Habeck wants to reduce gas consumption by industry and power generation: In view of lower Russian gas supplies, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) wants to take additional measures to save gas and increase precautionary measures. For example, the use of gas for power generation and industry is to be reduced and the filling of storage facilities is to be promoted. For this purpose, the federal government is providing billions in funds, as the news agency dpa learned from government circles. In addition, more coal-fired power plants are to be used. The situation is serious, Habeck is quoted as saying in the five-page paper, which was available to dpa. „Gas consumption must continue to fall, and in return more gas must be put into the storage facilities, otherwise things will really get tight in winter. sueddeutsche.de, rnd.de
Environment and Economy Committee speak out against nuclear – taxonomy: Last week, members of the European Parliament’s Environment and Economy Committee send a signal against the taxonomy on nuclear power. The majority of them voted against the inclusion of gas and nuclear power in the taxonomy. They thus rejected the EU Commission’s proposal that investments in gas and nuclear power should be considered sustainable in the future. However, the two committees decided by a majority of 76 votes to 62 in favour of a resolution opposing the green label for gas and nuclear. The Greens in the European Parliament spoke of a „strong signal for Europe’s energy transition“ spiegel.de
90 tonnes in one hour – satellite measures record-breaking methane emission
Probably never before has so much climate-damaging methane been emitted from a coal mine at once as now in Russia. Methane (chemically CH4 ) is an odourless and colourless gas. It enters the atmosphere both through natural sources such as swamps and bogs, but also through emissions from industry, the use of fossil fuels or agriculture, especially livestock farming. Methane emissions have increased globally in recent years. According to data from the US authority NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the concentration rose in 2021 to the highest ever measured. spiegel.de
Disappointing climate conference: The June session of the UN Climate Change Conference ‑- as a preparatory meeting for the COP27 in Sharm al Sheik – ended last Thursday. On the agenda was an increase in the climate targets of the countries that were agreed at last year’s climate conference in Glasgow. All countries are to ‑submit ‑new targets to the UN Climate Change Secretariat by November of this year.‑ However, very few are likely to do so. The representatives in Bonn merely „took note“ of an informal paper by the chairpersons of the relevant working group and explicitly stated that this „does not represent a consensus among the Parties“. The sticking point was whether the work programme should primarily address the „largest emitters“ or all countries. The industrialised countries want to limit themselves to the largest emitters, which mostly include themselves. klimareporter.de
Renewable energy share hardly increased: In ten years, the share of renewable energies rose by only two percent from 10.6 percent in 2009 to 12.6 in 2019, while the share of fossil fuels remains almost unchanged at close to 80 percent. The report „sends a clear warning that the energy transition is not happening“, said the think tank REN21, which prepared the study. This makes it increasingly unlikely that the world will achieve critical climate goals in this decade. According to the researchers, the expansion of CO₂-neutral technologies would have to proceed about three times as fast to achieve global climate goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the middle of the century. sueddeutsche.de
Geothermal energy can replace a large part of gas imports: The consulting firm DWR eco comes to very clear conclusions: „Deep geothermal energy in Germany has the potential to cover more than a quarter of Germany’s total heat demand and to replace 60 per cent of Russian gas imports in the medium term,“ says an as yet unpublished study by DWR eco. This means that the use of geothermal energy could make a very significant contribution to achieving the heat transition. The political goal of climate neutrality by 2045 makes it necessary to completely change the heating and cooling of buildings and the preparation of hot water. However, the building stock in Germany is still miles away from climate neutrality. Year after year, the federal and state governments spend billions to improve the energy status of buildings and to encourage the replacement of heating systems. But the renovation rates fall far short of the required values. handelsblatt.com
Political groups in the EU Parliament find compromise in dispute over CO2 emissions trading: Three political groups in the European Parliament have agreed on a compromise in the dispute over climate protection legislation. This was announced by representatives of the Socialists, Christian Democrats and Liberals. The agreement concerns, among other things, the trading of certificates for CO2 emissions. It reportedly provides for the free allocation of certificates for industry to be phased out from 2027 until 2032. According to the European People’s Party, emissions are to be reduced by 63 per cent to 1990 levels by 2030. The EU Commission had proposed 61 per cent as a target. The vote on a bill that envisaged 2034 as the end date for certificate trading had failed due to opposition from the Greens and Social Democrats in the European Parliament. faz.net
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
or Household News and Natural Instructions for the Cultivation of Wild Trees
The epochal topic of sustainability has its cradle in the work of a German mastermind: the Saxon Hans Carl von Carlowitz. Faced with an impending raw materials crisis, he first used the term „sustainability“ in 1713. His criticism of the orientation of economic activity towards short-term profits is still highly topical. Made accessible by a well-founded introduction, editorial notes and a glossary, his epoch-making work is now finally available again. Hans Carl von Carlowitz (1645-1714) is known as the creator of the term sustainability. With his main work, the Sylvicultura oeconomica (1713), the polymath presented the first complete work on forestry. As head of the Freiberg Mining Authority, he criticised the overexploitation of the resource wood and formulated the principle that only as much wood may be removed as will naturally grow back. oekom.de
Money for nature: Rich countries pay for poor countries not to exploit their natural resources. taz.de
Cabinet decision: Wind power to be expanded rapidly. br.de
Australia: New government tightens climate targets. tagesschau.de
Gas throttling in pipeline: Habeck: „It’s not over yet“. spiegel.de
Anaesthetic gas: What is supposed to relieve patients‘ pain is extremely harmful for the climate. taz.de
Northern Italy: Drinking water rationing due to extreme drought. tagesspiegel.de
FDP: Questions ban on fracking. welt.de
Gorleben: The salt dome in Gorleben is being backfilled. ndr.de
The seventeeen goals magazine tells inspiring stories about how people move the world and shows how everyone can make a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
PODCAST OF THE WEEK:
German islands and climate change
The German islands in the North Sea and Baltic Sea are directly affected by the consequences of climate change – through floods, storms and warming of the sea. Climate change is therefore one of the central topics at the second German Island Conference on Rügen, along with issues such as affordable housing and tourism. The meeting of representatives of the islands and Halligen created a forum; a central item on the programme was also the signing of an island resolution. The consequences of extreme weather, for example, can often be seen on northern German coasts immediately afterwards. For example, the bathing beach on the North Sea island of Wangerooge is regularly swept away by storms and then has to be filled in again at great expense. This costs a lot of money and goes against the momentum of islands. How are Rügen, Sylt and other German islands preparing for the climate crisis and what does it cost? spektrum.de
Christian Lindner wants to abolish purchase premiums for e-cars: Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner wants to abolish purchase premiums for electric cars. „We simply can no longer afford misguided subsidies,“ said the FDP leader . „If I have my way, the purchase premiums for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, for example, will be abolished. Up to now, the cars have been subsidised by up to 20,000 euros over their lifetime, even for top earners. That is too much. We can save billions there, which we can use more sensibly.“ tagesspiegel.de
Berlin’s transport senator criticises Wissing: Berlin’s transport senator Bettina Jarasch accuses Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing of inaction on the subject of a change in transport policy. The FDP politician likes to talk about a turnaround in transport and climate protection, but she does not see „that he is changing course massively enough“, said Green Party politician Jarasch. Traffic must be shifted more decisively from road to rail. But I don’t see any really significant efforts from him. welt.de
BUND survey on mobility: majority of people in favour of maintaining motorways and federal roads instead of building new ones, and in favour of more nature and climate protection in the construction of trunk roads. bund.net
That’s how bad huge e-pick-ups are for the climate: With the electrification of vehicle models, manufacturers of huge pick-up trucks are trying to give themselves a green image. However, if you look at the greenhouse gas emissions over the entire life cycle, you come to the conclusion that this is rather greenwashing. Heavy pick-up trucks, even with electric motors, are a greater burden on the climate than smaller vehicles with combustion engines. thedrive.com
Passenger association: Sees local transport strengthened with 9-euro tickets. zeit.de
End of wallbox subsidies: Federal government focuses on expanding public charging points. finanzen.net
Dieselgate trial: Defence lawyers attack prosecutors. zeit.de
Hydrogen – a missed opportunity in the energy transition? While there are ambitious statements about the prominent role hydrogen could play in the energy transition, the amount of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen currently produced is negligible, the report says. DNV projects that hydrogen is likely to meet only five per cent of global energy demand by 2050 – two-thirds less than it should in a net-zero pathway. Five per cent means more than 200 million tonnes of hydrogen as an energy carrier worldwide. Of this, one-fifth will be ammonia, another fifth e-fuels such as e-methanol and clean aviation fuel, and the rest pure hydrogen. In Europe, hydrogen would probably account for eleven per cent of the energy mix by 2050. dnv.com
Battery storage for hydrogen: Hydrogen can be chemically stored in a battery. A research group has developed the catalytic system for this and recently presented it. The newly developed reaction system follows the principle of an electric battery, with the difference that hydrogen is used instead of electricity. Such a battery is thus filled once at the beginning with CO2 from the air. It can then go through the cycle of hydrogenation (H2 storage) and dehydrogenation (H2 release) several times, with new hydrogen always being loaded into the storage. automobil.industrie.vogel.de
Hydrogen supports power grid: Storing potentially surplus renewable energy continues to pose difficulties for power producers. Soon, battery storage and storage as green hydrogen could be joined by another option: Reversible fuel cells should also be able to support the power grid, according to researchers from the USA and Germany. efahrer.chip.de
Rostock researchers develop hydrogen battery from formic acid and manganese: Storing hydrogen is currently still quite expensive. The material properties of hydrogen make it difficult to handle. The development of a research group from Rostock has significantly advanced the possibilities for chemical storage. pv-magazine.de
Thyssenkrupp’s hydrogen subsidiary not to go public after all: Thyssenkrupp is not venturing an IPO of its hydrogen subsidiary Nucera at present. In view of the current stock market environment and the situation on the capital market, the group has decided not to implement an IPO of Nucera at this time, the company announced on Friday. boerse-online.de
Importing hydrogen from Australia is technically feasible: Importing hydrogen from Australia in large quantities is feasible despite the long distance. This is the result of a study by the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM) on the regulatory framework of a German-Australian hydrogen bridge, which is available to Handelsblatt. This brings the ambitious plans of German companies to import Australian hydrogen a little closer to realisation. handelsblatt.com
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
Timetable for the climate money: A concrete timetable for the introduction of the climate money is currently being worked out by the Federal Government. This is stated in the answer (20/2180) to a minor question of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group (20/1529). The instrument climate money is supposed to make it possible to relieve citizens as a social compensation mechanism for the future CO2 price increase in the area of heat and transport and to guarantee the acceptance of the market system. The decision of 23 March 2022 aimed at short-term relief measures for currently increased energy prices that are not attributable to the CO2 price. The Federal Government is in dialogue with the key players, the answer continues.
Four LNG terminals are to be ready by the turn of the year: Between 46.0 and 56.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas were imported from Russia to Germany in each of the years 2016 to 2020. This was reported by the Federal Government in an answer (20/2123) to a minor question (20/1814) by the AfD parliamentary group. The Federal Government took the figures from the „Statistical Review of World Energy July 2021“ of the oil company BP. According to the answer, the figures also include quantities delivered to storage facilities and not consumed in the year of delivery, as well as quantities exported. In response to the AfD MP’s question about the countries from which the Federal Government plans to substitute the share of Russian gas, it says: „The Federal Government itself does not purchase any natural gas on the international gas market.“ Purchases are made by European and German gas traders. It is assumed that, in addition to slightly higher delivery volumes from Norway, mainly liquefied natural gas (LNG) from various countries will be delivered to Europe and Germany, including the USA, Qatar as well as Algeria and other supplier countries from Africa. When asked what construction measures would be necessary to be able to replace Russian gas, the answer was: „The Federal Government assumes that the infrastructure necessary for the use of the four floating LNG terminals will be completed by the turn of the year 2022/2023 (Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel) and in the middle of 2023 for two further terminals which are currently still being examined.“ The planned fixed terminals in Brunsbüttel and Stade are scheduled for completion in 2026, it adds.
Germany second largest donor country for humanitarian aid: Since 2016, Germany has been the world’s second largest donor country for humanitarian aid. This is the result of the „Report of the Federal Government on German Humanitarian Aid Abroad 2018 to 2021“, available as a briefing (20/2000). Since 2018, the Federal Government has increased funding for humanitarian aid by about 70 per cent to 2.57 billion euros (2021), according to the information. The sharp increase in 2020 resulted from additional needs due to the covid pandemic. The renewed sharp increase in 2021 is due both to over-budgeted funds for Covid aid, but also in particular to the massive increase in needs in Afghanistan.
„What we are experiencing today is unfortunately a foretaste of the future“.
Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the extremely high temperatures that have spread from North Africa across southern Europe and prevailed in Switzerland and Germany this weekend are more typical of July or August, according to the WMO. The number of severe weather disasters quintupled between 1970 and 2019. who.int
Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan: On Monday and Tuesday, the largest international meeting of the African private sector took place for the tenth time. Around 1,500 decision-makers from politics and business discussed growth, development and, in particular, the economic sovereignty of African economies at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Among the guests were 800 CEOs of African and international companies as well as 50 heads of state, ministers and representatives of the private sector.
EU gas agreement with Egypt and Israel: At an energy conference in Cairo, the EU, Israel and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding for a natural gas agreement. According to the Israeli Energy Ministry, this will allow significant exports of Israeli gas to Europe for the first time. The gas will first be piped to liquefaction facilities in Egypt and from there shipped to Europe. EU Commission President von der Leyen said in Cairo that the agreement would also strengthen regional cooperation. The EU is also planning an agreement with Egypt on the production of hydrogen. deutschlandfunk.de
Angola could supply green hydrogen to Germany: Angola is to become the first African country to supply Germany with green hydrogen. The Angolan state energy company Sonangol and the two German companies Gauff Engineering and Conjuncta signed a memorandum of understanding this week to build a factory. It is to produce around 280,000 tonnes of green ammonia for export from 2024. dw.com
How a severe drought in Africa caused white-throated populations to plummet: The 1968 weather event that killed millions of birds was an early sign that the world’s climate was changing. theguardian.com
Kenya: Blind Kenyan singer goes to court over rejected presidential bid. Reuben Kigame’s campaign team claims the Electoral Commission discriminated against him because of his disability. theguardian.com
Rwanda: The British government wanted to deport dozens of asylum seekers to Rwanda. But now only very few are allowed on board the plane. sueddeutsche.de
Sudan: Shipwreck in Sudan: thousands of sheep drowned. A completely overloaded cargo ship capsized in the Red Sea while sailing towards Saudi Arabia. The crew managed to save themselves. taz.de
Tunisia: General strike paralyses the country. sueddeutsche.de
Democratic Republic of Congo accuses Rwanda of „invasion“ of border town: Rebels have captured a border town in the east of the country. Rwandan forces are said to have helped.The Democratic Republic of Congo has accused neighbouring Rwanda of an invasion. The Congolese army said on Monday evening that Rwandan forces allegedly helped rebels capture the border town of Bunagana in the eastern province of North Kivu. The rebel organisation M23 said it had Bunagana under its control. derstandard.at
In search of tax billions: Tax revenues could make an important contribution to the development of African countries. But the shadow economy and lack of transparency mean that taxes are often not collected at all. dw.com
Companies have ambitious climate goals – but there is a lack of implementation: Many companies are convinced of climate protection – but there is still a lot of room for improvement in the concrete implementation of their CO2 reduction plans. This is shown in a new study by the Climate Economy Foundation. The goal is clear – but the exact way to get there still needs to be found. According to the study, almost half of the companies surveyed have set themselves a science-based climate target or are in the process of developing one. Decarbonisation is „recognised in the vast majority of companies as a central and transformative business challenge“, write the study authors. And another study says that more than a third of the world’s largest listed companies now have self-imposed zero-emissions targets – two years ago, the proportion was just a fifth. The database is operated by the British Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit and the University of Oxford, among others. The annual study on Germany’s climate-conscious companies conducted by Capital and Statista also revealed in January that more and more companies are setting themselves ever more ambitious goals for a better climate balance. capital.de
Protecting oceans and climate together: Mangrove forests, seagrass beds or salt marshes, macroalgae and marine sediments: These marine ecosystems can absorb atmospheric CO2 and store it in the long term. Based on a literature study, recommendations for German marine and climate policy were developed for a publication by the Institute for Transformative Sustainability Research (IASS).
Algae clean up radioactive wastewater: After the Fukushima Daiichi reactor accident, the Japanese government called on researchers to develop new ideas for cleaning contaminated water. One algae strain in particular proved to be very useful – NAK 9 was the name given to this strand, which was able to extract up to 90 per cent of the caesium from a culture medium without additional treatment. How and where the microalgae accumulate the radionuclides is an open question. Perhaps on the cell surface, but that is only a suspicion. Nevertheless, the idea has not been pursued so far – it has remained in the drawer, so to speak. And so the research funds that would be needed to put the research results into practice are lacking. For example, when it comes to the question of how microalgae could be cultivated en masse. deutschlandfunk.de
US court: Elephant is not a person. spiegel.de
Plastics: Superworms eat Styrofoam. spektrum.de
Pink Elements: The company wants to create the world’s largest platform for environmental data. handelsblatt.com
Apple and environmental protection: In a test run, Apple is initially sending back repaired iPhone 12 devices in a brown box instead of a white one. The US company is pursuing great goals with this. This is currently a test run, which will probably be extended to all repaired devices worldwide if it is successful. Apple wants to use this to promote its renunciation of plastic. By 2025, it is to disappear from all packaging. Since 2015, the US company has reduced its plastic use by 75 per cent, according to its own statement. Currently, plastic still accounts for four per cent of all packaging. heise.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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