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G7 commits for the first time to ending coal-fired power generation, nuclear power remains an option: The environment ministers of the G7 countries want to do more to combat climate change, including species extinction and plastic waste. For the first time, the energy and environment ministers of the G7 have declared their intention to phase out coal-fired power generation. This is stated in the final declaration they issued after their meeting in Berlin. „For the first time, the G7 are committing to the goal of a predominantly decarbonised electricity supply by 2035. For the first time, they are also committing to ending their coal-fired power generation,“ explained German Economics Minister Robert Habeck. The seven major industrialised countries Germany, the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Japan and Italy, on the other hand, are not jointly striving for an end to electricity generation from nuclear power. „Those countries that choose to use it reaffirmed the role of nuclear energy in their energy mix,“ the final declaration states. In contrast to Germany, France and Great Britain, among others, are committed to nuclear power and are pursuing its expansion. Final declaration,,

Ministry of Agriculture must become greener: Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) reacts to the EU Commission’s criticism of the ministry’s strategic plan. The German strategic plan, which is worth billions of euros, should be „greener“. The Commission’s comments were „in principle in the direction that the German government had envisaged“, Özdemir said in Brussels before a meeting with his EU counterparts. Environmental organisations such as BUND and NABU had already warned Özdemir at the presentation of the strategy plan in February that it was inadequate and missed the climate protection targets. The German strategic plan only partially contributes to achieving the European Union’s climate and environmental goals, the EU’s criticism said. „The Commission doubts that the proposed strategy will have the expected effectiveness.“ Specifically, Germany is called upon, among other things, to make improvements in greenhouse gas emissions and CO2 sequestration.

3.3 Earths would be needed if all people consumed as much as the population in the EU and OECD countries studied

If, for example, each person were to consume as many resources as the inhabitants of Canada, Luxembourg and the USA, at least five Earths would be required, Unicef announced in Cologne. In Germany, too, resource consumption is too high: on a global scale, 2.9 Earths would be needed for the German way of life.

Digitalisation helps with climate protection: Digitalisation not only strengthens the competitiveness of German companies, but the faster conversion of production and processes also promises important climate effects – according to the results of a study. In two areas, half of the potential CO2 savings can be found in digitalisation. Consistent automation of production would reduce CO2 emissions by 31 million tonnes. The savings potential is even somewhat greater with the targeted use of „digital twins“. Here, products are already optimised during production to minimise CO2 emissions. Digital twins are already being used in 33 per cent of companies, 19 per cent are planning to do so and 16 per cent are discussing it.

Climate neutrality as a deceptive package: For the German Environmental Aid (DUH), climate neutrality is the big new advertising promise. Products that are obviously problematic are „advertised with very far-reaching promises of climate neutrality“, criticised DUH head Jürgen Resch . Many of these advertising promises are „outright consumer deception“. The reason for this is not new: the advertised products are often only labelled as „climate neutral“ through the well-known CO2 emissions trading. But not only that: in many cases the compensation even remains a mere claim. DUH now wants to strengthen its ecological market monitoring and test more products. According to DUH, the clarification of questionable climate offsets also reaches its limits. Therefore, companies must not only provide better information, they are also obliged, for example in the case of forest protection projects, to substantiate the claim that the forest will be protected from deforestation or will be cut down without the project. Or, from DUH’s point of view, it must be proven that the forests used for compensation will remain standing permanently.

Climate crisis threatens Siberian tundra: The Siberian tundra, which is characterised by a special flora and fauna, is massively threatened by the climate crisis. Due to the rapid rise in Arctic temperatures, the tree line of larch forests is shifting further and further north, displacing the vast tundra areas. This is the result of a new study. According to it, even with consistent climate protection, only about 30 per cent of the Siberian tundra area will remain by the middle of the millennium. „In all less favourable development scenarios, there is instead a threat of total loss of a unique natural space,“ the Albrecht Wegner Institute said. „For the Arctic Ocean and sea ice, current and future warming will have significant consequences,“ said the head of the Polar Terrestrial Environmental Systems Section at AWI, Ulrike Herzschuh.

Excess profits tax discussed: The war in Ukraine has not been decided, but one winning faction is already certain. Oil and gas companies, because the prices for raw materials have risen sharply. Higher profits are the result. A study by researchers from the Tax Justice Network has now put the additional profits of the industry this year at up to 1,600 billion euros globally. This enormous sum is roughly equivalent to Russia’s economic output last year. The study was commissioned by the Group of the European Left in the EU Parliament; it will be presented last week. These high profits reignite the debate on excess profits taxes, i.e. special levies on corporations that earn extraordinarily well thanks to the war. Last week, the European Parliament came out in favour of such taxes. In Italy, such a tax has already been introduced for electricity, oil and gas suppliers. If their turnover has recently risen by more than ten percent compared to the same period last year, the government will skim off ten percent of this extra revenue – which is supposed to bring in four billion euros. Aid for consumers is to be financed by son. , . Expert opinion


Der Mächtigen Zähmung – Why corporations need clear rules of the game

Fair wages, sustainable products, climate-neutral business – many companies claim to protect the environment and respect human rights. But there are usually large gaps between promises and reality, and global inequalities continue to grow. Politics has encouraged these developments. For decades, they have relied on the individual responsibility of companies and their voluntary commitment. Frank Herrmann is convinced: Voluntarism is not enough. We need more incentives for sustainable action, higher standards and better opportunities to punish violations of the rules. A plea for decisive political action, balancing economic power and taking responsibility.

Scrap ships in Southeast Asia: For the first time, public prosecutors are taking massive action against German shipping companies that are alleged to have illegally disposed of scrap ships in South Asia.
Germany and USA: Enter into energy partnership.
Brazil: Not only the environmental destruction of the Amazon, but also the destruction of the Atlantic rainforest has increased drastically.
Labour Minister Heil: Wants to introduce social climate money.
Cost explosion: Energy price crisis and possible embargo – how the EU can strike a social balance.
Renewables: Europe needs 400 gigawatts of new renewables per year for 1.5 degree target.
Raw materials: Urgently needed for climate neutrality. Questionable methods of extraction.

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.


Where the industry drives Robert Habeck

„Nobody needs twelve LNG terminals,“ says energy economist Claudia Kemfert. An analysis of the government’s current climate and energy policy. The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine has turned wind and solar power into freedom energies, according to FDP Finance Minister Christian Lindner. But the extreme acceleration is precisely not in the expansion of renewable energies, but in the approval of liquefied natural gas terminals and the development of new sources of supply for natural gas, which in future is no longer to be imported from Russia. „No one needs twelve new liquefied natural gas terminals,“ says energy economist Claudia Kemfert. But industry, which apart from heating buildings consumes the most gas in Germany, is putting a lot of pressure on Robert Habeck’s (Greens) Ministry of Economics. On the one hand, there is still massive savings potential in industry, says Kemfert, who is a member of the German Advisory Council on the Environment. And on the other hand, the construction of a new fossil infrastructure, which is not needed at all, harbours new dangers.


Majority in favour of speed limit: According to a survey, only just under one in four residents in Germany generally opposes a general speed limit on motorways in the Federal Republic. In a survey, only 24 percent of respondents were against a general speed limit. In contrast, about 69 percent could warm to a speed limit – but with different ideas about the level of the limit. A speed limit would help reduce energy consumption. It would also be quite easy to introduce. Nevertheless, unlike its European neighbours, there is no general speed limit in Germany.

Own car much more important than bicycle and bus: In a TÜV study, citizens state their wishes and goals for personal mobility. Many results are surprising and differ from political demands, especially with regard to public transport and electric cars.
Nine-Euro-Ticket: Transport researcher does not expect any lasting effect. The DLR does not expect the nine-euro ticket to have a lasting effect on transport behaviour. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bahn has announced that it will use more trains.

The housing industry holds a key to e-mobility: the registration figures for e-cars are booming, but the expansion of the charging infrastructure in Germany is only making slow progress. The housing industry can also play a decisive role in the success of the mobility revolution.

E-cars are still too expensive: E-cars are still significantly more expensive than petrol cars (at least without government subsidies) than cars with internal combustion engines: In comparison, new e-cars without subsidies cost almost twice as much as internal combustion cars in 2020. But the prices for e-vehicles are expected to drop significantly. By then at the latest, driving with a battery will also be significantly cheaper than with a combustion engine. This is mainly due to the high conversion losses of fuels in combustion engines. Around two thirds of the energy is lost as waste heat. Electric motors, on the other hand, can actually convert around 95 percent of the energy used into locomotion. In comparison, they require only one third of the energy.

New study sees decline in demand for petroleum due to e-mobility: Global sales of electric vehicles for passenger transport rose to almost 6.6 million units in 2021. As a result, less fossil fuel is needed.
In the rush hour of the future: Artificial intelligence researchers are working on optimising communication between autonomous vehicles.


Conversion to hydrogen: industry sees itself thwarted by EU: Germany’s economy wants to quickly use hydrogen in the energy transition. But the EU Commission is planning strict rules for those interested in subsidies. The EU Commission is now tying the production of green hydrogen to criteria that are incomprehensible to some in the business community: For example, the electricity must come from new plants and be produced in exactly the same hour as the hydrogen is produced. Only if a megawatt hour costs less than 20 euros can the hydrogen produced at that moment also be called „green“. This is what it says in the first official draft for a delegated act, which the EU Commission has now published. But such criteria are difficult to fulfil, the business community criticises. And it warns: under such conditions, it will take a long time before so much hydrogen is produced that entire industries can convert their energy sources. , document

Frankfurt researchers develop biobattery to store hydrogen: Transporting and storing hydrogen is difficult, partly because it is highly explosive. A team of microbiologists at Goethe University has found an enzyme in bacteria that live in the absence of air that binds hydrogen directly to CO2 and thus produces formic acid. This process is completely reversible, a basic requirement for hydrogen storage. These acetogenic bacteria, which occur for example in the deep sea, feed on carbon dioxide, which they metabolise to formic acid with the help of hydrogen.

Portugal: For Portugal, the Ukraine war is an opportunity: soon, 80 per cent of the energy here will come from renewable sources – also to produce hydrogen for export.

Australia as hydrogen partner for Germany: Australia comes into play as Germany’s hydrogen partner in the National Hydrogen Strategy. Germany has the technological know-how, but not enough sun and wind to meet the demand for green hydrogen on its own. Green electricity, which is needed for green hydrogen, is „a scarce and expensive commodity in Germany for the foreseeable future. Australia, on the other hand, has much better conditions: In addition to about twice the solar radiation and very good wind conditions, huge areas of land can also be used to generate renewable electricity,“ it says in a statement.

NH3 can play a key role in the energy transition: According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the production of ammonia for the fertiliser industry is the second most important application for hydrogen. Ammonia has hardly played a role as an energy carrier so far, but it could become an important one, especially for shipping. Compared to other media, the NH3 compound has several advantages. At the same time, however, there are still many technical and logistical challenges, which are being addressed by the ShipFC and Campfire research projects, among others. The ship classification society DNV GL therefore assumes that NH3 can play a role as a ship fuel rather than LH2 (liquefied hydrogen). In various research projects, scientists are therefore looking for ways to use ammonia in engines and fuel cells.


Pollution in the North and Baltic Seas: The North and Baltic Seas are still contaminated with pollutants such as mercury and lead. This is the result of an answer by the Federal Government (20/1805) to a minor question by the parliamentary group Die Linke (20/1509), which inquired about the discharge of hazardous substances into waters and, in this context, also asked about the implementation of the OSPAR Strategy (Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment for the Entire North-East Atlantic) and progress within the framework of the HELCOM Agreement (Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment, Helsinki Commission). With regard to the goals of the OSPAR strategy, the German government writes that according to an assessment of the 2021 OSPAR Ministerial Meeting, a „good environmental status“ has not been achieved for the German areas of the North Sea with regard to pollution. The reason for this is mercury, which is widespread everywhere – but lead and „a representative of polychlorinated biphenyls“ also have elevated threshold values. For the Baltic Sea, an updated assessment by the Helsinki Commission is not expected until 2023, explains the German government. The status was last assessed in 2017 on the basis of twelve substance groups and classified as polluted. With the updated Baltic Sea Action Plan adopted in 2021, the riparian states agreed on the goal of achieving concentrations of hazardous substances close to background concentrations by 2030, the government’s response states.

Use of biodiesel in agriculture: The possibility of increased use of biodiesel and vegetable oil as fuel in agriculture is the subject of a small question by the CDU/CSU parliamentary group (20/1833). The Federal Government is asked to state whether the tax relief for agricultural enterprises using biofuels will continue to be granted and what goals the Federal Government is pursuing with regard to the tax relief for agricultural and forestry enterprises using biofuels in the amendment of the Energy Tax Directive. In the preliminary remark to the small question, it is stated that as a consequence of the war in Ukraine, every effort must now be made to reduce dependence on supplies of fossil energy from Russia. The use of biodiesel and vegetable oil in agricultural and forestry enterprises could make a significant contribution to this.


More than ever, a clear compass is needed to direct all future policy measures from the field to the plate towards a resilient sustainable food system – as a contribution to global food security and the protection of our planet“.

Tanja Dräger, nutrition expert at WWF, said the EU exports a large part of higher-value foods, including luxury foods such as wine and chocolate. We imported cocoa and exported chocolate, we imported fodder soya and exported meat and dairy products. Importing low-value raw products – often produced at the expense of people and nature in the growing regions – and exporting high-value products may be lucrative for the EU. But it does not necessarily secure the global food supply. In many countries of the world, people need grain, not corned beef and chardonnay. At present, we are the expensive supermarket, not the breadbasket of the world“


Why Senegal is not a bad match as a liquefied gas partner: Africa has so far been more interested in the expansion of renewable energy and as a potential source of green hydrogen. With Senegal, Germany has now gained a new partner for liquefied gas. Africa needs an average of twelve years to develop its oil and gas reserves from discovery to commercial production. This finding by economist Thomas Scurfield also applies to Senegal. The country on Africa’s west coast did not make the leap into the top five countries with the continent’s largest natural gas reserves until 2019 – several years after the first promising test drillings: The oil company BP certified a well „of world quality“, spoke of an „exciting event“ and a large potential area with considerable resource potential.

Coming to terms with colonial past in Cameroon: In its answer (20/1827) to a minor question by the parliamentary group Die Linke (20/1590), the Federal Government comments on the rehabilitation of judicial sentences passed by the German colonial administration in the West African country of Cameroon more than a hundred years ago. The MPs had asked in particular about the rehabilitation of the king of the Duala people, Rudolf Manga Bell. Bell, like his representative Ngoso Din, had been convicted of alleged „high treason“ and hanged in 1914 on the orders of the German governor. According to the German government, it has been in regular contact with Princess Marilyn Douala Manga Bell for years through the Embassy in Yaoundé, and she is the initiator of a petition for the rehabilitation of Rudolf Manga Bell and Ngoso Din. The Federal Government supports Bell’s activities, with which she makes an important contribution to the preservation of the memory of the terrible fate of Rudolf Manga Bell. Since coming to terms with the colonial past raises sensitive questions of identity in the successor societies, the question of whether there is a request for rehabilitation on the part of the Duala or the descendants of those murdered is of great importance. For the Federal Government, in coming to terms with German colonial history, „in all cases, a dialogue in partnership with the governments and societies of the successor states is decisive for overcoming colonial continuities and for an encounter on an equal footing.

Kenya: Bees threatened by pesticides and habitat loss.

Mali: Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, highlighting France’s role in the former colony.

Senegal: Enormous sums are flowing into Senegal to create prospects for staying. Nevertheless, many people want to leave their country as quickly as possible.

Somalia: The Taliban’s victory disillusioned and frustrated the West, but there were other reactions in the world. For example, in Somalia, where supporters of the al-Shabaab militia broke out in jubilation. The African jihadists, who want to establish a state of God in the Horn of Africa, celebrated the Taliban’s triumph. It has inspired them to follow the Afghan example.

South Africa: Johannesburg’s landfills are full of plastic waste. The city’s largest landfill in the Turffontein area is bustling with activity as rubbish trucks arrive to dump their waste. Although South Africa’s most populous city decided in 2018 that residents must separate their waste at source, few make the effort. Informal waste pickers comb through the rubbish in the hope of finding something of value. They try to collect a variety of materials such as plastics, cardboard boxes, bottles and wood before flattening them. Many of them are registered in the municipal database, but some are undocumented foreigners who work informally to sell their collection to recycling companies.For many, this is the only source of income to support their families. Pikitup provides waste management services for the City of Johannesburg. Muzi Mkhwanazi, spokesperson for Pikitup, explains the problem of plastic waste going to landfill. „Plastic is not biodegradable like other waste streams like wood and similar materials. So it has a very, very long shelf life. Now when you compact it, it eats up the airspace of our landfills (takes up space). It is difficult to compact and it becomes a nuisance when the wind blows on the neighbouring or adjacent properties around the landfill. Then we get complaints from people. It also gets into our sewage streams and ends up in the sea, contaminating the water streams and killing the fish in the sea. It’s a real, real, real problem.“

Dar es Salaam’s port benefits from uncertainty in Kenya: The strain of Kenya’s election campaign in the run-up to the general elections on 9 August is affecting the flow of goods in the northern corridor. Tanzania benefits as more cargo destined for the Great Lakes region is diverted to the port of Dar es Salaam. With memories of the 2007/08 post-election violence that disrupted traffic on the corridor still fresh – and $63 million in compensation ordered by a Nairobi court still pending – many importers, especially from Uganda and Rwanda, are opting for the central corridor.


Ultrafine dust promotes weather extremes: Particles from power plants and ship exhaust promote heavy rain and droughts. Improved exhaust gas cleaning at power plants and ships promotes weather extremes and especially heavy rain, measurements suggest. Researchers have analysed data from aircraft aerosol measurements throughout Europe, in Australia, Mexico, Mongolia and Kenya – it is the most comprehensive mapping of ultra-fine dust to date. The result: cleaning retains coarser particles, but releases more ultrafine dust. This changes cloud formation and keeps rain in the clouds longer. If it then dissolves, heavy rain is the result. The greenhouse effect is also intensified by the particles. The new findings once again underline how complex our planet’s climate system is – and how little we still know about the natural and anthropogenic influencing factors.

Mediation in the expansion of wind power is in demand: in a Forsa survey, 80 per cent of those questioned stated that they absolutely wanted the expansion of wind power on land. However, if the huge wind turbines threaten to come up on one’s own doorstep, there is often a threat of dispute and mediation is needed. It is currently unclear what will happen to the minimum distance between wind turbines and residential buildings. In principle, most Germans are in favour of wind power in the countryside. If wind turbines are planned in one’s own countryside, this often leads to disputes in communities. That’s when mediators are needed.  „This is peace work“

Climate change threatens historic places in the USA: Rising sea levels on the US Atlantic coast caused by climate change are now also threatening historic places in the USA. One example is Jamestown, located on a river island on the Atlantic coast in the state of Virginia. In early May, Jamestown, founded in 1607 as a British settlement, was placed on the list of the eleven most endangered historic sites in the USA by the organisation National Trust for Historic Preservation.  By the end of the century, the current high tide level, around one metre, could become the norm. Since 1927, the sea level in the region has already risen by about 45 centimetres. Now archaeologists are trying to protect the excavation sites there with sandbags and tarpaulins. Indigenous people lived in the area as long as 12,000 years before the arrival of the English settlers.

Business travel: There is still too little sustainability implemented in travel policies.
Climate change and weather extremes: New fruit varieties and soil cultivation help farmers.
Four days a week are enough: For the non-profit organisation 4 Day Week Global, the future of work lies in working smarter instead of longer.


Mini crab is supposedly the world’s smallest remote-controlled robot: Researchers have developed a mini robot in the shape of a crab. It could help reach inaccessible corners. And more „animals“ are being planned. he robot crab, which is about half a millimetre wide, is smaller than a flea and can run, jump as well as bend and turn, the scientists at Northwestern University in the US state of Illinois announced.

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