Economics Minister Habeck rules out longer running times for nuclear power plants: Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck has ruled out longer running times for the last three German nuclear power plants in order to save gas. With the continued operation of nuclear power plants, gas consumption could be reduced by a maximum of two percent, the Green politician said on Sunday. „For the little we gain there, it is the wrong decision.“ There are other ways to save gas. For that, the consensus on nuclear phase-out should not be unravelled again. The question of electricity grid stability, especially in Bavaria in winter, is something else, the Green politician said. „That could become a problem under certain conditions.“ Even if the reasons were Bavaria’s fault, for example, because of the lack of expansion of wind energy or the grids, he said, security of supply had to be guaranteed. However, there was no result of the examination yet. welt.de, tagesschau.de
Heat pump use with hurdles: The German government wants to switch to heat pumps. Economics Minister Robert Habeck plans to install millions of pumps by 2030. A new survey by the German Energy Agency shows that this may be utopian, but it is not possible to achieve this goal without considerable effort. The background to this survey was to gain an insight into the discussions held with customers on site and thus to identify obstacles to a heat pump offensive. In general, the survey shows a high demand for large-scale installation of heat pumps, but there is an implementation problem. Just because households are interested in a heat pump does not mean that they can get one. focus.de , dena.de(expert survey)
1029 million tonnes of CO2
In total, 1029 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases were emitted in all EU countries from the beginning of the year until the end of March. This compares to 1035 million tonnes in 2019 – before the Corona pandemic broke out in the EU – over the same period. In the Corona years 2020 and 2021, the amount of greenhouse gas EU-wide was seven and six percent lower, respectively, in the first three months than in the current quarter. tagesschau.de
Heat wave causes problems for the rivers: The Rhine has hardly any water left, fish are dying en masse in the Oder. Germany’s rivers are in a bad way. The persistent drought and the intensive use of rivers as shipping lanes are making it difficult for plants and animals to find a habitat here. Yet rivers are actually ecosystems that can cope well with change. „Basically, a river is a dynamic habitat and the river inhabitants are well prepared for changes in water levels, for example,“ says Klaus Markgraf-Maué, director of the NABU Lower Rhine Nature Conservation Station. In heavily developed rivers like the Rhine, however, this ability is declining. According to him, the extreme heat waves in particular are causing problems for the rivers – which is why more political attention needs to be paid to the river habitat. nationalgeographic.de
Fish die in the Oder: The Federal Environment Ministry estimates the amount of dead fish found so far on the German side of the Oder at about 36 tonnes. In total, almost 200 tonnes of dead fish have been recovered. Research is still being conducted into the causes of the fish deaths. The Berlin-Brandenburg state laboratory recently detected excessive pesticide levels. High concentrations of a pesticide containing the active ingredient 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid were found in samples taken at the Frankfurt (Oder) monitoring station between 7 and 9 August, but it can be assumed that the dose detected was not directly lethal to fish. The active ingredient is used, for example, to combat weeds. The ministry explained that it can be assumed that the environmental disaster had several causes. German and Polish authorities are arguing about possible causes of the fish death. Poland’s environment ministry strongly rejects the idea that pesticides could be to blame for the disaster. dlf.de , zeit.de , sueddeutsche.de
Grüner Punkt has a new owner: Germany’s recycling system with the well-known Grüner Punkt has new owners. The owners have connections to the oil and chemical industries – and want to promote a controversial recycling technology. This involves the chemical recycling of plastics, which is considered very energy-intensive. wiwo.de
Excess profits tax still controversial: It already exists in other countries, but in Germany, the coalition government is hesitant to introduce the excess profits tax. Yet a tax on the high profits made by corporations due to the war in Ukraine could relieve the German budget. This is shown in a study by the Tax Justice Network commissioned by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, which is close to the Left Party. 30 to 100 billion euros, according to the authors of the study, would accrue from an excess profits tax on companies in the gas, oil and electricity sectors. The higher sum comes together if the expected profits of the six analysed mineral oil companies SaudiAramco, BP, Total, Shell, ExxonMobile and Wintershall Dea are taxed at 90 per cent this year. taz.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
3 Grad mehr
A look at the impending hot season and how nature can help us prevent it
No more than 1.5 degrees of global warming: this target was formulated at the climate summit in Paris in 2015. Since then, however, little has happened, on the contrary: CO2 emissions have continued to grow. Research has long assumed that we are heading for a 3 degree warmer world.
In this book, the who’s who of science, from Hans J. Schellnhuber to Stefan Rahmstorf to Jutta Allmendinger, have come together to show what threatens nature and society if it comes to that. However, the authors do not stop at alarmist visions of the future, but show in detail how we can prevent the worst by stopping the deforestation of the rainforests, massively promoting reforestation, re-wetting the drained moors and replenishing the humus pools of the soil. A book that is as evocative as it is hopeful, attractively designed with numerous photos and infographics. „Nature is full of success stories – let’s use the wisdom of evolution!“ – Hans J. Schellnhuber oekom.de
Gas prices: Value-added tax to be lowered. tagesschau.de
Edenhofer: Criticism of the reduction of VAT on gas. evangelisch.de
Agriculture: Summer 2022 could be the hottest, driest and sunniest since records began. spektrum.de
USA: Industrial policy for renewable energies with 369 billion dollars. wiwo.de
Wind energypower to the Ruhr: Proposals from grid operator Amprion. faz.net
12 billion euros: That’s how high the losses are at Uniper. spiegel.de
Price increase: Gazprom threatens further price increase in winter. n-tv.de
Andrea Nahles: Can no longer afford our previous way of working and doing business, says the new head of the Federal Employment Agency.. fair-economics.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:
Politics on an austerity course: Will the energy crisis save the climate?
What measures can municipalities and countries take to save energy? To what extent do they contribute to climate protection – but possibly harm the economy?
Put a lid on the pot when cooking, turn the water a few degrees colder when showering, unplug electrical appliances when we don’t need them. There are plenty of energy-saving tips for private households since the ups and downs of Russian gas supplies began. But it is not only individuals who can make a contribution in the current supply shortage – politics in particular is called upon.Joseph Gepp from the Standard’s economics editorial department talks today about what federal states and municipalities can do to save energy on a grand scale. We ask to what extent these measures also serve climate protection. And we ask whether the energy crisis will lead us to a sustainable lifestyle in the long run. derstandard.at
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
Whether Netflix or YouTube: Streaming is a real C02 guzzler. …Alternatives are urgently needed – but which ones? „According to a recent graph by the portal statista.de, a Google search query leads to 0.2 grams of CO2 and an email without an attachment to four grams. Doesn’t sound so dramatic? Okay, it gets really dramatic when the CO2 footprint is measured during streaming: One hour of video streaming or video conferencing is said to emit 3,200 grams of CO2 . I want to and will now take a streaming-free day so that energy is saved and the climate is not further ruined. A first-class suggestion, as enjoyable as losing weight, cleaning up, calling Mutti“ tagesspiegel.de
Green Party leader Nouripour wants reform of company car privilege: Green Party leader Omid Nouripour has brought into play a reduction of climate-damaging subsidies to finance additional relief for citizens. „When financing the relief measures, we must also talk about reducing climate-damaging subsidies. A reform of the company car privilege is overdue“. tagesspiegel.de
5.7 billion euros in state „Umweltbonus“ funding until June 2022: In the period from July 2016 to June 2022, electric mobility in Germany has been funded with a total of 8.7 billion euros as part of the „Umweltbonus“ electric vehicle purchase bonus. The share of the participating car manufacturers amounts to 3.0 billion euros, the federal share to 5.7 billion euros. ecomento.de
The future of cable cars? Ropeways can be a low-cost alternative to trams or underground trains. According to a study by the consulting firm PwC, they perform better than rail-based public transport solutions in terms of construction and operation. firmenauto.de
High investments in -E-mobility necessary: According to a study, Europe needs to invest heavily: To avoid being left behind in e-mobility, the industry needs to secure its supply chains in the long term. As e-mobility ramps up, Europe will have to invest 74 billion euros in battery cell manufacturing and the production of raw materials by 2030. Demand for batteries will increase by 35 per cent every year until then. t-online.de
Private jets: Five tonnes of CO2 per hour. Are private jets destroying our climate efforts? n-tv.de
IKEM study – e-Highway requires legal regulation: In a recent study, researchers at IKEM suggest that the power supply of trolley trucks requires independent legal regulation. vision-mobility.de
Transport experts call for more space for bicycles: car traffic takes up an excess of space – more of it should be available for cycling. Crossings should also be made safer More space for cyclists has long been the demand of many experts with a view to road safety and to achieving climate goals in the transport sector. „In future, cars will have to give up lanes to make room for cyclists whose paths are otherwise too narrow and unsafe,“ says, for example, Siegfried Brockmann, head of accident research at the German Insurance Association, at the opening of the Traffic Court Day in Goslar. sueddeutsche.de
Aircraft manufacturers are looking for alternatives: synthetic fuel (SAF), electricity and hydrogen are to make air transport more sustainable. Researchers and manufacturers around the world are working on making the vision of green air transport a practical reality – and overcoming hurdles. This is the current status of the projects. With a low flyover of the Airbus plant in Saint-Nazaire and a ceremonial wagging of the wings, the Airbus A380 prototype MSN001 said goodbye to the modification break in Toulouse on 20 May. Immediately after the completion of its latest certification campaign for synthetic „SAF“ fuels, the current four-engine jet will be converted into a five-engine jet by the end of 2023 or early 2024. aero.de
Financing: ex-bank managers set up hydrogen fund for professionals – goal: 500 million euros in volume and 18 percent return. Former bank managers want to combine a double-digit return with climate protection. Well-known consultants and an important industrial partner support them. handelsblatt.com
Trucks consume relatively the most hydrogen: acatech and DECHEMA present meta-analysis on hydrogen use in the domestic mobility sector. The joint project „Hydrogen Compass“ of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, acatech and DECHEMA is investigating possible paths to a hydrogen economy. A meta-analysis within the project shows that hydrogen will be used in the transport sector in the order of 25 to 100 terawatt hours in 2045, while the total energy demand of the transport sector is 300 to 400 TWh. 60 to 80 per cent of the hydrogen used in transport will be needed in heavy-duty transport. solarify.eu
Hydrogen and LNG – why a quick energy deal with Canada is unrealistic: Germany is planning a hydrogen agreement with Canada. Liquefied natural gas supply is unlikely, but the LNG infrastructure could help. handelsblatt.com
Roadmap for LNG terminals set: The German government and the German gas importers have agreed on the supply of the two planned LNG terminals in Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel. Habeck described the declaration of intent as a „signal of trust“.The terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the North Sea coast are to go into operation at the turn of the year. To ensure that the gas supply with the imported natural gas can also start quickly, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck has now signed a declaration of intent with the gas importers to secure the supply. tagesschau.de
With ammonia to climate neutrality: Green ammonia opens up new business models for chemical companies. With a well thought-out ammonia strategy, chemical companies can achieve their climate goals more easily and open up new markets at the same time. In the future, renewable energies can be used to produce green hydrogen on a massive scale – but not so easily stored and transported. Green ammonia produced by CO₂-neutral hydrogen can partially solve this problem and facilitate the entry into accelerated decarbonisation. Chemical companies now have the chance to more easily achieve their climate targets with well thought-out ammonia strategies and at the same time develop new business models. chemmanager-online.com
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
The CDU/CSU asks about EU bans on chemicals: In a small question (20/3040), the CDU/CSU parliamentary group asks about the EU Commission’s plans to ban certain chemicals. Specifically, the question concerns restrictions and bans on entire groups of substances, such as perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), whose production, marketing and use within the European Union are to be prohibited by the ongoing REACH restriction process, the question states. The acronym REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals. The MPs want to know, among other things, when and to what extent the Federal Government will be involved in the REACH restriction process on PFAS and in the preparation of the restriction dossier. The latter is to be submitted in January 2023. They also ask how it justifies „such a broad restriction approach as for PFAS“ and how the restriction of the group of substances will affect Germany as a business location.
Alliance for Global Food Security envisaged: According to its own information, the German government, together with the World Bank, has launched the Alliance for Global Food Security in the G7, which is to serve as an agile platform for improved information exchange, coordinated crisis response and communication. In an answer (20/3078) to a small question (20/2791) of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, she writes that this also involves the establishment of functioning early warning systems for possible future food crises. She had again promoted the alliance at the conference „Uniting for Global Food Security“ on 24 June 2022 in Berlin. The aim of the conference was to bring together major donor countries in development policy and humanitarian aid as well as the „champions“ of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance, important food exporting countries and countries particularly affected by the global food crisis. In addition, the most relevant international organisations in the field of food and nutrition as well as civil society actors were invited.
Ecological advantages of beverage containers: At present, the Federal Government does not see any fundamental ecological disadvantages of the individual returnable bottles increasingly used by beverage producers compared to so-called pool containers, i.e. uniformly designed returnable bottles used by producers throughout Germany. In an answer (20/3011) to a small question of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group (20/2814), the federal government writes that scientific evidence for a fundamental „ecological superiority of pool containers over individual containers“ is currently „not reliable“.
Munitions disposal in the Baltic Sea: In a small question (20/3090), the Left Party inquires about the disposal of dumped munitions in the German North Sea and Baltic Sea. Among other things, the MPs want to know which planning and exploration costs are covered by the 2022 federal budget and which will only be financed in the coming years. They also ask how the Federal Government prioritises the zones for the removal of ammunition contamination and whether it considers the goal of complete removal to be realistic. In their question, the parliamentary group refers to information from the Federal Environment Agency according to which contaminated sites amounting to 1.6 million tonnes of conventional ammunition and 5,000 tonnes of chemical warfare agents are stored in the German North Sea and Baltic Sea.
In general, the warmer the water, the less oxygen dissolves in it. However, monitoring data show that there was no lack of oxygen in the Oder at the time of the fish kill. Water that is too warm can also affect sturgeon and other fish. In very hot summers, as they are becoming more frequent with climate change, fish die again and again because of this. But that does not explain a mass mortality like this one.
Jörn Geßner, biologist and research group leader for fish biology, fisheries and aquaculture at the Leibnitz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries. He has made it his life’s work to reintroduce sturgeon to the Oder: For the first time since their extinction, baby sturgeon could have hatched there this year. But then came the wave of poison. The young animals from the two hatcheries were lost in any case. So there will be far fewer fish to release this year – if any at all. As long as it is unclear what the poison will do to the Oder in the long term, we cannot release any more sturgeon. If the whole ecosystem is affected, as it looks like it will be, the released young fish may not find food. How many of our sturgeon already living in the Oder have died cannot be reliably estimated at the moment. In the meantime, the mass spread of a type of algae that secretes highly toxic substances is also being discussed as a possible cause. As in recent years, the Odra river has extremely low water levels and is very warm at the same time, algae can proliferate. If, in addition, nutrients from fertilisers, sewage or other organic substances got into the river water, this could intensify a toxic algal bloom. zeit.de
„Society is no more resilient than the climate or ecosystems“.
Wolfgang Lucht, Chair of the Department of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, We are still in the phase of refusing to acknowledge climate change as a problem, There is no evidence whatsoever that a complex society like ours, which is dependent on numerous networks – supply chains, specialised knowledge, functioning institutions and a stable energy supply – is inherently more resilient to the consequences of our consumption of energy, materials and space than the climate or ecosystems. It is true, of course, that dead environmental systems such as ocean currents or shelf and glacier ice simply react blindly to changes, while living systems also have the ability to adapt to a certain extent. This is especially true for us humans and our societies. We can even plan ahead and be innovative. But this ability to adapt has limits. klimareporter.de
William Ruto elected President of Kenya: Government formed in Kenya despite threat of legal action against election results. William Ruto was declared the winner and is now tinkering with an inclusive government team. Until he is sworn in, the 55-year-old is now „President-elect“ of Kenya. But the result is extremely close, with opponent Raila Odinga coming in at 48.8 per cent. And Ruto’s victory is now hotly contested. The confrontation is initially fuelled by four members of the IEBC who pulled out at the last minute on Monday to announce that they did not support the result presented by the IEBC chief. derstandard.at , sueddeutsche.de
Human rights violations in the national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo: In a small question (20/3058), the Left Party addresses allegations of human rights violations against the indigenous population in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is also co-financed by the Federal Government. Referring to reports that park rangers have raped and killed members of the indigenous Batwa people living there, MEPs asked about the German government’s position on the allegations and about consequences for future support of the national park. According to the question, Germany has „in the meantime suspended its payments“ because of the violence against the Batwa, and a specially appointed commission has published the results of its investigations. However, „their validity and neutrality“ are questionable, the MPs write. International media had reported on conflicts of interest of the independent investigator, who was financed by German project funds. Specifically, the MPs want to know, among other things, whether the federal government finances the salaries of the park rangers and the commission of enquiry. They also want to know whether the payments for the Kahuzi-Biega National Park have been resumed in the meantime, what the Federal Government thinks about the results of the commission of enquiry and what conclusions it draws from the incidents for its future engagement in national parks with indigenous people.
Africa and energy: Dams built in colonial times were supposed to make a decisive contribution to Africa’s development. But what promised to be a solution has now become a problem. zeit.de
Benin: More and more monuments in West Africa commemorate heroes who fought against colonial powers. The looted art debate also contributes to the new self-confidence. taz.de
Mali: Bundeswehr exchanges German personnel in Mali with civilian flight. The military government in Mali had blocked the rotation of troops at the UN mission Minusma for weeks. Now a charter plane with Bundeswehr soldiers flew into the country. zeit.de
Hunger in the Horn of Africa: Due to conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Horn of Africa is facing one of the worst droughts in recent decades and has become a hotspot for hunger. This is having disastrous consequences for people’s health and lives. Added to this are years of political instability and rising food prices, due in part to the war in Ukraine. die-tagespost.de
Uganda: E-buses instead of exhaust fumes. Until now, e-mobility in Uganda was considered a crank. But President Museveni began to promote it. Now it is paying off. taz.de
Love and sex in Africa between tradition and awakening: When it comes to the relationship between the sexes, in many African societies there is a shrill juxtaposition of tradition and modernity. zdf.de
Vaccines „Made in Africa“ – Assessments on establishing local vaccine production: Africa represents a large market for vaccines, but has hardly any local production capacity. The African continent accounts for 25 per cent of global demand for vaccines (not just Covid), of which only one per cent is produced locally. During the pandemic, this caused major bottlenecks in supplying the population and high health and social damage. To remedy the situation and be better prepared for future health crises, the African Union (AU) is pursuing the goal of producing 60 percent of the vaccines used in Africa on the continent by 2040. But which African countries are suitable for vaccine production? kfw.de
Termites of the sea gnaw at sunken explorer ship: Shipworms attack the supposed remains of the „Endeavour“. The sunken sailing vessel was the ship with which Captain James Cook once landed in Australia. The animals, known as „termites of the seas“, have been preying on the historically significant remains lying on the seabed off Rhode Island in the USA for some time. The discovery was made by Reuben Shipway, a lecturer in marine biology at the University of Plymouth. Shipway had dived down to the wreck. During his dive, he found that shipworms had infiltrated the remains and were in the process of eating through the wood. This would destroy a cultural heritage linking Britain with Australia and the USA. rnd.de
Oceans facing mass extinction? Oxygen-depleted death zones on the seabed are a local phenomenon nowadays. They can occur near the coast due to over-fertilisation caused by agricultural residues, when dead biomass sinks to the bottom after excessive algal blooms and its decomposition consumes all oxygen. The effect is currently increasing in intensity and is fuelling concerns about the recurrence of a mass die-off caused by oxygen depletion. Whether or when we will face a collapse of oxygen-carrying currents is difficult to predict. But a weakening of the currents due to climate change is widely expected. Some models predict a break-up of the ocean currents leading into the deep North Atlantic. Unusually warm summers or the breaking off of undersea cliffs could intensify the effect and trigger a chain reaction. More accurate climate models are needed to be able to say exactly. derstandard.at
Oceans affected by heat waves: The oceans and their creatures are now also affected by heat waves. In some marine areas, these heat extremes are increasingly coinciding with other exceptional events such as extreme acidification. Researchers from the Oeschger Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bern have now discovered this. Such a „double blow“ is particularly devastating for marine ecosystems. In the course of climate change, however, this will increase: already at two degrees of warming by a factor of 22. „This strong projected increase can have serious impacts on marine ecosystems,“ says co-author Thomas Frölicher. wissenschaft.de
Nature parks: The biodiversity protection of European and African nature parks is strongly dependent on social and economic conditions. fair-economics.de
Raw materials: Secondary raw materials are gaining in importance worldwide. energiezukunft.de
Sustainable business travel: How does it actually work? kununu.com
Geneva Motor Show 2023 in Qatar: The organisers of the Geneva Motor Show have now had to acknowledge the dwindling interest in car shows. They have decided to move next year to a place where the money is. The Geneva Motor Show will not be held in Geneva in 2023, the organisers announced. Doha in Qatar has been chosen as an alternative. „Due to the uncertainties in the world economy and the geopolitical situation, as well as the risks associated with the development of the pandemic, the organisers have decided to focus exclusively on planning the event in Doha in 2023,“ says Maurice Turrettini, president of the „Comité permanent du Salon international de l’automobile de Genève“ foundation. heise.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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