. Key topics included security and economic cooperation, including US assistance to modernise Kenya’s police force and investment in renewable energy. Ruto called for an adjustment of the international financial architecture and debt relief, while Biden pledged reforms and financial support.

Report: EU partner countries abandon asylum seekers in the desert: The governments of Mauritania, Tunisia and Morocco deny any human rights violations.

The future is remote: Brian Kipchumba from a remote village in Kenya is successful by working remotely in the field of artificial intelligence for European and American companies, despite a lack of infrastructure such as electricity and stable internet. A digital lab set up by the government has given him access to a better network, allowing him to work more efficiently. His story inspires others in his community to take up online jobs as well. Despite challenges and inequalities in pay, Kipchumba sees remote work as an important opportunity for the future of work in Africa and for fighting poverty.

Decision in South Africa . Zuma must not run for office: South Africa’s highest court has barred former president Jacob Zuma from running for parliament. The reason is a previous conviction.


Climate change impacts that are already evident in Europe: In 2023, climate change was particularly extreme in Europe, as the new Copernicus report makes clear. Heatwaves, record temperatures, flooding and less snowfall had a significant impact on people and nature, while sea surface temperatures also reached record levels. Despite the negative effects, there is a glimmer of hope: the share of renewable energies in electricity generation in Europe rose to 43 per cent in 2023, which can be attributed to increased storms and high precipitation.

Mangrove forests in danger: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warns that around half of the world’s mangrove forests are endangered, with 20 per cent critically endangered or threatened with extinction. These forests, which mainly grow on tropical and subtropical coasts, provide important protection against flooding, store CO2 and serve as a habitat for many fish species. They are threatened by climate change, deforestation, pollution and dams, which particularly affect regions such as the Northwest Atlantic and the northern Indian Ocean. The loss of mangrove forests would have catastrophic consequences for nature and people worldwide, which is why urgent conservation measures are needed.

Tragedy in South America: The Venezuelan Humboldt Glacier is irretrievably lost, making Venezuela the first country in South America to lose all of its glaciers. The IUCN warns that the melting of glaciers due to climate change will have catastrophic consequences for nature and people. Due to a lack of political stability, scientists have been unable to adequately monitor the area, but the loss has now been confirmed. The global phenomenon of glacier retreat can also be seen in other regions such as the Andes and the Alps.


GLF Moorlands 2024: The climate solution we forgot about

When: 6 June 2024
Where: Bonn, Germany, and online

Further information: Website
Peatlands make up only 3-4 per cent of the Earth’s land surface, but they store more carbon than all the world’s forests combined. At this hybrid event, taking place alongside the Bonn Climate Conference, you will learn why this important ecosystem is under threat – and what we can do to protect it.
Tickets are free for all those attending online. Secure yours now!

GLF Africa 2024

When: 17 September 2024
Where: Nairobi, Kenya, and online

Further information: Website coming soon!
Can Africa usher in a global green renaissance? The continent has vast natural resources that support its food systems, livelihoods and growing young population – but the climate crisis could undo these benefits. This mixed conference will explore how Africa can overcome these challenges by harnessing the potential of its diverse landscapes and peoples

First International Conference on Small Island Developing States

When: 27-30 May 2024
Where: Venue to be confirmed, Antigua and Barbuda

Further information: Website
Small island developing states expressed disappointment with the agreement reached at COP28. In May, the group will reconvene to review its progress on sustainable development and propose a new decade of partnerships and solutions to the climate crisis, rising debt and the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bonn Climate Conference – June 2024

When: 3-13 June 2024
Where: Bonn, Germany

Further information: Website
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will hold the 60th session of its subsidiary bodies at its headquarters in Bonn, Germany. Stay tuned for more details.

III World Biodiversity Forum

When: 16-21 June 2024
Where: Davos, Switzerland

Further information: Website
Under the theme „From Science to Action“, the third World Biodiversity Forum will bring together researchers, practitioners and civil society to explore how to move from science to action and solutions to conserve biodiversity and put us on the path to a transformation towards sustainability.

VII European Congress for Conservation Biology (ECCB 2024)

When: 17-21 June 2024
Where: Bologna, Italy

Further information: Website The 7th ECCB, organised
by the European Section of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), will focus on the key theme „Biodiversity Positive by 2030“ and formulate a call to action for the conservation of our planet’s biodiversity.

ICLEI World Congress 2024

When: 18-21 June 2024
Where: São Paulo, Brazil

Further information: Website; Press release; Registration form
In June, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability will organise its triennial World Congress. It will be hosted by the city of São Paulo. The event will showcase how local and regional governments from our network are driving sustainable urban development worldwide.

IUFRO World Congress

When: 23-29 June 2024
Where: Stockholm, Sweden

Further information: Website
The IUFRO World Congress is one of the largest global forestry events, held every five years since 1893, bringing together leading scientists and top leaders to jointly shape a sustainable future for forestry, climate and society. Under the
motto „Forests and Society Towards 2050“, the 2024 event will address the challenges that population growth, climate change, globalisation and a growing world economy pose
for forests and their management.
The GLF and CIFOR-ICRAF will participate in this event. Stay tuned for more details.

International Peat Congress

When: 4-9 August 2024
Where: Taizhou, Zhejiang, China

Further information: Website
The 17th International Peatland
Congress, organised by the International Peatland Society, provides a platform for scientists, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to share knowledge, best practices and new ideas on peatland conservation and advocates for the responsible use of peat and peatland resources. The proposed theme for this year is „Peatlands in a changing world“.

Summit of the future

When: 22-24 September 2024
Where: UN Headquarters, New York, NY, United States

More information: Website
The Future Summit is a high-level event that brings together world leaders to build a new international consensus on how we can create a better present and secure the future.
The Summit has two main objectives: to accelerate efforts to fulfil our existing international commitments and to take concrete steps to address new challenges and opportunities. This will be achieved through an action-orientated outcome document, the Compact for the Future, which will be negotiated and endorsed by countries in the run-up to and during the Summit.

Climate Week NYC 2024

When: 22-28 September 2024
Where: New York, NY, United States, and online

More information: Website
During the same week as the Future Summit, the annual Climate Week NYC will host over 500 in-person, hybrid and online events and activities across New York City.

2024 United Nations Biodiversity Conference

When: 21 October-1 November 2024
Where: Cali, Colombia

Further information: Press release
Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP16) and the meetings of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol.
At COP16, governments will be tasked with reviewing the status of implementation of the Kunming and Montreal Global Biodiversity Frameworks, which were adopted at COP15 in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022.

2024 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP29)

When: 11-22 November 2024
Where: Baku, Azerbaijan

Further information: Press release from COP28
At last year’s COP28 conference in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), countries agreed for the first time to move away from fossil fuels and to finance the fund for loss and damage. In
November, heads of state and government and delegates from all over the world will meet again in Azerbaijan for the biggest climate event of the year to set
a new global target for climate financing.

Session of the UNCCD Conference of the Parties (COP16)

When: 2-13 December
Where: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Further information: Website
Not to be confused with the UN Biodiversity Conference, COP16 will bring together world leaders to take action on drylands under
the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Since the last UNCCD Conference of the Parties in May 2022 in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), this will be the world’s largest summit on land issues.


Recycled royal: Mary of Denmark rocks the vintage look

New is always better? Not for Mary of Denmark! While other royals shine in new designer clothes, Mary shows in Copenhagen that recycling can also be breathtaking Fashion can be timelessly beautiful – especially if you have a wardrobe like Queen Mary (52). At the opening of the „Global Fashion Summit: Copenhagen Edition 2024“, the mum-of-four stepped out in a look that she didn’t have to spend a cent on. She already wore the floral skirt in Burkina Faso, West Africa, in 2021 and has also worn the dark red blouse by Jesper Høvring countless times. Sustainability can be so glamorous! While the fashion world is racking its brains over how to reduce its environmental impact, Mary has long since got the hang of it. The „Global Fashion Summit“ provides the perfect stage for innovative ideas and Mary shines as a representative of sustainable fashion. She proves that recycling is not just for waste paper, but also for couture. But wait, there’s more! Mary is not just a fan of wearing her wardrobe several times – she loves to breathe new life into her outfits with a little fashionable imagination. This was the case during her state visit to Norway in mid-May. At the banquet with King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Mary wowed in a lilac-coloured gown with silver shimmer. This showpiece, which was polished up by dressmaker Birgit Hallstein, dates back to 2016, when Mary wore it at the wedding of Philip and Sofia of Sweden. Eight years later and still an eye-catcher – that’s how you do vintage right!

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