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Electricity prices are rising alarmingly: Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner has called for speed in the reform of the electricity market. „The federal government must address electricity prices with the utmost urgency,“ said the FDP leader. Otherwise, „inflation will be increasingly driven by an electricity crisis“. Lindner criticised the sharply increased profits of the operators of wind turbines, solar plants and coal-fired power plants: „In the electricity market, politics has set up a profit autopilot.“ Based on the current rules, producers of solar, wind or coal-fired power would automatically be paid as if they had bought expensive gas. „Profits are increasing billion by billion at the expense of consumers.“ Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) wants to curb prices for consumers and industry with a fundamental reform of the electricity market. A ministry spokeswoman had said on Friday that the aim was to decouple the development of end-customer prices for electricity from the rising price of gas. This is a medium-term project. , ,

Environmentalists criticise the Green Minister of Agriculture: The Green-led Ministry of Agriculture is being criticised by environmentalists. They say that the ministry is lagging behind the demands of the EU Commission in banning pesticides.  Silvia Bender, state secretary in the ministry, had stated at a farmers‘ demonstration in Bonn on 15 August that landscape protection areas, in which the EU authority wants to ban agricultural poisons according to a draft regulation, should not be classified as „sensitive“ zones. Twenty-six per cent of Germany’s land is protected landscape, according to the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. „This is an unfortunate formulation,“ criticises Verena Riedl, pesticide consultant for the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union. Restrictions on the use of chemicals are „urgently“ needed in landscape protection areas, even if bans in even more protected zones such as nature reserves have priority.

Almost half of EU territory at risk of drought, experts say

Almost half of the territory of the European Union is at risk of drought, according to an expert report. Forty-seven per cent of the EU’s territory is at risk of drought in August, the European Drought Observatory said. Moreover, due to the lack of rainfall, almost a fifth of the area is already in an alarming state, affecting vegetation and crop yields. In July, there was a similarly high risk of drought in the EU, at 46 per cent. The exceptionally hot and dry weather is also expected to result in crop losses in the EU.

High Seas Protection Conference – Without Result: The fifth round of negotiations between UN member states had ended today without a result. Greenpeace spoke of an outrageous and sad outcome of the conference in New York. The goal of putting at least 30 per cent of the high seas under protection by 2030 would now be more difficult to achieve, it said. The environmental organisation WWF predicted that the state of the oceans would continue to deteriorate. It said the heads of state and government involved had not shown enough commitment. Efforts to reach an agreement to protect biodiversity in the high seas have been going on for 15 years.

Naturstrom is facing a turning point: Renewable energies are currently experiencing a change in their business model. Until now, the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) allowed a secure return on investment, but now wind and solar parks are being financed freely. The high and still rising electricity prices make this possible and also lucrative, but they drive up the financial requirements enormously. For a long time, the EEG subsidies provided the security needed to repay loans; now it is long-term electricity supply contracts that are used to finance and secure the loans. However, the banks must be sure that the electricity buyer can afford this over a long period of time.

EU wants to move from linear to circular economy: The EU Commission has presented an action plan for the circular economy. In the next few years, it wants to reduce waste, increase recycling and protect our resources. Experts expect fierce resistance to the transformation from a linear throwaway economy to a circular economy.  Circular thinking has so far been largely unknown in Western European and North American culture and is usually met with incredulous amazement or even rejection. Local socialisation is too much of a hindrance to understanding the model of thinking common in the Far East. In Asia, this way of thinking is so common that no one emphasises or explains it today.

Longer operating times for nuclear power plants possible: According to the Federal Network Agency, German nuclear power plants could have to stay online longer due to a looming electricity shortage in Europe. „The ongoing stress tests are about the question of whether our nuclear power plants will have to stay on the grid longer in order to cover electricity needs here and in Europe in the winter,“ said Klaus Müller, President of the authority. The transmission grid operators are currently carrying out very thorough calculations. Moreover, Müller explains that due to the energy shortage, the sauna is also likely to remain cold.


Klima im Kopf

Fear, anger, hope: what the ecological crisis is doing to us

Fear of flooding, guilt about the last holiday flight, anger at the inaction of governments: We face the ecological crisis with a whole bundle of emotions – and that is a good thing, says psychotherapist Katharina van Bronswijk.  Fear, sadness and anger are healthy reactions to essential threats like climate change and mass extinction. We need them to develop motivation for change and to question social norms. Empathic and factual, van Bronswijk guides us through phenomena such as climate fear, eco depression, displacement mechanisms and hardened fronts in public debates, and sheds light on the interactions between individuals and society.

A book that listens to and helps climate activists as well as lignite miners and pleads for not keeping emotions out of the debate about environmental crises, but using their power for transformation.

Fish kill in the Oder: Experts estimate that between 25 and 50 percent of the fish have been killed.
Gas levy: Constitutionally questionable.
Finance Minister: Christian Lindner wants to soften the separate climate targets of the individual ministries and think „more cross-sectorally“.
Food security: Climate change endangers food security of millions of people.
Electricity consumption of heat pumps: Could become a weak point.
Climate activists: Sticking to paintings in Dresden and Berlin.
Gas storage in Germany: Fuller than expected.

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.



Whether for heating or in the supermarket, prices are rising. The federal government promises relief. „Because no one can just shoulder that, except those who really have a lot of money. But that is not most of us in this country,“ said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and announced a third relief package. Included in it: a „major housing benefit reform“ in which the circle of recipients is to be expanded, promised Scholz. Who will benefit? Whether large parts of the population can really receive housing benefit is questionable, says Tina Groll, political editor of ZEIT ONLINE, in the podcast. Is housing benefit nevertheless the appropriate measure to provide unbureaucratic relief for people with low incomes?


Caroline Brouillette:

The Chancellor has bitten off more than he can chew: He wants liquefied gas from the Canadians. But the Canadians are giving him the run-around. And for good reason.

When you think of Canada in Germany, you think of the Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls or polar bears in the far north. If you ask us Canadians, other images often dominate: Charred forests, melting glaciers, devastated cities, destroyed highways. From coast to coast, the country already bears the scars of the climate crisis. We are shocked that Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to further fuel the causes of this. As Canadians, we stand in solidarity with the Germans and their energy crisis – we want to look for ways to truly bail them out. However, in the face of escalating heat waves, floods and droughts around the world, the threat of two or three harsh winters in the Federal Republic should not distract us from the impending climate catastrophe.


Federal Environment Agency: Advocates successor to the 9-Euro-Ticket. Simple, inexpensive, flexible: In the view of the Federal Environment Agency, this is what the successor to the 9-Euro-Ticket should look like. Such a model could make an important contribution to climate protection. The president of the agency, Dirk Messner: „An attractive successor offer to the 9-Euro-Ticket, valid throughout Germany, could be the door opener that public transport is gradually recognised as an attractive alternative to the car.“ Such a door opener is urgently needed.

Crash test examines weak point of e-cars: Battery instead of combustion engine, high weight: If an electric car has an accident, it can lead to problems that one is not so far used to when driving a car. A special crash test has investigated what these are.

Car industry fears for the future of electric cars: In the shadow of ever new gas price records, there is growing concern about electricity prices that are also rising sharply. The car industry fears for the future of electric cars and demands import contracts with foreign countries. Meanwhile, the left wants to ban exports.  The president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), Hildegard Müller, has called for more energy cooperation so that power shortages and high electricity costs do not slow down e-mobility in Germany. Müller said : „We are concerned about the cost of electricity. That will be the next big issue.“ It will very likely also become scarce with electricity, so we have to work ahead.

Pilot plant for paraffin from sunlight: successful test in Spain.

2.6 kilometres of cycling for the world’s climate: What does cycling do for climate protection on a large scale? Now Danish researchers have calculated the potential for carbon dioxide savings. The study by the team led by ecologist Gang Liu shows that cycling behaviour like that of the Dutch could save about 686 million tonnes of CO2 per year. To do this, every person worldwide would only have to cycle 2.6 kilometres per day instead of driving a car. In 2015, this corresponded to 85 percent of Germany’s emissions. But even 1.6 kilometres per day – the Danish average – would already save 414 million tonnes of CO2 . This corresponds to the entire CO2 release of Great Britain in 2015.

Traffic lights clash over „gas guzzlers“ as company cars: In the dispute over taxes on company cars, fundamental political convictions are clashing. The Greens and the FDP are deadlocked – and the industry fears…


Ramp-up of the hydrogen economy: If Germany wants to be climate-neutral by 2045, green hydrogen will play a decisive role. The network required for this must be built up as quickly and reliably as possible, according to dena, which has presented an impulse paper on the subject.

Green hydrogen from offshore wind power: H2Mare is one of three hydrogen lead projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with a total of up to 740 million euros. In H2Mare, the generation of green hydrogen and downstream products with offshore wind power will be investigated within four years together with around 32 partners from science and industry. With four of its institutes, the Helmholtz Centre Hereon supports technology development for sustainable and environmentally friendly energy production.

Hamburg: Move H2 Look to Latin America.

Söder and Kretschmann meet: The Minister Presidents Kretschmann and Söder meet today in Ulm and Neu-Ulm. The topic is a joint strategy of the southern states on hydrogen.

Green hydrogen from Canada: Practically all energy experts agree on one thing: In order to become climate-neutral by 2045 as planned, Germany will have to import large quantities of green hydrogen in the future. But this is where the consensus ends. When it comes to the question of how much hydrogen is needed and what proportion of it should be imported, there are already significant differences in the various scenarios. And how much hydrogen will come from Canada in the future is also unclear. The agreement signed on Tuesday does not give any concrete figures. Rather, Germany and Canada initially only announce in it that they will determine which conditions must be met in order to start exporting from 2025. In principle, however, it is clear that Canada offers good conditions for the production of hydrogen.

Schleswig-Holstein: The northernmost federal state wants to become a pioneer in green hydrogen. Environment Minister Goldschmidt has spoken with representatives of industry and associations about the strategy.


Minister Lemke for stricter water protection: Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) urges stricter water protection in view of the mass fish kill on the Oder. The catastrophe showed that increasing heat and drought in summer put a massive strain on ecosystems and that a different approach was therefore needed with regard to the discharge of wastewater into flowing waters, said the Minister at a special meeting of the Committee for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection on Wednesday. The members of the committee had met during the ongoing summer recess of the Bundestag to hear from the Minister, among other things, about the current status of investigations into the causes of the mass mortality and to discuss measures to limit the damage and protect the population. Lemke spoke of an environmental catastrophe, the effects of which cannot yet be estimated. Up to 200 tons of dead fish had to be mourned, and numerous small creatures such as mussels and snails were also affected. Long-term damage to the ecosystem, which in the Lower Oder Valley is one of the richest in species in Germany, cannot be ruled out. The search for the causes continues, Lemke said. However, there are growing indications that several substances could have caused the fish kill, including a toxic algae species. However, this was not responsible for the increased salt content of the Oder, the minister clarified. The investigations were ongoing and new results would be available in the next few days.

Federal government wants to apportion CO2 costs: The federal government has presented a draft law (30/3172) on the distribution of carbon dioxide costs (Kohlendioxidkostenaufteilungsgesetz – CO2KostAufG). The bill provides for a graduated distribution of costs according to the carbon dioxide emissions of the building per square metre of living space and thus according to the energy quality of the building. This is intended to provide an incentive for landlords to invest in climate-friendly heating systems and energy-efficient renovations, and for tenants to adopt energy-efficient behaviour. In concrete terms, the law provides for a graduated model for the distribution. In the case of non-residential buildings, a half-share of the carbon dioxide costs is to be introduced first. The splitting will mean that landlords can be charged a share of the carbon dioxide costs in the future, the federal government emphasises. So far, the residential buildings concerned incur carbon dioxide costs estimated at one billion euros, which are borne entirely by tenants.

The regulations are to apply indefinitely, be supplemented by a phased model for non-residential buildings by the end of the fixed price phase of the Fuel Emissions Trading Act (BEHG) at the end of 2025 at the latest, and be evaluated by 30 September 2026, the bill states. The necessary data basis is to be developed by the end of 2024.

Union asks about charging infrastructure: The CDU/CSU parliamentary group has submitted a minor question (20/3162) on the government’s draft of the Master Plan for Charging Infrastructure II of the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport. The MPs inquire, among other things, which actors and stakeholders from which areas were involved in the development of the master plan and which further coordination processes are planned. They also ask about possible plans of the Federal Government to reduce regulations „in order to accelerate the expansion of the charging infrastructure“.

Responsibilities in climate protection: The Federal Government assumes that the reorganisation of responsibilities in the field of climate protection will lead to an accelerated elaboration and implementation of climate measures and to an overall strengthening of climate protection in Germany and internationally. This is the result of a response by the Federal Government (20/3081) to a minor question by the CDU/CSU parliamentary group (20/2718) on „Future responsibilities for climate protection within the Federal Government“. According to this, the government has already been able to conclude important legislative procedures within a few months by bundling climate protection and the expansion of renewable energies in one house. The Federal Government also assumes that the reorganisation will accelerate planning and approval procedures in the area of climate protection.


I am interested in how we can understand climate policy not simply as a top-down project of political elites, but rather how we can understand the plurality of our society as the engine of change.

Stefan Aykut, Professor of Sociology at the University of Hamburg and winner of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize of the German Research Foundation, said he was interested in how we could understand climate policy not simply as a project controlled from above by political elites, but rather how we could understand the plurality of our society as the motor of change. There is no doubt that society is currently moving and changing, especially thanks to the young generation and Fridays for Future, but also in many other areas where climate is increasingly becoming an issue. In their research in Hamburg, they therefore speak of a climatisation of society, through which climate policy is expanding, seeping into ever new areas and mobilising new supporters.

For a very long time, we in Germany thought that the effects of the climate crisis on our lives here were far away or in the distant future. For some years now, however, it has been making itself very strongly felt in some regions – through persistent drought and water shortages in summer, but also through flood disasters.

Kathrin Henneberger, member of parliament for the Greens, said it was only good to take a realistic look at this. A lot of water is used to produce energy from coal, if only because of the groundwater elevation in the opencast mines, but also for cooling in the power plants. It is our responsibility in politics to examine whether this is still compatible with the effects of the climate crisis and what this means for the continued operation of the opencast mines. … The coalition agreement of the federal government states that the establishment of a foundation or a company for the dismantling of coal-fired power generation and the renaturation of the opencast mines should be examined. However, she is very critical of this, for example with regard to the Rhineland. A foundation solution would mean that the costs of eternity would practically be nationalised and a company like RWE could steal away. … But the compromise formula from the coalition agreement would have to be negotiated at some point. For her, it was clear that the coal companies would have to contribute to the costs of eternity and could not get rid of the costs of open-cast mine restoration in a „bad bank“ way.

The stuff of green awakening

In the medium term, many more metallic raw materials will be needed for the energy transition than before, but mining them harms nature and people. How can raw materials be extracted in a less environmentally harmful way? Where are they recycled? Is it better to process them in one’s own country? And can hydrogen from Africa help on the way to a „green future“?

Welt-Sichten provides reports, interviews and short reports on the global economy and development policy, environmental protection, peace issues and the role of religions. Nine issues are published each year, including three double issues. All contributions are also available online.


New start with Morocco: Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock flew to Morocco on Wednesday to meet with her counterpart Nasser Bourita in the capital Rabat on Thursday. The meeting focused on both sides‘ willingness to resume bilateral cooperation in the key areas of security, energy and climate policy, development cooperation as well as cooperation in the economic sector and in cultural and education policy. The focus of the joint declaration, consisting of 59 points, was placed on combating the climate crisis and the associated development of green hydrogen. In doing so, both states would like to draw on the „Green Hydrogen Alliance“ founded in 2020 and the German-Moroccan energy partnership that has already existed since 2012.

China partially forgives African countries‘ debts: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced partial debt relief for 17 African countries back on 18 August. Africa’s largest bilateral lender will let 23 interest-free loans that were due at the end of 2021 lapse.

Algeria: France and Algeria are working on a „common future“. The two countries want to come to terms with their colonial past. But President Macron’s visit to Algiers will also be specifically about natural gas deliveries.

Kenya: Odinga challenges election result in court as ‚criminal‘. Result was not „complete, accurate, verifiable“ – petition. President-elect Ruto has four days to respond. The election was Odinga’s fifth attempt to become president. Control of East Africa’s richest country is at stake.

Tanzania: Kilimanjaro now has internet. Africa’s highest mountain now has something that many a flat area in Brandenburg dreams of: mobile internet. The next step is to supply the national parks in order to increase tourism revenue.

Nature versus energy: Since the attack on Ukraine, the oil and gas business has been booming worldwide, to the detriment of the climate and nature. Germany alone wants to expand its capacities for importing liquefied gas by 58.8 billion cubic metres, which is why gas is also being drilled for in protected regions such as the Okavango Delta.

South Africa: Xenophobia. An „Afrophobic princess“. The health minister of a South African region insults a patient: she should go back to Zimbabwe. The opposition is outraged. Once again, a politician in South Africa is making headlines with xenophobic outbursts. Phophi Ramathuba, Health Minister of Limpopo Province and leading member of the communists in the province, visited the Bela-Bela municipal hospital north of the South African capital Pretoria and was caught on video berating a bedridden patient who is from Zimbabwe.

Abuse in Africa: Almost every second African woman experiences violence in her life. But perpetrators silence their victims with a very effective weapon: the woman is to blame, she has provoked, she has rebelled. Can this be changed?


Heat waves will become the new normal: How often will heat waves occur will be one of the decisive questions for our future? Even though we are currently still a few tenths of a degree away from the 1.5 degrees of global warming defined as the limit of what is tolerable, weather extremes are already breaking all previous records. What will it look like in the future? Will the extremes increase even more. Researchers try to find an answer to this question in the journal „Communications Earth & Environment“. The result is disturbing: By 2100, many people living in tropical regions such as India or the sub-Sahara will be exposed to dangerously high temperatures for most of the year. In addition, deadly heat waves – still a rare phenomenon today – will be expected in mid-latitudes every year. Using the city of Chicago as an example, the team calculates that the number of heat waves will reach 16 times that amount.

Climate sins at the cruise lines: In the pre-pandemic year 2019, the international cruise industry booked record numbers of bookings. The industry now wants to build on this trend. According to the environmental organisation NABU, however, the industry is doing too little for climate, environment and health.  The NGO’s cruise ranking was published for the tenth time. This year, 19 shipping companies took part, which is a record. The cruise company with the highest score, Hurtigruten Norway, only achieved half of the possible points. This shows how far the road to climate neutrality still is, says NABU. Nevertheless, Hurtigruten is an example of what more climate-friendly cruises could look like. Norwegian laws, strict nitrogen oxide requirements and bans on ships causing emissions in some fjords have helped the line to a good position in the ranking. ,

The tuna is leaving its home: species such as the bluefin tuna are now appearing in the Arctic, proof that the risks of climate change for marine animals are great. This is also well known. However, a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change now breaks down the threats more clearly because it examines marine ecosystems by species and region. A team led by Canadian Daniel Boyce developed a „climate risk index“ that indicates how strongly marine animals in different regions are affected by warming waters. Warming is already rapidly changing ecosystems. This can be seen, among other things, in the fact that the occurrence of marine life is shifting spatially.

Environmental agreements: Rarely successful.
Waters turn brown: The reason is global warming.
Long-lived chemicals: Difficulty in dealing with fluorine-containing. Substances.
Sustainable fashion: Rental models much more sustainable, „Slow Fashion“ makes clothes for rent.


McDonalds at Gamescom: Nuggets and sustainability: Overflowing rubbish bins, environmentally harmful production: McDonalds has been criticised for a long time: Now the fast food giant is presenting its sustainability activities at Gamescom. For its sustainability strategy, McDonalds wants to reduce the production of plastic in particular. According to the in-house sustainability update, the company is focusing in particular on the use of grass paper, which is used in the colourfully printed wrapping paper around burgers and wraps. In addition, McDonalds wants to test reusable deposit systems in selected restaurants. Above all this is the goal of using only packaging made from renewable, recycled or certified materials by 2025. At Gamescom, McDonalds wants to link this strategy with a fast-growing target group: gaming enthusiasts.

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