Federal government wants to establish climate club: Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz submits a corresponding key points paper to the cabinet. In May, Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz outlined the main features of an international „climate club“ that would accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement and protect industry in pioneering countries. The German government has now agreed on a key points paper that is to be adopted quickly by the cabinet. According to this, Germany wants to approach EU partners and large CO₂ emitters such as China and the USA.rnd.de, fair-economics.de (document)
Hardly any hope of meeting the two-degree target: In the meantime, the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to stop global warming before it exceeds the 1.5-degree threshold no longer seems attainable. Whether the two-degree target can be achieved now also seems questionable, as there is only little time left. If we follow the modelling of scientists, global carbon dioxide emissions would have to peak before 2025, i.e. in three years at the latest. This is what it says in the draft of the third part of the new World Climate Report, which is to be published in March next year. It deals with measures to mitigate climate change. tagesschau.de
The richest ten per cent of humanity are responsible for 36 to 45 per cent of global emissions
This is also in the third part of the new IPCC report. The draft has been leaked by a small group of scientists called Scientist Rebellion, an offshoot of the Extinction Rebellion movement. In the paper there is this figure, the richest consume more than ten times as much emissions as the poorest ten percent. This tenth of the world’s population is only responsible for three to five percent. spiegel.de
Federal Environment Ministry – Germany misses climate target: Without additional efforts, Germany will significantly miss its climate targets for 2030 and 2040. This is the conclusion of the 2021 projection report published by the BMU last week on Thursday. According to the report, emissions would indeed fall by 49 percent by 2030 compared to 1990. But the specified and prescribed target of the Climate Protection Act is minus 65 per cent. For 2040, experts have calculated a reduction of 67 per cent, which falls far short of the 88 per cent prescribed by the Climate Protection Act. faz.net
Taking back nuclear waste from France: A billion-euro contract regulates the return transport of nuclear waste to Germany: The companies PreussenElektra, RWE, ENBW and Vattenfall have concluded a contract with the French nuclear group Orano. The contract implements an agreement in principle reached between Germany and France in June after several years of negotiations.
Ammunition in the Baltic Sea as a risk: In the final report of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, the rapporteur, Member of the Bundestag Peter Stein (CDU), writes that in view of several hundred thousand tonnes of ammunition residues on the bottom of the Baltic Sea, there is an urgent need for political action. Rusting ammunition and leaking chemicals are „a considerable danger for the ecosystem“. It is estimated that 300,000 tonnes of conventional munitions and 42,000 to 65,000 tonnes of chemical warfare agents dumped there after the Second World War lie in the Baltic Sea. However, there is a ray of hope if the Baltic Sea region serves as a pilot region for the salvage or removal of these contaminated sites, because comparable burdens exist worldwide. tagesspiegel.de , fair-economics.de (Final Report Original)
BMWi considers earlier phase-out possible: The farewell to energy generation from coal is progressing faster than expected. „The reduction of coal-fired power plant capacities in accordance with the Coal-fired Power Generation Termination Act is progressing“, says the Federal Ministry of Economics.Due to the increased prices in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), „a phase-out could also take place earlier“. zeit.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Mit Resilienz durch die Krise? – Anmerkungen zu einem gefragten Konzept
The concept of resilience has gained enormous popularity in recent years. This is very understandable in view of the manifold crisis phenomena in the world: resilience promises that crises of all kinds can be overcome and survived. The question, however, is how far this promise carries – and what dark sides it may have: What does it mean when people in crisis areas are addressed as resilient? Why and how should workers be made resilient? Can democracies also be resilient? From a theoretical point of view, we can also ask which ideas of crisis and society the concept of resilience conveys – and which alternative ways of thinking are thereby pushed into the background: How does resilience relate to the logic of experimentation, the art of resonance or the necessity of democracy, especially in times of crisis? Along these and other questions, this volume offers a variety of stimuli for reflection and further discussion. oekom.de
Supply Chain Act: Only one in three SMEs has reviewed its supply chains for sustainability. In just 16 months, the Supply Chain Act will be launched. handelsblatt.com
GiZ: Stay bonus for Afghanistan locals and bureaucracy criticised. n-tv.de
Russia: Forest fires reach new extremes. zeit.de
Green investments: Bafin presents draft on minimum requirements for sustainable investments. watson.de
July 2021: Was the warmest month worldwide since records began, according to measurements by the US climate agency NOAA. zeit.de
Austria: Glaciers are becoming increasingly unstable. derstandard.at
KPMG study: Natural gas will remain as an energy source for longer. kpmg.de (Study)
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.
Calculation on e-mobility: electricity costs are significantly lower than petrol costs. faz.net
Massive aid for the restructuring of the automotive industry: Last week, the federal government released massive aid – one billion euros – for the industry, as there is to be money in a structural change fund for companies that are suffering greatly from the transformation. More than 300 million euros are to flow into regional cooperation for employees and companies. 300 million each is to flow for digitalisation and for conversions of production in companies, for example for new drive technologies such as electromobility. sueddeutsche.de
Disconnected regions: The car industry is facing an unprecedented upheaval. This is costing tens of thousands of jobs. And threatens to leave entire regions behind. faz.net
City logistics instead of underground station in Stuttgart: The discussion about the controversial Stuttgart 21 project is entering a new round. Critics of the mega-project want it to be converted into a hub for city logistics, a bus station and a bicycle garage. This would save billions of euros and greenhouse gases, and could also prevent the city from flooding during heavy rains. Cities around the world are now experimenting with underground solutions for delivery traffic in cities to relieve the streets. klimareporter.de
Greens want 1000 euros subsidy for cargo bikes: Cargo bikes are to be subsidised more strongly at the request of the Green budget politician Kindler – also for private individuals. He asked how many bikes the Ministry of Transport has subsidised so far. The answer was sobering. spiegel.de
Electric ferry on test drive: An electric solar ferry between the mainland and the island of Usedom is supposed to save 20 tonnes of CO2 per year. Solar modules and high-performance batteries power the vehicle, which is supposed to transport commuters and make smaller trips for guests, at a good 15 kilometres per hour. Now the ferry went on a test run before its delivery. ndr.de
Wind turbines with integrated electrolyser demonstrate sustainable hydrogen production at sea: The offshore wind turbines of the future do not produce electrons, but molecules. Self-sufficient units consisting of a wind turbine and integrated electrolyser produce green hydrogen on an industrial scale and save the costs of an electrical grid connection. They can thus make a significant contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases. In a second step, the green hydrogen can be converted into other synthetic fuels and energy carriers. This vision is to become reality within the framework of the H2Mare lead project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). idw-online.de
BMW: BMW intends to continue pushing fuel cell technology as an additional option for sustainable mobility. Two years after the debut of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT concept car, the company is presenting the BMW iX5 Hydrogen at the IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich. elektroauto-news.et
Hydrogen pipelines in Saarland: Big plans – Where the gas of the future is to flow in Saarland. saarbrücker-zeitung.de
Research project examines options for the transport of hydrogen: In the lead project TransHyDE, research institutes, companies and associations want to lay the foundations for the development of a hydrogen economy. The federal government is funding the project with 139 million euros. pv-magazine.de
9,000 jobs, €4.7bn investment by 2030: UK government unveils plan for hydrogen economy. The UK government has unveiled a plan to create 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity in the UK by 2030. The sector could create up to 100,000 jobs by 2050. chemie-technik.de
The new oil is called hydrogen: Large production facilities are being built or planned in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Hydrogen is to be produced there without emissions. tagesschau.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
Green steel for car production: According to the federal government, it has no definable data on greenhouse gas emissions in the automotive industry in Germany for the past years. This is stated in the government’s answer (19/31894) to a minor question by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group (19/31562). The Federal Government follows „with the given interest“ which strategic decisions the companies make in the context of the regulatory framework with regard to their production-related CO2 emissions. The regulatory framework would be designed and, if necessary, adjusted with a view to achieving the binding climate targets. In answer to the question as to when the Federal Government considers it possible to completely convert automobile production in Germany to „green steel“, it is pointed out that the automobile industry currently has a steel demand of a good nine million tonnes of steel per year. The production of green steel would require about 60,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per million tonnes of steel. „In order to be able to completely supply the automobile production in Germany with green steel, it would therefore take approximately 540,000 tonnes of green hydrogen,“ writes the German government. However, the actual demand would depend on several factors, such as the development of steel demand in automobile production and the technical development of green steel production. According to the German government, it is currently unable to make a statement on when sufficient production capacities for green steel will be created to cover the entire steel demand of automobile production. The extent to which import quotas of steel for vehicle construction can increase or decrease will also depend on the development of production capacities for green steel at home and abroad, the answer says. So far, the government writes, no CO2-free steel has been produced in Germany. According to current estimates, CO2-free steel will not be available in the foreseeable future, or at least not in sufficient quantities. The German government points out that there is not yet a generally valid definition of green steel. It is therefore necessary to agree on what can be considered green steel or low-carbon or climate-friendly steel „so that demand for it can develop and investments in more climate-friendly processes can be stimulated“.
Examination of foodstuffs for contaminants: Every year, approximately 20,000 food samples are tested for pesticide residues by the official food monitoring authorities of the federal states. The number of samples tested has increased by 15 per cent since 2010, from 17,585 samples to 20,283 samples in 2019, according to an answer (19/31891) of the Federal Government to a small question (19/31205) of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group. The number of examinations submitted to the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) had increased accordingly. The distribution of the investigations without quantifiable residues, with quantifiable residues, with residues above the maximum level and with residues that were above the maximum level and were objected to remained essentially constant in the period from 2010 to 2019. The proportion of investigations without quantifiable residues was between 56 and 59 percent, depending on the year. In 24 to 29 percent of the investigations, a substance (active pesticide ingredients, degradation products/metabolites, isomers) was quantified below the maximum residue level, and in 15 to 18 percent of the investigations, the determined residues were above the maximum level.
Effects of the CO2 price on agricultural production: Every year, about 20,000 food samples are tested for pesticide residues by the official food monitoring authorities of the federal states. The number of samples tested has increased by 15 per cent since 2010, from 17,585 samples to 20,283 samples in 2019, according to an answer (19/31891) of the Federal Government to a small question (19/31205) of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group. The number of examinations submitted to the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) had increased accordingly. The distribution of the investigations without quantifiable residues, with quantifiable residues, with residues above the maximum level and with residues that were above the maximum level and were objected to remained essentially constant in the period from 2010 to 2019. The proportion of investigations without quantifiable residues was between 56 and 59 percent, depending on the year. In 24 to 29 percent of the investigations, a substance (active pesticide ingredients, degradation products/metabolites, isomers) was quantified below the maximum residue level, and in 15 to 18 percent of the investigations, the determined residues were above the maximum level.
Development cooperation with Colombia: In a small question (19/31948), the parliamentary group Die Linke deals with development cooperation with Colombia, the handling of illegal drug cultivation in the country and structural causes for the violence in the coca cultivation areas. Among other things, the MPs want to know why the conflict cycle around coca cultivation with its phases of early warning, conflict management, crisis prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation is not part of the German government’s overall development policy approach in Colombia.
Sustainable subsidies are under permanent review: The federal government has given its subsidy policy a positive report card from an environmental point of view. In its answer (19/31910) to a minor question by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group (19/31726), the government states that state subsidies and tax concessions are constantly reviewed with regard to their effects on the climate and the environment. At the end of the legislative period, the questioners wanted to know from the federal government how it had implemented the plan of the coalition agreement to review all subsidies „according to the principle of sustainability“. In its response, the government points out that with the 2022 Emergency Climate Protection Programme it „reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive reform of levies, surcharges, charges and taxes in the energy system“. The goal is to further reduce the EEG levy. She also refers to her commitment in this regard at the EU level.
Costs of climate protection contracts with companies: An overview of the expected costs of the pilot programme for climate protection contracts, with which German companies are to be supported in the conversion to CO2-free production, is given by the Federal Government in its answer (19/31890 ) to a small question of the FDP parliamentary group (19/31701). The government writes that 900 million euros have been earmarked for this purpose in the 2022 budget year. Since the programme is demand-driven, „at the present time neither average compensation payments per company nor the distribution of funds to individual sectors can be stated“. The federal government assumes that more than 50 companies in the steel, cement, lime and ammonia sectors will be eligible to apply.
Value added tax and donations in kind: The Federal Government considers the current regulations on turnover taxation for donations in kind by companies to be sufficient. This is explained in its answer (19/31909) to a minor question by the FDP parliamentary group (19/31731). The questioners were concerned with whether companies, for example, prefer to destroy returns in the mail-order business for tax reasons rather than donate them to charity. The Federal Government refers to a regulation of 18 March 2021 agreed with the tax authorities of the Länder, which „prevents legal uncertainties among companies and thus facilitates the donation of goods that are still usable“. A general VAT exemption is not possible due to EU regulations and the already existing input tax deduction.
„We must ensure that we massively expand the generation of electricity in Germany. Because everything that industry has set out to do in terms of CO2-neutral production, which we have laid down by law that Germany must succeed in being CO2-neutral by 2045, will only succeed if companies can fall back on electricity produced with wind power on the high seas or on land or solar energy instead of coal, gas and oil.
Olaf Scholz, Federal Minister of Finance and SPD candidate for Chancellor, …and that was something we had to push for now. In 2050, we would need as much electricity for the chemical industry alone as we consume in Germany today. And therefore, in the very first year of the next government, we would have to make sure that we set the electricity demand of 2045 as a planning parameter in law and say that the electricity grid and the generation capacities must be expanded to meet this demand. We would have to change all laws immediately so that we can also finish the expansion of renewable energies in time, otherwise all the plans we had made would come to nothing. deutschlandfunk.de
Roda Verheyen is a lawyer and advocate for climate protection. She was one of the initiators of the climate lawsuit at the Federal Constitutional Court and was successful. „The fact that we won against the federal government is an epochal change,“ says the Hamburg lawyer. The Federal Constitutional Court ruled in the spring that the federal government’s climate law was not sufficient to achieve the CO2 reduction targets set by politicians. Time Podcast
… ENVIRONMENT ON TV
„Mission Trinkwasser“ in 3sat: „WissenHoch2“ with documentary and the talk show „scobel“: Only 3.5 percent of the total amount of water on earth is fresh water. Most of it, however, is frozen as ice. Only 0.3 percent is accessible to humans. Due to climate change, agriculture and industry, the natural freshwater reservoirs are in danger of drying up, becoming saline and polluted. What can and must be done to ensure the supply of clean water in the future? This is the subject of „WissenHoch2“ on Thursday, 26 August 2021, from 8.15 p.m. on 3sat in the science documentary „Mission Trinkwasser“ (Drinking Water Mission) and in a new edition of the talk show „scobel“. Both programmes will be available in the 3sat media library for five years from the date of broadcast.
Projects for the transformation of agriculture in Africa: The German government intends to continue working with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to sustainably transform smallholder agriculture and the associated value chains on the African continent. In an answer (19/31893) to a minor question (19/31167) of the parliamentary group Die Linke, the Commission emphasises that it advocates a stronger integration of climate adaptation and agro-ecological approaches as well as improved monitoring. In addition to project-related costs for the AGRA country offices, administrative costs of the AGRA headquarters and the introduction of the environmental and social impact management system (USMS), the Federal Government is financing two consortia in Burkina Faso and Ghana with ten million euros each in the first project phase (2018 to 2021), according to the answer. As the projects have not yet been completed, a final evaluation is not yet possible.
Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema wins election in Zambia: Last Monday morning, the Electoral Commission of Zambia announced that opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema had won the presidential election held on 12 August. Hichilema, in his sixth run for the highest office in the country, won by a clear 59.38% against the incumbent President Edgar Lungu with 38.33%. The election victory of the challenger, who had previously been so far in the lead when half of the constituencies were counted that there was no longer any doubt about Lungu’s defeat, was already apparent at the weekend. But it remained unclear whether the defeated incumbent would accept the election result. In the run-up to the election, Lungu had still ruled out defeat.
Ethiopia: In the Ethiopian civil war, both sides are arming themselves. Still too little humanitarian aid arrives. sueddeutsche.de
Burkina Faso: Almost 50 dead in jihadist attack. People die in an attack on a military convoy in northern Burkina Faso. The three-country triangle with Niger and Mali has been rocked by Islamist violence for years. dw.com
Ivory Coast: First Ebola case . zeit.de
Mali: One year after the coup – elections a long way off. taz.de
Mozambique: Foreign troops fight Islamists in Mozambique – and for power. Five African countries have sent soldiers, the EU and the USA military advisors. At stake is a huge natural gas field, but also influence in the region. derstandard.at
Uganda: 2,000 people are to find shelter in Uganda, at least for a short time. Behind the action is a deal with the USA. What it looks like is unclear. taz.de
African Tourism Council: Organisation representing the interests of the tourism industry. fair-economics.de
Artificial intelligence in climate protection: City planners and architects are increasingly relying on artificial intelligence when preparing for climate change in their planning. But not only they, but also environmentalists, researchers or companies rely on AI to analyse large amounts of data. This makes it possible to identify developments in forests, oceans, transport or energy production, for example. Experts warn, however, that AI should not be seen as a magic bullet in the fight against the climate crisis. spiegel.de
Better to stay single for the sake of the climate? A Swedish study from 2017 says that it would be better for the climate not to have a family. The biggest impact a person can have on their greenhouse gas emissions is to have fewer children. „We and our children are not the climate problem, the fossil fuel industry is. The 100 largest fossil fuel producers are responsible for 70 per cent of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, according to a 2017 report. It gets much better, because these are the very coal, oil and gas companies that want us to believe we are the problem. Your „foot pressure“ will not decide this, but the (im)sanity of the fossil industry. In other words: have children if you want. Or in other words: Make love, not CO₂!“ says one commentator. freitag.de
Urban spaces increasingly controversial: Conflicts of use have existed in cities for a long time. Just think of the different interests of pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers. The climate crisis will literally fuel this.Cities are hot spots. This is not only shown by the satellite images from which environmental researchers can read the ecological situation of the metropolises. The explosion of rents, controversial housing construction or the distribution of public transport space are among the current areas of conflict that scientists from different disciplines are also dealing with. In Berlin, an open-air exhibition on the topic „Who owns the city?“ is currently running in front of the Red City Hall. One focus is housing in the city. taz.de
America’s battle for water: Hedge funds are buying up more and more farmland and the associated water rights. weltspiegel.de
Unchecked CFC production: Would have led to „scorched earth“. spektrum.de
Coral reefs: Marine researchers test whether artificially added probiotic bacteria could save stressed corals. spektrum.de
Hydrogen Region Saar: small country – big projects
The special role of Saarland in the development of hydrogen as an energy carrier in an industrial region rich in tradition and exciting, partly cross-border projects will be addressed by renowned speakers at the TÜV SÜD H2 Forum „Hydrogen Region Saar: small country – big projects“ on 31 August 2021. The Hydrogen Region Saar is located in the heart of Europe – an appropriate setting for the presentation of the Hydrogen Roadmap Europe by Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General of Hydrogen Europe in Brussels. Other presentations at the event will focus on sector coupling in the industrial environment and the role of hydrogen in the transformation of steel production. tuvsud.com
Environmental song created on a plane: Solar Power is the name of a song by Norde. On the folk-pop album of the New Zealand superstar, she warns against climate change and in the song „Fallen Fruit“ accuses her parents‘ generation of having done far too little to protect the planet Earth. However, the first lines were written at 30,000 feet, in an aeroplane. Critics call that a little bigoted. taz.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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