FAIReconomics Newsletter WEEK 24/21
More than 70 percent of the respondents
in Saxony-Anhalt agree with the statement that the Greens are „overdoing it“ with the climate. Fridays for Future activist Jonas Venediger from Bitterfeld says that fighting for more climate protection is not popular with many people. In his hometown, he often demonstrates alone, even though he is spat on and attacked for it. „The fact that someone spits at us on the street, spits at our feet or calls us names is an everyday occurrence for me and other climate activists in the East. One of my buddies was hit in the back by a right-winger at a demonstration.It happens all the time. zeit.de
Nachhaltigkeitsrat wants higher pricing on emissions: Both the German Council for Sustainable Development (Nachhaltigkeitsrat) and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina are in favour of significant prices on emissions. Pricing is the guiding instrument for climate protection – alongside subsidies and bans. „Humanity’s actions are destabilising the Earth system in ways that threaten the existence and opportunities of current and future generations, as well as the diversity of life on Earth,“ the 29 authors warn. This requires a „systemic“ approach to solving the global crisis. An interdisciplinary cooperation between politics, economy, states and society is necessary to cope with the great change „towards a climate-neutral economy and way of life. spiegel.de
BOOKTIP OF THE WEEK:
Urban Gardening – Gärtnern auch ohne eigenen Garten
The desire to experience nature is becoming increasingly widespread, especially among families in the city. Those who do not have a garden of their own are therefore practising urban gardening – a trend that emerged a few years ago and is now increasingly evident in big cities in the form of community gardens. In the midst of asphalt and high-rise buildings, green oases are created thanks to urban gardening, where vegetables are grown, fresh air is enjoyed and a time-out from the „grey everyday life“ is taken. An urban garden or greenhouse also always means a real piece of nature in the midst of the urban bustle. For families with children, urban gardening projects in the neighbourhood are a great way to quickly get out into the green without having to travel far. But community gardens are also the perfect place to show your children where food actually comes from and to learn about biodiversity. A visit to such an urban garden can whet the appetite for more and serve as a basis for further small gardening projects at home. After all, urban gardening can be done anywhere and is a lot of fun, especially with children! preis.de
SPD: Climate premium from 2027. klimareporter.de
Federal Environment Ministry: National Water Strategy presented. sueddeutsche.de
Consumer protection: Against compulsory solar roofs. zdf.de Klima
Costs generally overestimated: While the benefits of a strict climate policy are often underestimated. ethz.ch
German government: Preparing to export CO2. welt.de
Brazil: The area under soybean cultivation in South America has more than doubled since 2000. dlf.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.
Airlines want to soften climate measures: Lobbying in Brussels is normal, now European airlines are trying to undermine the EU’s ambitious climate measures for air transport. Lufthansa is particularly active, even though it received billions in aid from German taxpayers. The British organisation InfluenceMap has meanwhile evaluated more than 800 lobby letters on this topic. The activists draw the following conclusion: „The companies claim that they are behind the climate protection goals, but then lobby behind the scenes for the exact opposite“ spiegel.de
Transport companies demand eleven billion for transport turnaround: Politicians want the transport turnaround, but don’t really know how expensive it will be. Now the German transport companies want to provide figures. With an „operating costs report“, the transport companies want to prove what the climate goals will cost by 2030 and calculate what it will take to get more people on buses and trains, climate-friendly ones of course. This is supposed to cost eleven billion. Interestingly, the transport companies are getting support from the service sector union Verdi. It wants the federal government to make more efforts to expand local public transport (ÖPNV). „If serious CO2 savings are to be achieved in the transport sector, we need a real transport turnaround. This is not only possible with the drive turnaround pursued by the Federal Government,“ says Christine Behle. „Strengthening local public transport is essential for this.“ The federal government must present an overall plan for the transport turnaround and provide the financing. handelsblatt.com (transport companies) , handelsblatt.com (ver.di)
Mobility: Back to pre-crisis level in first week of June 2021. destatis.de
Study – Public platforms for sustainable mobility: Municipal, public mobility platforms can help to make local public transport more social and sustainable. A new study by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and the organisation Attac Germany shows strategies for this. netzpolitik.org
Tax incentives for bicycles: The Petitions Committee is in favour of tax incentives for bicycles. At its meeting on Wednesday, the committee recommended, with the votes of the CDU/CSU, SPD and Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary groups, to refer a petition calling for an increase of the tax lump sum per kilometre for passenger cars from 30 cents to 69 cents per kilometre as well as for a lump sum per kilometre as a premium for the environmentally friendly use of bicycles to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure „as far as the tax promotion of alternative means of transport, such as bicycles, is concerned“. In addition, the committee’s recommendation for a resolution states that the petition procedure should be concluded. For many years, the 30 cents have no longer corresponded to market developments, the petition states. Rising costs for fuel, maintenance costs of the vehicle, increase in insurance and taxes as well as „political developments“ had caused the costs to explode. In addition, the kilometre allowance does not correctly take into account the depreciation costs and the loss in value of a vehicle due to constant official use as well as the increased costs of purchasing a new car.
Final Report on the Car Toll Committee of Inquiry handed over: In its final report (19/30500), the 2nd Committee of Inquiry („PKW Maut“) concludes that the Federal Ministry of Transport (BMVI) did not commit any obvious legal violations in the award procedure for the infrastructure charge (PKW toll), but that many questions concerning the PKW toll remain unanswered. On the other hand, the opposition parliamentary groups, in two separate special votes, accuse the Federal Ministry of Transport of, among other things, breaking the law and lacking governmental craftsmanship. The report was handed over to Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) on Thursday, 10 June 2021. The report is to be debated in the Bundestag plenary at the end of June in the last session week of the legislative period.
Hydrogen and shipping: In the middle of last week, the European Hydrogen Association presents a paper on the decarbonisation of the shipping sector. With this paper, Hydrogen Europe aims to highlight the importance of an ambitious maritime EU approach, including recommendations on EU initiatives such as the need to include the maritime sector in the European Emissions Trading Scheme and to set targets for the demand for hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels. to the document
Projects for green hydrogen infrastructure are moving forward: companies want to link the production, transport, storage and industrial use of green hydrogen via a cross-border infrastructure between Lingen, the Ruhr region, the Dutch border and Salzgitter. erneuerbareenergien.de
We think hyperlink further north: Transmission system operators Gasunie and Energinet want to enable efficient hydrogen transport from Denmark to Germany. energate-messenger.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG:
Critical remarks on energy policy: Current energy policy projects have been met with critical remarks at a hearing in the Committee for Economic Affairs and Energy. The meeting, chaired by Klaus Ernst (Die Linke), was based on an ordinance of the Federal Government on the implementation of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (19/29793), a draft of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen for an EEG Emergency Measures Act (19/29288) as well as a draft bill of the Federal Government on the implementation of EU law requirements and on the regulation of pure hydrogen networks in energy industry law (19/27453). more at bundestag.de
EEG approved for the most part: The European Commission granted state aid approval for the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) 2021 on 29 April 2021. This is stated by the Federal Government in its answer (19/29461) to a small question (19/28932) of the FDP parliamentary group. The approval of the European Commission covers the essential parts of the EEG. According to the Federal Government, the European Commission has indicated a need for more in-depth examination of individual provisions, which are the subject of a separate approval procedure. This applies, for example, to the regionalisation of renewable energy promotion through southern quotas. Also not covered by the approval is the EEG surcharge exemption for green hydrogen and the increases in the tender volumes for onshore wind and solar for 2022. Both are being examined in separate procedures.
Increase in regionalisation funds for local public transport: The regionalisation funds, with which the federal government supports the states in financing local public transport (ÖPNV), are to be increased by one billion euros in 2021. This is provided for in the „draft of a sixth law amending the regionalisation law“ (19/30400) presented by the coalition factions CDU/CSU and SPD, which is on the agenda of the Bundestag on Thursday. According to the bill, the additional funds are to be distributed according to the key that arose after the provisional equalisation of funds among the Länder with regard to the additional regionalisation funds for the year 2020. The Covid 19 pandemic led to considerable revenue losses for transport companies in 2020, „which will continue in 2021“, the draft states. Public transport is systemically relevant and fulfils indispensable tasks in the provision of public services. However, a cost-covering full operation is not possible for the most part due to declining passenger numbers and the reduced fare revenues caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. According to current industry forecasts, losses of around 3.3 billion euros are to be expected for 2020 and around 3.6 billion euros for 2021, „so that a total loss of up to seven billion euros may result for the years 2020 and 2021“, the coalition parties write.
Environment Committee discusses insect protection: The decision on the long-planned Insect Protection Act continues to be delayed. On Wednesday, the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety discussed in detail the draft of a Third Act to amend the Federal Nature Conservation Act (19/28182), but did not yet make a recommendation for a decision on the bill, also known as the Insect Protection Act. The committee plans to do so in a special session on Friday. The reason for this is that, at the coalition’s request, the current meeting of the Conference of Agriculture Ministers is to be awaited first. This means that, contrary to the original plan, the bill will not be discussed in the Bundestag plenary on Friday. more at bundestag.de
Indigenous peoples contribute to climate protection: The human rights activist and ethnologist Eliane Fernandes Ferreira would like the Bundestag to support the indigenous peoples of Brazil. They need partners at their side to fight against the environmental destruction in Brazil, she said during a public expert discussion of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Sustainable Development on Wednesday. Fernandes Ferreira, who is involved with the Ashaninka Association of the Amonia River in the Brazilian state of Acre, levelled accusations against President Jair Bolsonaro, whose government „does just about everything against climate protection“. For example, she said, several rules on environmental licences had recently been changed. She quoted Ashaninka representative Francisco Piyãko as saying, „The current Brazilian government is trying to change Brazilian environmental legislation in the name of progress, of development. This government is unscrupulous and simply wants to destroy the forest. The approval of the project by the Chamber of Deputies on 13 May, which makes environmental licences more flexible, destroys what is richest in Brazil, the Amazon jungle.“ In the view of former Brazilian Environment Minister Carlos Minc, the project also violates the constitution, Fernandes Ferreira said. more at bundestag.de
Insect Protection Act gets approval: The Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety has given the green light to the draft of a Third Act to amend the Federal Nature Conservation Act (19/28182). In a special session on Friday, the CDU/CSU and SPD parliamentary groups voted in favour of the bill, also known as the Insect Protection Act, while the FDP parliamentary group and the Left parliamentary group voted against it and the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group abstained. The AfD parliamentary group did not attend the special session. The committee had already discussed the content of the bill on Wednesday. However, it postponed the vote until Friday to await the meeting of the Conference of Agriculture Ministers. The Bundestag plenary is expected to vote on the bill on 24 June.
„Yes, the CO2 price will have to rise. By the end of the 2020s – by 2029 or 2030 – all the experts agree, we will end up with a CO2 price, if we are honest, in the 100-euro-plus-X range. At the moment we are at 25 euros. So that we really get a steering effect over time. And then, of course, the CO2 price will not be enough.
Dirk Messner, President of the Federal Environment Agency, we would need other measures. Infrastructure measures, for example. It makes no sense – Olaf Scholz is right about that, but Annalena Baerbock sees it the same way, he would assume, or he knows from the discussions I have had with her and others – it makes no sense to only make petrol more expensive. We would also need an infrastructure for electromobility. Investments would have to be made. So there is not just one instrument, the CO2 price, but many instruments. But without the CO2 price, everything would become very expensive. This is perhaps a misunderstanding that we could clear up here. Because if you don’t raise the CO2 price, then it acts like a subsidy for fossil fuels, which causes a lot of damage. And promoting against these distorted price constellations, so to speak, really costs the citizens money. deutschlandfunk.de
UNDP chief: „If Africa invests in fossil fuels, we can forget climate goals“. For Achim Steiner, the head of the UN Development Programme, his organisation’s work in the 21st century is inevitably linked to climate policy. derstandard.at
Failed agricultural project: With a lot of money, the agricultural alliance co-financed by the Gates Foundation wanted to double the income of millions of farmers in Africa. A study shows: The project has failed. spiegel.de
Appeal before G7 summit: Release vaccine patents. Before the G7 summit in Great Britain, development organisations have called on the rich industrialised countries to temporarily release patents for vaccines in the fight against the pandemic. sueddeutsche.de
Mali: French President Macron announces troop withdrawal from Sahel. French soldiers have been stationed in the Sahel region of Africa since 2013. But this has not been able to stop the spread of Islamist groups. France’s president now wants to „fundamentally reshape“ the deployment. spiegel.de
Namibia: Opposition complains about „apartheid“ in negotiations with Germany-In the parliament in Windhoek, politicians criticise the intended reconciliation agreement. The Prime Minister appeals for unity among the ethnic groups in Namibia. zeit.de
Zambia: Election rallies are banned in Zambia because of the corona pandemic. This further heats up the political climate in the country. taz.de
Uganda: Brutal wave of repression in Uganda as once under Idi Amin. President Museveni is taking brutal action against the opposition around Bobi Wine. The West supports the ruler, who continues to arm his security forces. derstandard.at
Africa Roundtable: Europe has a duty. Africa and Europe can only get out of the crisis together: Experts at the „Africa Roundtable“ agreed on this. But the best way to a green economic policy at eye level is sometimes disputed. dw.com
Even though animal welfare is an important part of the party programme of most political parties, this has not yet arrived in everyday life. In the recommended podcast, criminal law professor Elisa Hoven, among others, talks about the inadequate legal situation, the low level of control and the rare and lenient sentences even for massive violations. In addition, a reform proposal by the Greens is discussed, which wants to give animal protection more validity. faz.net
The Corona crisis is already a major social challenge. The climate crisis could become a much bigger challenge. Therefore, timely and effective measures are needed to mitigate the socio-ecological and economic impacts of climate change. But what are the central tasks for climate protection? What scientific findings are available? What do effective climate protection measures look like? The Centre for Technology and Society (ZTG) at the TU Berlin is organising the TU Ring Lecture on Climate Protection together with the Department of Labour Studies/Economics and Sustainable Consumption (ALÖNK) and students from Fridays for Future at the TU Berlin again this summer semester. Scientists mostly from the TU Berlin will provide insights into their climate protection-relevant research on topics such as energy and mobility, consumption and agriculture, and the role of digitalisation.
Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer was invited to give a lecture within the Climate Ring Lecture on the topic „The European Green Deal: Game Changer or Regulatory Tsunami“. Interested parties are cordially invited to listen and join in the discussion:
Time: Monday, 14 June 2021, 4.15 to 5.45 p.m., Moderation: Prof. Dr. Dr. Martina Schäfer, TU Berlin, Centre for Technology and Society
Link to the Zoom Meeting: https://tu-berlin.zoom.us/j/63628889575?pwd=dXpqRE5WbEVQcXBPU1loeWJVMjR0UT09Meeting-ID: 636 2888 9575Identification code
The event will be held as a Zoom conference and can later be accessed via the TU Berlin YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TUBerlinTV. It is open to the public and free of charge. In addition to students, interested members of the public are welcome to attend.
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
You are receiving this newsletter because you are interested in environmental and sustainable issues.