Merkel wants more climate protection worldwide: German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for increased efforts for climate protection. The climate protection conference in Glasgow at the end of the year must provide new impetus for concrete measures. Europe has already come a long way. In Germany, even more ambitious goals have been set, Merkel said. „These goals are ambitious, but we can achieve them. Merkel warned that the situation was particularly dramatic in the area of biodiversity. Up to one million species are threatened with extinction, she said. „We urgently need to stop this development.“ The UN Biodiversity Conference in China in October could be a milestone in this regard. One of the most important environmental issues worldwide is the fight against plastic waste, said the Chancellor. She pointed out that from July, the production of many disposable products such as drinking straws and cotton buds would no longer be allowed in the EU. faz.net, zdf.de,
EU wants import tariffs: Tariffs can be used to protect the climate, at least that is what EU officials want. EU officials want to prevent climate-damaging low-cost products from entering the common domestic market. That is why the EU is considering import duties on steel, cement, fertilisers and aluminium, for example. Brussels is currently working on these carbon import duties on particularly energy-intensive or climate-damaging products. EU-KOM_Draft_CBAM-Regulation , spiegel.de
37 percent of all heat-related deaths
Scientists estimate that 37 percent of all heat-related deaths are due to man-made global warming. An international team of researchers found that the figures ranged from 21 to 76 per cent in the countries studied. People in low- and middle-income countries in South and Central America and Southeast Asia are most affected. In the past, however, these countries were only responsible for a small proportion of man-made emissions. srf.ch
Offshore wind power and green hydrogen: EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans wants, in order to achieve the EU’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 55 per cent by 2030. many new pan-European projects at sea, openness to technology and pragmatism in dealing with the UK. Europe must defend its pioneering role in offshore wind power and in the production of „green“ hydrogen. After the EU had already been left behind in the industrial production of batteries for electromobility by Asian states such as China or South Korea: „No region in the world is as advanced as the European Union in the use of offshore wind power and the generation of hydrogen derived from it“. welt.de
Promoting sustainable forests: If Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) has her way, sustainable forests are to receive better support. The realisation that good and sustainable forests bind CO2 and thus help to at least mitigate the climate crisis has prompted the ministry to provide this aid. However, the environment is different everywhere, which is why a one-size-fits-all approach is not helpful as an approach to effective afforestation. Now, sustainable forests in particular are to be rewarded. Critics object that not even the state-promised aid from the last national forest summit has arrived so far. zdf.de
Fuel price discussion costs Greens sympathy: Some things remind of the veggie-day discussion in previous election campaigns. Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock has addressed an irritant issue in Germany that affects broad sections of the population, especially at petrol prices of around 1.50 euros. Prices are to rise by 16 cents per litre, which does not go down well, even with the core electorate in the metropolises, where there is a well-developed public transport system. Even among the rural population, where the supply of buses and trains is even lower, the majority rejects a petrol price increase. spiegel.de
Germany’s permanent overstepping of the limits: The Federal Republic of Germany persistently and systematically exceeded the limits for nitrogen oxides between 2010 and 2016. Now the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has condemned Germany for violating EU law. The judgement is based on an infringement procedure of the EU Commission. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are among the irritant gases for which diesel engines are predominantly responsible. Nitrogen oxides are blamed for the increased likelihood of coughing and bronchitis. Children and adolescents as well as asthmatics are particularly affected. A higher NOx concentration also increases the risk of dying prematurely from cardiovascular diseases. taz.de
BOOKTIP OFTHE WEEK:
Zwischen Gut und Böse – Philosophie der radikalen Mitte
A good life, doing the right thing: How can that succeed? Gert Scobel and Markus Gabriel outline a new ethics on which we – as individuals, as a society and as a state – can base our actions, even in times of crisis. There are countless possibilities between good and evil. Markus Gabriel and Gert Scobel’s thoughts are correspondingly wide-ranging: drawing on traditions of good living and on Western and Asian ways of thinking, the two philosophers explore the question of how we can make good decisions in a complex world with limited knowledge. How do we find out what we should or should not do for moral reasons?
In dialogue, Gabriel and Scobel develop the principle of the „radical middle“, in which our knowledge, thinking, feeling, values and experiences are condensed in a decision and at the same time in action. If we become aware of this centre and cultivate it, we recognise in it the reality in which we live.
And we need this clear realisation in order to meet the challenges of our time with practised judgement and to shape the future, the two philosophers emphasise. An enormous space of possibilities lies before us. And in it, Markus Gabriel and Gert Scobel are convinced, the good is always a real option. koerber-stiftung.de
Wind farms: Can slow each other down. fair-economics.de
CDU: Rejects agreement to halve CO2 costs for heating. handelsblatt.com
China investment: Battery factory to be built in Saarland. n-tv.de
Motorway construction: Saturday was a nationwide day of action against motorway construction. dlf.de
Veggie boom: Especially the big companies from the meat industry profit from the trend. tagesschau.de
Minimum tax: G7 negotiations on the verge of a breakthrough. heute.de
The seventeeen goals Magazin presents inspiring stories of how people move the world and shows how everyone can make a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
mobility and hydrogen: Federal government promotes 62 large-scale hydrogen projects. With these measures, Germany wants to become number 1 in hydrogen technologies and promote climate-friendly mobility. logistik-heute.de
1/4 of all Green voters could imagine driving an SUV: The SUV has become the symbol of car traffic, and the enemy of pedestrians and cyclists. Even when it comes to parking in metropolitan areas, the vehicles take up a lot of road space. The problem is that Green voters are also inclined towards this class of vehicle. According to a representative survey, a quarter of Green supporters can imagine buying an SUV – the second-lowest figure after supporters of the Left Party. In contrast, 48 percent of CDU/CSU voters can imagine buying an SUV in principle. For the FDP, this figure is 52 per cent, and for the AfD it is even 54 per cent. spiegel.de
Reviving car batteries: Batteries that are losing their efficiency could be given a second life. For example, as a replacement for diesel generators or even as power suppliers for small vehicles. Rainer Hönig is the founder of the start-up company „Betteries AMPS“. His business idea: He builds smaller mobile units, so-called „betterPacks“, from decrepit e-car batteries. which he delivers primarily to countries in the South. deutschlandfunk.de
Water consumption and Tesla Gigafactory: Regardless of possibly open and pre-issued permits, the Tesla electric car plant could use less water than environmental groups have so far feared. They had warned of insufficient water in the region and are already preparing a lawsuit. So far, Tesla is building the Gigafactory on the 300-hectare site on the eastern Berlin Ring at its own risk on the basis of what are now 15 preliminary permits from the authorities and would have to demolish everything again if permission is not granted. tagesspiegel.de
Reversal of trend in rail traffic demanded: Older readers of FAIReconomics may remember the Interrail generation. This was replaced at some point by the EasyJet generation. As late as the 1980s, a rail network connected the whole of Europe. Climate activists Kathrin Henneberger, Anna Emmendörffer and Emilia Fester see the thinning out of trans-European rail transport as a gross failure of transport policy. The climate crisis makes it imperative to reverse the trend of recent decades: European short-haul flights must be made superfluous as soon as possible and climate-friendly mobility must be made accessible to all. klimareporter.de
Importance of the Kiel Canal: For the German government, the Kiel Canal (NOK) is „one of the main traffic arteries in Northern Europe and at the same time the busiest artificial waterway worldwide“. This is stated in its answer (19/28706) to a small question of the FDP parliamentary group (19/28706). The NOK connects Scandinavia and the Baltic states with the North Sea ports and the main shipping routes in international world trade, it says. In addition, the canal is part of the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). „In the view of the Federal Government, the NOK with its locks is very important for the maritime economy and for the Port of Hamburg in particular,“ the answer continues. Shortening the sea route by several hundred kilometres would, on the one hand, save considerable transport costs for the economy and CO2 for the environment. This would strengthen the competitiveness of the German Baltic Sea ports and the port of Hamburg and secure jobs in northern Germany. The Federal Government is securing the infrastructure of the canal and adapting it to the increased traffic requirements, it is reported. The federal government is investing 2.6 billion euros in current and planned replacement, expansion and new construction measures in the coming years and thus in the future of this international waterway. In 2020 alone, around 186 million euros were spent, „more than on any other federal waterway“. In addition, there would be annual maintenance investments of around 30 million euros.
„Vehicles fascinate us“ – Chip manufacturers are pushing into the car market: Cars need more and more computing power – and chip developers sense their chance. Qualcomm, the number one in smartphone chips, is now going on the offensive. . handelsblatt.com
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
Germany is to become climate-neutral by 2045: The German government wants to tighten national climate protection targets and make Germany climate neutral by 2045. This is the central content of the draft of a First Act to amend the Federal Climate Protection Act (19/30230), which the Bundestag will discuss in its first reading on 10 June. With the bill, the Federal Government is reacting to the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court that the Climate Protection Act of 2019 is in parts incompatible with fundamental rights. According to the bill, a new interim target of 65 (instead of the previous 55) per cent greenhouse gas reduction compared to 1990 is set for 2030. By 2040, the reduction is to be 88 per cent. By 2045, greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced to such an extent that greenhouse gas neutrality is achieved. In order to meet these targets, the reduction goals for the individual sectors (energy, industry, buildings, transport, agriculture and waste management) are redefined. The energy sector will be particularly hard pressed to reduce its annual emissions from 280 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2020 to 108 million tonnes in 2030. For the years 2031 to 2040, annual reduction targets are set across all sectors. How these are to be distributed between the sectors is to be decided in 2024. In its statement, the Federal Council welcomes the draft amendment in principle. However, it points out that the Federal Government is now obliged to set the right course for achieving the targets. Specifically, the Bundesrat proposes to add a paragraph to the draft bill requiring that adaptive capacity to climate change be improved. The Federal Government does not agree with this proposal in its counterstatement. It argues that a stand-alone provision on climate adaptation does not fit easily into the current system of the Climate Change Act.
IASS to be institutionalised: The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) is to be transferred from temporary project funding to institutional funding. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg (MWFK) are seeking to establish a scientific and technical link between the IASS and the programmes of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (HGF) and a legal integration into the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), as stated in the Federal Government’s answer(19/30103) to a minor question (19/29469) by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group. This is in response to a statement by the German Science Council, which sees a need for action in the future institutionalisation of the IASS. Alternative options for institutionalisation had been examined by the Federal Government and had not proven to be suitable. On the other hand, the IASS’s technical connection to the HGF programmes and its legal integration into the GFZ „offer the best scientific and strategic development prospects“, the Federal Government explained. The scientific independence of the IASS is not affected by the legal integration into the GFZ.
Increase in vegetarian and vegan food: The production of vegetarian and vegan food preparations has increased in volume by 38.7 per cent to 83.7 thousand tonnes in the yearly comparison 2020 to 2019. This is according to an answer (19/29955) of the Federal Government to a small question(19/29555) of the AfD parliamentary group based on the production statistics of the Federal Statistical Office on the production of vegetarian and vegan food preparations in Germany.It further states that the value of these products thus increased by 37.4 per cent to 374.9 million euros in the same period.
Report of the Advisory Council on Sustainable Development: The report on the work of the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development in the 19th legislative period is now available to the Bundestag as information (19/30130). Among other things, it deals with the parliamentary monitoring of the sustainability process at the level of the European Union and the national sustainability strategy.
„Well, Mr. Schäuble doesn’t seem to understand the signs of the times, because he seriously believes that the big challenges posed by climate change can be met with a black zero. All he has to do is look around the world and ask himself how other economies are doing it.
Peter Bofinger, German economist and professor of economics at the University of Würzburg. From March 2004 until the end of February 2019, he was a member of the German Council of Economic Experts…And then take the USA and take China, they currently have huge budget deficits that are about twice as high as in the euro area, but they are also using that to stimulate their economies and make their economies fit for the future. Besides, we in Germany would also benefit from it in the North, our entire export economy lives from the fact that impulses are given in these economic areas. To believe now that he (Schäuble) can manage the future with a black zero, I think is rather naïve.“ deutschlandfunk.de
African top earners: Cameroonian President Paul Biya is first in the ranking of African leaders with an annual salary of $620,976. Biya is followed by Morocco’s King Mohammed, but who is of course much richer -offer richer than the Queen of England- and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, with annual salaries of $488,604 and $223,500 respectively. The data was analysed from country websites and data from organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and the CIA World Factbook.The annual salaries of most leaders are far higher than the country’s GDP per capita or average wage: 1. Paul Biya – Cameroon – $620,976 -$ 1,469 (GDP per capita), 2. King Mohammed VI – Morocco – $488,604 – $3,121 (GDP per capita) 3. Cyril Ramaphosa – South Africa – $223,500 – $4,736 (GDP per capita). The full list is available at africa.businessinsider.com
Africa stepchild in climate change: The continent contributes little to climate change due to its low industrial production, but suffers all the more from the consequences. The continent receives too little attention in this discussion, at least according to activist Vanessa Nakate from Uganda. Nakate is often compared to an African version of Greta Thunberg. Nakate is not only fighting against climate change, but also for more attention for the continent that suffers most from its consequences – and for more attention on the global stage of climate activism. enorm-magazin.de
2.4 billion dollars for Corona vaccination campaign: target exceeded: A donor conference for the corona vaccination initiative COVAX raises more money than expected. However, it remains questionable whether poor countries will actually receive more vaccine doses quickly. dw.com
New violence in eastern Congo: Martial law brings war for now. At least 65 people die in a bloody massacre in eastern Congo. Ituri province, where ADF rebels are now active, is drowning in violence. taz.de
Namibia: Agreement on genocide. Namibia between praise and resistance. After five years of negotiations, Germany wants to recognise the genocide of the Herero and Nama, apologise and finance development projects. Not everyone is in favour of the agreement dw.com
African Union: African Union divides Africa: Footsteps and death threats. During an ongoing session in the Pan-African Parliament, there are scenes of beatings. The reason is the differences between Africa’s regional blocs. The fact that the AU Parliament session in Midrand, South Africa, was being televised did not stop rival groups from turning the chamber into a war zone on Monday. They ensured a suspension of the election of a new parliamentary speaker, but their effect goes deeper: tensions and divisions between Africa’s regional power blocs were exposed. taz.de
Restitution of Cape Cross pillar delayed: The Cape Cross pillar intended for restitution has not yet been officially handed over to the Republic of Namibia. This was announced by the Federal Government in its answer (19/28896).to a small question of the FDP parliamentary group. The necessary contractual transfer agreements between the German Historical Museum Foundation (DHM) and Namibia, with the participation of the Federal Foreign Office and the German Embassy in Windhoek, had been delayed by the Corona pandemic and had not yet been concluded. The column was shipped to Namibia in August 2019 and has since been stored in a warehouse in Walvis Bay, he said. An appropriate public presentation in Namibia is planned, he said, and the draft handover agreement provides for cooperation with the German Historical Museum.
German-Moroccan relations: In the view of the Federal Government, there is no reason for diplomatic relations between Germany and Morocco to be impaired. This is stated in the answer (19/29980) to a small question of the FDP parliamentary group (19/28943). Regarding the call-back of the Moroccan ambassador for consultations in Rabat on 6 May 2021, the Moroccan government had been asked for an explanation. This explanation has not been given to date. At the same time, the German government had reiterated its willingness to normalise relations quickly. According to the questioners, the background to any misunderstandings between the two countries is probably Germany’s position on the status of the territory of Western Sahara under international law. The recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara seems to be of great importance to the Moroccan government.
Is China fleecing Africa with its loans? One thing is indisputable: without China’s projects, investments and loans, Africa would look very different in many places today. In almost all countries of sub-Saharan Africa – the only exception being eSwatini – the People’s Republic is directly involved with its state-owned companies and finances large infrastructure projects. The conditions under which this happens are the subject of a number of myths. dw.com
Good news for the bees: After an eight-year-long process, the European Court of Justice confirmed the ban of bee-harming insecticides, so-called neonicotinoids, at the beginning of May this year, in 2021. Conservationists from the Federation welcome the ruling, as do the Beekeepers Association and Greenpeace. And not only bees and other insects are protected by this ban, but also many birds, which lack food when these insecticides are spread enorm-magazin.de
Climate change is melting the mighty ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland: and in the same breath, the Gulf Stream is slowing. These two developments are linked, as a new study shows. Climate researcher Jonathan Donges from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) calculated this with his team. Donges says, among other things: „The risk of a kind of domino cascade of mutually reinforcing overturning processes is very high, and it increases as the temperature rises. Incidentally, it increases most strongly with a warming of between one and three degrees Celsius – we have already reached one degree plus.“ zeit.de
Environmental taxes could mobilise hundreds of billions of euros – and thus relieve budgets elsewhere: climate change, air pollution, eutrophication, plastic waste or traffic jams cause considerable follow-up costs for society every year. Experts from the Copernicus project Ariadne have now for the first time broken down the costs of various environmental and health damages for Germany – their estimates are more than 13 per cent of economic output. fair-economics.de
Dead zones: Not only in oceans but also at lakes worldwide. derstandard.at
Cruises: Dispute over cruise ship in the Venice lagoon.faz.net
Investing billions: Ørsted wants to become the world’s largest green energy company. manager-magazin.de
Failed e-cars: By now, e-cars are in the portfolio of almost all car manufacturers. Many of them were announced bombastically and ended with a belly landing – even if modesty and consideration should not be part of Elon Musk’s vocabulary, he once again brought the community to the boil with a tweet. He needed only six words to do so, in response to the user and vlogger Utsav Techie, who wondered about the many companies that would try their hand at electric cars. By name, he had mentioned Apple, Xiaomi, LG, Sony and Huawei. Tech companies that have nothing to do with cars. Musk simply replied, „Prototypes are easy, production is hard.“ There were almost 200,000 interactions. This was one of Musk’s rare self-critical contributions. Tesla often had to deal with bankruptcies, bad luck and breakdowns. heise.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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