Greens call for compulsory solar roofs throughout Europe: While the German government has temporarily abandoned plans for compulsory solar roofs, the Greens are now making an attempt via Brussels. The Greens in the European Parliament want to involve Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton in particular, because a solar roof obligation could be the basis for rebuilding the European solar industry, which has been completely lost in Europe, according to the European Greens. „We want building owners in the EU to be obliged in future to install solar roofs on new buildings, complete renovations and renovations of roofs. This solar roof obligation should apply equally to residential and commercial buildings,“ said Green MEP Michael Bloss. welt.de
ECJ wants less politics at the Bundesnetzagentur: Last Thursday, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down a landmark ruling. The Federal Network Agency should act without political guidelines, according to the European Court of Justice. The background to the decision is an EU infringement action against Germany. The EU Commission accused the Federal Government of not having implemented two directives on electricity and gas in conformity with European law. Currently, the Bonn authority sets grid fees on the basis of rules adopted by politicians. Germany must now extensively amend its energy law and redefine the role of the Federal Network Agency. (Judgment of 02.09.2021, Case C-718/18). The Greens spoke of a „slap in the face“ for the Federal Government, „For the municipal network operators, this means additional uncertainties with regard to planning and investment security, which are necessary for the further expansion and conversion as well as the digitalisation of the municipal electricity and gas networks,“ was the comment of the Association of Municipal Enterprises, in which, for example, the municipal utilities are united. rnd.de , tagesschau.de , juve.de
290 million euros
have been earmarked for a hydrogen technology innovation centre (ITZ) in Germany. They are to be built at several locations. Chemnitz (Saxony), Duisburg (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Pfeffenhausen (Bavaria) as well as a consortium in northern Germany were awarded the contract. zeit.de
BDI calls for more speed in energy transition: The Federation of German Industries (BDI) has demanded more speed from the state in the energy transition. Germany is in danger of losing out internationally if investment projects for more climate protection are not accelerated, fears President Siegfried Russwurm. „It must not be the case that more time is needed for the approval of a rail project or an industrial plant than is subsequently needed for the actual construction.“ Germany would then quickly fall behind the climate targets it had set itself. spiegel.de
A radical immediate climate programme awaits the new German government: In the first 100 days, the largest climate protection programme in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany awaits the Federal Government, according to a study by the think tank Agora Energiewende and the Climate Neutrality Foundation. „It needs the biggest climate protection programme in the history of the Federal Republic – and it needs to be done in the first 100 days,“ says Agora head Patrick Graichen . This is not a demand by environmental groups; it follows from the current climate protection law and the tightened targets. According to the study, a coal phase-out as early as 2030, a faster expansion of green energy, a speed limit on motorways or a speed limit of 30 km/h in cities can be adopted quickly. Even if all these measures were implemented, however, the law’s target would probably not be met by 2023. handelsblatt.com
Ida – exactly sixteen years after Katrina: Hurricanes and extreme weather like the recent hurricane „Ida“ , which hit the US coast exactly 16 years to the day after „Katrina“, cause ever greater damage. According to a report just published by the United Nations World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), „Katrina“ was the world’s most expensive disaster triggered by extreme weather in the last five decades. The economic damage caused by „Ida“ has not yet been calculated. However, the new WMO report clearly shows that extreme weather and the natural disasters that follow are causing ever higher costs. Weather extremes now occur four to five times more frequently and the economic damage caused by them has increased sevenfold since 1970. . taz.de , public.wmo.int
Hunger strike for the climate: Last Monday, seven young climate activists went on an indefinite hunger strike. The aim of their action is a discussion with the candidates for chancellor and their promise to convene a citizens‘ council in the new federal government to discuss immediate measures against the climate crisis. The seven call their action the „hunger strike of the last generation“. „We are young, but we are ready to risk our lives. We value life and we don’t want to die,“ their hunger strike statement reads. klimareporter.de
BOOKTIP OF THE WEEK:
Das demokratische Update zur Klimawende
The world is in an existential crisis: species are dying out faster than in the previous five major mass extinctions in Earth’s history. The overheating of the planet threatens to make entire regions uninhabitable. That is the bad news. The good news is that we have already developed the technologies for climate change. The economy is in the starting blocks in many places. In sectors such as energy or mobility, the transformation has already begun irreversibly.
But it is not happening fast enough. Because politics is not shaping the transformation boldly. On the contrary, they are slowing down the transformation of destructive infrastructures and subsidising yesterday’s corporations. This benefits not only their wealthy owners, but also the politicians themselves. While corruption and selfishness were annoying in the past, they are life-threatening today. We need to change our democratic system and strengthen the separation of powers through new structures. Time is pressing! oekom.de
VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
„Destruction Part 2: Climate Catastrophe“ is the title of the new video by Youtuber Rezo. In it, he accuses the CDU and SPD of „not only failing in their own goals, but also passing unconstitutional laws and even actively preventing progress“.
Leaded petrol: used up worldwide. . zeit.de
Google: Plans data centre in Berlin and compensation areas. rbb.de
Energy treaty: Becomes a cost trap for Europe. . welt.de
Greenwashing: Green electricity better cheap than real. klimareporter.de
Mediterranean Sea: Oil slick drifts towards Cyprus.. derstandard.at
Federal Finance Minister Scholz: Dupe Environment Minister Schulze for stricter CO2 limits for cars. spiegel.de
Renewable Energies: How Germany can master the energy transition. faz.net
The seventeeen goals Magazin presents inspiring stories about how people move the world and shows how everyone can contribute to achieving the sustainability goals.
Electric car subsidy madness: How the state wastes billions and slows down innovation. Taxpayers subsidise electric cars with up to 20,000 euros per vehicle – despite ecological concerns. At the same time, car companies report dream returns. handelsblatt.com
Study – AI in the Supply Chain: Logistics experts think: Artificial intelligence is indispensable in supply chain management. verkehrsrundschau.de
IAA Mobility: Automobile trade fair in Munich with new concept: The new start of the IAA is going to be very jerky. New venue, new concept, shorter duration: In Munich, the International Motor Show IAA wanted to reinvent itself. But the big car manufacturers are not really going along with it. Instead, there will be a big protest at the fair this week. manager-magazin.de
Bicycle industry wants to conquer cities: Corona has triggered an e-bike boom in Germany. At the Eurobike trade fair, the bicycle industry shows how it envisions the mobility of the future. More important to the companies than purchase premiums is the demand for safe cycle paths.. stuttgarter-zeitung.de
More e-cars registered: New electric car registrations rose by 61 per cent to 53,400 units in August. The share of e-cars in total new registrations thus amounted to 27.6 percent. This clearly surpassed the previous record set in December of last year. New registrations of purely battery-electric passenger cars (BEV) increased by 80 percent, those of plug-in hybrids (PHEV) by 43 percent . vda.de
Public transport cannot be financed without public subsidies: Only on the basis of public benefits can local public transport (ÖPNV) companies achieve coverage of operating costs. This is the result of the „Report of the Federal Government on the Development of Cost Coverage in Local Public Transport“, which is available as information (19/32131). According to the report, the revenues from the sale of tickets covered 41.5 per cent of the total costs in 2018, calculated across the various forms of public transport. In 2014, the figure was 46.8 per cent and in 2016, 48.8 per cent. In the area of railway undertakings providing public services of local rail passenger transport (SPNV), the cost recovery ratio through user financing was only 28.9 per cent in 2018 (2014: 42.7 per cent, 2016: 44.7 per cent). In the SPNV, the order charges as part of the public services represent an essential pillar of financing, it says. Compared to the other groups of companies (municipal and mixed-economy companies in local public transport as well as other companies in local public transport), user financing is of significantly less importance in terms of its contribution to covering expenses. The total cost recovery ratio of public transport was reported to be 101.9 per cent in 2018 (2014: 102.4 per cent, 2016: 102.2 per cent), calculated across all enterprise groups and including public services and the „income-side consideration of income with loss compensation character“.
Spain wants to become a superpower for green hydrogen: The government in Madrid wants to play a central role in the green transformation of Europe’s energy supply. Foreign investors have long recognised the opportunity handelsblatt.com
Green hydrogen: Filling station in Niebüll officially goes into operation. . erneuerbareenergien.deGerman government wants own EU subsidy rules for hydrogen: In the revision of the European subsidy guidelines for the energy sector, there is a need for own subsidy rules for hydrogen. This is the demand of the German government in a statement to the EU Commission, which is available to energate. In the course of the „Fitfor55“ climate package, the Commission is planning to adapt the current guidelines for state aid and has made proposals to this end. „The implementation of the ambitious climate and energy goals requires extensive investments,“ writes the German government in its statement. The European state aid framework must take this into account and enable the necessary instruments, support measures and methods. . energate-messenger.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG:
Environment Committee discusses consequences of the flood disaster: The question of what consequences are to be drawn from the flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia was the focus of a special session of the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety on Friday. Contrary to the agenda, the committee decided not to vote on a motion of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group entitled „Drawing conclusions from the floods – launching an immediate climate protection programme“ (19/32041) It was not appropriate to vote on a motion that wanted to give orders to the future federal government, argued the coalition factions. With the votes of all parliamentary groups except the AfD, the committee approved the amended bill of the coalition parliamentary groups on the establishment of a special fund „Aufbauhilfe 2021“ (19/32039) The Environment Committee is co-advisory on this bill. The AfD faction did not reject the special fund as such, but criticised the connection with the amendment of the Infection Protection Act. In the debate on the bill as well as several motions of the opposition parliamentary groups on the topic of disaster and climate protection, all parliamentary groups stressed that now the aid for those affected by the flood disaster must have priority. The CDU/CSU parliamentary group also stated that it does not rely on bans but on incentives and innovations in climate protection. The climate package adopted in 2019 had laid a good foundation for this by establishing monitoring for the individual sectors and thus obliging any future federal government to act.
The AfD parliamentary group said that the authorities were using the argument of climate change to divert attention from their failure in the flood disaster. In the Ahr valley, which was particularly affected by the floods, there had always been flood disasters. Therefore, people must be sensitised to the possibility of such disasters and informed about the importance of sirens. The SPD parliamentary group replied that there was indeed a connection between man-made climate change and extreme weather events. What is needed, therefore, is both a strengthening of the fight against climate change and intensified adaptation to the consequences of climate change. The FDP faction criticised that climate adaptation had been neglected for a long time. In order to better inform people about impending weather events, the availability of data must be improved.
In the future, there will be more frequent floods, said the parliamentary group Die Linke. Many of the demands in the motion of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group were to be welcomed. However, the Left Party had a problem with the CO2 price, because it disadvantaged poorer people. The flood disaster was like a window through which one could look into the future, said the Alliance 90/The Greens. For this reason, their motion calls for ten per cent of the money from the energy and climate fund to be made available for a „natural climate protection“ action programme.
Climate-friendly investments of the federal government inquired: The parliamentary group Bündnis 90/Die Grünen wants to know to what extent the investments of the federal government contribute to the compliance with the Paris climate goals. In a small question (19/32113), the parliamentarians ask which amounts from the various special funds of the federal government have already been reallocated from investments, for example in the field of fossil energies, to so-called green investments and which time periods are foreseen for such reallocations. They also ask which portfolios managed by the Bundesbank take into account so-called ESG criteria (environment, social, governance). The questioners are also interested in how investments with and without ESG criteria differ in their performance.
Review of the Biodiversity Strategy presented: A large part of the goals pursued with the National Biodiversity Strategy have not been achieved. This is shown in the Accountability Report 2021 of the Federal Government on the Implementation of the National Strategy on Biological Diversity (19/31999) which has been submitted to the Bundestag in the form of a briefing. The report describes the implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy in eleven different thematic areas such as protected areas, forests, rivers and floodplains, urban nature and insect protection. Even if not all goals have been achieved, the strategy has been effective and has triggered a multitude of activities, the report says. Significant improvements have also been achieved in nature conservation funding; however, there is „still a considerable discrepancy between the funds available in Germany for the protection of biodiversity and the funds required to achieve a sustainable trend reversal in the loss of biodiversity“.
„The path to climate-neutral mobility can only be successfully taken together. Only if all stakeholders are involved and consumers are taken seriously with their wishes, expectations, but also concerns, can the remaining obstacles be overcome.“
Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, said the German automotive industry would make its contribution to climate-neutral mobility. In fact, it is the driver of this change. Already today, Germany is the third largest producer of electric vehicles worldwide. German manufacturers have expanded their market shares for electric vehicles in all major regions. In Europe alone, German manufacturers account for more than half of all new electric vehicle registrations. The companies are investing over 150 billion in future technologies by 2025. vda.de
More wildlife in Kenya: Despite the Corona crisis and declining income from tourism, Kenyan authorities have recorded a welcome increase in some representatives of the important and typical savannah fauna during a census of various mammal and bird species. The country was thus able to maintain its important role in the conservation of the so-called megafauna. Contrary to the development in many other African countries, the number of elephants, for example, has increased again by twelve percent since 2014, after having been decimated by poaching for a long time. The rhino population also grew by eleven percent, bucking the continental trend. spektrum.de
Democracy in Africa: Palm Beach and People’s Rule: Is Democracy more achieved in Africa’s Small Island States than on the Continent? Africa’s best democracies would thrive where few people lived together on islands, say democracy researchers. nzz.ch
Chinese loans to Africa: „China will make more demands in future before opening its wallet“. China is spreading in Africa like a new colonial power, it is often said. Yet Chinese investments have been declining for several years.. nzz.ch
Africa Summit in Berlin: Merkel pledges more vaccines for developing countries. But what are the promises worth this time? African states are to be involved in the production of Corona vaccines. At least that is what Chancellor Merkel is promising. faz.net , taz.de
Martial Law in Congo: Much War, Little Law. Congo’s military has ruled the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri since May. This was supposed to end the violence and bring peace. The opposite is the case. taz.de
Lesotho: Last month, the ThabaTelle Mining Company became the first indigenous company to be granted diamond mining rights in Lesotho. allafrica.com
Madagascar: What climate change is doing to Madagascar. One million people are facing severe famine in the island nation, the UN warns. Water shortage is a growing problem in the south – which also has to do with the consequences of colonialism. sueddeutsche.de
Nigeria: Separatism in Nigeria: Unrest is growing in Biafra. Not all members of the Igbo in Nigeria’s Biafra region want independence. Nevertheless, a paramilitary arm of the movement is fighting for it.taz.de
Baltic Sea severely affected by climate change: The Baltic Sea was over-fertilised for many years, there were even so-called death zones. Even though the over-fertilisation has decreased, the Mare Baltic has not yet recovered. One reason for this, climate change. This is the conclusion of the current „Baltic Sea Climate Report“. Over the past 100 years, air temperatures in the Baltic Sea region have risen more than the global average, and the increase will continue in the future. helcom.fi
Genetic engineering methods to preserve corals: Climate change is making coral reefs uninhabitable and all over the world they are dying. Now, international teams of scientists have a radical answer: marine biologists and biotechnologists are currently researching whether coral eggs can be frozen in such a way that at least their genetic information can be saved during this process. Another research project is to find out whether stem cells can be isolated from adult corals, with which resistant reefs can be produced and regenerated. taz.de
Doubts about the tipping of the Gulf Stream: Again and again, researchers warn of the collapse of the Gulf Stream and the resulting consequences for the climate. Scientific disputes are part of the advancement of knowledge, and oceanographer Martin Visbeck sees things differently. „I don’t want to rule out the possibility that the Atlantic current could collapse in principle. But at the moment, the evidence is overwhelming that the Gulf Stream is not tipping. Some recent studies conclude that it is very likely that the strength of the AMOC would diminish by more than 30 per cent by the end of the century. I would not go that far at this stage. The Climate Council also writes that it assumes with medium confidence that the flow will not collapse completely in this century. So it doesn’t really commit itself unequivocally“ zeit.de
LEDs: Contribute to the loss of insects. spektrum.de
Japan: Hunting dolphins again. zeit.de
Netherlands: Porpoises washed up on the coast. tagesschau.de
Recruitment: Why an ecological image is becoming increasingly important. handelsblatt.com
Cannabis plantations destroy flora and fauna: Cannabis possession and cultivation is legal in many US states and is now a billion-dollar market. One consequence: the areas used for this purpose are expanding. Now, a research group fears that the species studied, the Northern Spotted Owl, the Fisher’s Marten and the Humboldt Pine Marten, could come under pressure as a result. However, not only the clearing of forests and land is problematic for the animals, but even more so the intensive use of rodent poisons to protect the plantations from mice. However, the animals often do not die immediately from the toxins. The toxins make them less mobile and more likely to fall prey to predators. The martens, like the owls, accumulate the rodenticides in their bodies through their food, which either kills them directly or impairs their reproduction. spektrum.de