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Coalition agreement on relief package with climate component: After long negotiations and a night session, the leaders of the traffic light coalition have agreed on a third relief package with a total volume of 65 billion euros. The envisaged measures „relieve the burden on all households – including pensioners, students, technical students and trainees“, according to the resolution paper. For example, one-time payments to students are planned for pensioners and students. The 9 Euro Ticket will also be extended, and the federal government will provide 1.5 billion euros for this purpose. The goal is a price range between 49 and 69 euros per month. Those entitled to housing benefit will receive an additional heating allowance of 415 euros. The traffic light parties also want to introduce an electricity price cap for basic consumption. For a certain basic consumption of electricity, a discounted price is to apply in future. For additional consumption above this, the price would not be capped. The electricity price brake is to be financed by skimming profits from the energy companies.   „It is a matter of leading our country safely through this crisis,“ said Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a press conference with the leaders of the traffic light parties Saskia Esken (SPD), Omid Nouripour (Greens) and Christian Lindner (FDP). Many people were currently worried, he said. „We take all these concerns very, very seriously.“ Again, the Chancellor stressed, You’ll never walk alone, we will not leave anyone alone.“ The relief package has met with reservations from the opposition and associations. CDU leader Merz said on ARD television that it was true that weak households were being helped and that students and pensioners were being relieved. However, the coalition did not give an answer as to where the electricity should come from in the near future. , , ,

Steffi Lemke presents climate protection programme: In a Natural Climate Protection Action Programme, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) has outlined how the German government intends to counteract the ecological double crisis of global warming and species extinction. The basic idea: Natural climate protection combines climate protection with nature conservation and ensures that the effects of the climate crisis are mitigated. The goal is to strengthen, restore and preserve ecosystems so that they remain climate protectors and habitats for plants and animals at the same time. The Federal Government wants to provide four billion euros for this purpose by 2026. „I want to make nature strong so that it helps us against the climate crisis,“ Lemke said during a visit to the moors in the Möllner Seewiesen in Brandenburg.

Meat consumption fell by 8 per cent in June

People in Germany are eating significantly less meat, partly because of higher prices. In July, the amount of meat and sausage products sold in the retail trade fell by 8 per cent compared to the same month last year, the market research company GfK reported on Thursday. The overall decline in the first six months of this year is even 11.5 per cent. For environmentalists and animal rights activists, the trend towards less meat is positive. After all, one calorie of animal food has a greater impact on the climate than plant products. Meat production also requires more arable land. In addition, large amounts of manure are produced, which endanger the groundwater.

17 billion euros pile up on the green energy account: For years, green electricity was a subsidy business. The state guaranteed producers a higher price than they could earn on the electricity exchange – paid for by the EEG levy. In the meantime, the situation has reversed. Billions are piling up in the compensation account. The industry association wants to return the money to households. It corresponds to about 400 euros per household.

Improving the gas levy: Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) wants to improve the controversial gas levy. The free riders must be „pushed off the footboard“; in his opinion, there are some levers to prevent profitable companies from receiving the levy. However, the gas levy is not a mistake, but a necessary means to distribute the high prices „as fairly as possible“ across Germany.

Climate Foundation MV to be dissolved as soon as possible: Controversial from the very beginning, the Climate Protection Foundation MV is expected to close its economic activities for the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with a profit of 5 to 7 million euros. Last week, the foundation announced in Schwerin that all remaining materials had been sold and also the ship used to cover the pipeline. From the proceeds, about 18.5 million euros would go to Nord Stream 2 AG, according to the agreements. However, the state government does not want to use the money coming from Russian gas deals as a reaction to the war of aggression against Ukraine and instead wants to allocate it for humanitarian purposes. Its goal is to quickly dissolve the foundation and to push forward climate protection with its own funds via the state energy agency.

Record levels of greenhouse gas emissions: The concentration of greenhouse gases as well as the sea level have reached new record levels in 2021. The US climate agency NOAA announced in its annual climate report that the CO2concentration in the atmosphere is 414.7 parts per million (ppm), which is another 2.3 ppm higher than in the previous year. This level is the „highest in at least a million years“, the report says. NOAA chief Rick Spinrad also drew attention to the many severe floods and historic heat this year. There is growing scientific evidence that climate change is having a global impact, he said. There are no signs of it slowing down so far, he said. This shows „that the climate crisis is not an imminent threat, but something we have to face today“


Wasser in Not

Portrait of an essential element that we need for our survival

Out of sight, out of mind? For too long we have been using water for waste disposal. Microplastics, petroleum, harmful germs and other, sometimes invisible pollutants are discharged into seas, rivers, lakes and groundwater. Nature is often unable to process these substances – and so they return to us like a boomerang via our food. The increasing acidification of water bodies also threatens our environment and our health.

How high is the water pollution of various rivers and lakes worldwide? What are the solutions that make it possible to enjoy drinking water safely? And what makes water a means of life and enjoyment? Water expert Monique Bissen looks at the water system from all perspectives and makes clear its role as the number 1 food.

DIW head Fratzscher: In favour of introducing a car toll.
China: Offers LNG to Europe.
Material bottlenecks: Braking out the solar industry.
Electricity prices: How the stock exchange in Leipzig works. 
Volkswagen: Refuses to accept blame for climate change in Greenpeace trial.
Subsidies for fossil energies: Criticism of lack of sustainability. This year, subsidies are likely to rise even further.
EU Commission: Mobile phones and tablets to get energy labels.

The seventeen 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.


Climate protection with a chainsawEurope’s forests in the wake of the energy transition

The EU is backing renewable energies. This includes wood pellets and wood chips, because burning biomass from the forest is classified as climate-neutral and financially supported. Conservationists are alarmed. They fear: The EU’s plans could put further pressure on the forest.


To sit-in blockades and sticking on the motorway by the Last Generation:

from Jost-Müller-Neuhof

The boundaries of criminal liability are as fluid as superglue

Nevertheless, the basic rights apply. Here, above all, Article 8 of the Basic Law, the freedom of assembly. Their protection also applies if a protest is not registered or even, as here, illegal. The fundamental right requires that the relationship between the content of the protest and its outward form be established. A busy motorway is not a wrong place to demand attention for man-made climate change. The courts must weigh up at what point legitimate sit-in protest turns into a punishable blockade. The boundaries are as fluid as superglue when it comes out of the tube. But then it gets harder and harder. And that is the problem with self-fixation, it also fixes the criminal assessment. Acquittals are therefore likely to be rare. Those convicted should bravely accept this. He who sticks, sticks – also a strong symbol.


Petrol prices soar: All motorists were aware that refuelling would become more expensive again. However, consumer advocates were surprised at how quickly prices rose again after the end of the fuel rebate. The first calls for a control by the Federal Cartel Office are being heard. The end of the fuel discount was clearly noticeable at many petrol stations on Thursday. This is shown by a quick analysis of fuel prices at almost 400 petrol stations in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich.

Traffic calming in Berlin as a pilot project: Soon, parking of private cars will no longer be allowed in another Berlin neighbourhood for a few months.  Critics claim that low-income households will be displaced. Not really, explains mobility expert Panagiotis Loukaridis: „At 335 cars per 1,000 inhabitants, the car density in Berlin is very low compared to all other federal states. Only one third of Berliners own a car at all. Within the Berlin S-Bahn ring, i.e. also in the neighbourhoods mentioned above, the figure is even lower. According to the last traffic survey, just under 58 per cent of households do not have a car or a motorised two-wheeler. Here, only one in four has their own car.

Electricity prices could bring transport turnaround to a standstill: Auto economist Stefan Bratzel warns of a failure of the transport turnaround due to the rapid rise in electricity prices: „The electricity price explosion could become an acute danger for the transport turnaround, we have to be damn careful“.

Bahn: In view of the extreme rise in electricity prices, Deutsche Bahn is expecting horrendous additional costs: in 2023 alone, additional expenses of two billion euros could be due.

Zero-emission trucks: Pilot project for combined charging and H2 refuelling: It’s the classic chicken-and-egg problem: especially for zero-emission heavy commercial vehicles, a completely new infrastructure has to be created for charging or refuelling outside the home – be it high-performance fast chargers or hydrogen filling stations. So why not combine the two? That is the basic idea behind a pilot project by energy suppliers, scientists and truck manufacturers that is now being implemented in Baden-Württemberg.

Car drivers use bicycles much more often: In a representative survey, the German Automobile Club (ADAC) asked car drivers which means of transport they use when they do without a car. Cycling is clearly ahead of public transport and rail. The ADAC survey was intended to reflect the opinions of car drivers and thus focus on people who are affected by high fuel prices on the one hand and who should be motivated to switch to public transport by means of the 9-Euro-Ticket on the other.


Green hydrogen for emission-free steel production: Green hydrogen is the future of the German steel industry, which is currently facing major changes due to the challenges of climate protection and increasing international competition. H2-based steel production using direct reduction (DR) can, on the one hand, virtually avoid greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the steel sector and, on the other hand, once again demonstrate the innovative strength of the German industry. In this context, a new analysis by Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LBST) in the form of a meta-study commissioned by the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) and in cooperation with the expert commission HySteel deals with the role of green hydrogen in the steel sector.

BDEW on the EnWG-H2 report: The report commissioned by the Federal Government as part of the amendment to the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) 2021 is to define possible criteria for taking hydrogen projects into account in future hydrogen network planning as well as requirements for identifying expansion measures. These criteria include, in particular, the requirements for determining locations for power-to-gas plants, sources of supply and offtake regions for hydrogen as well as hydrogen storage facilities. The addressee of the EnWG-H2 report is the Federal Network Agency, which can make recommendations for the legal implementation of a binding hydrogen network development plan on the basis of the report. To illustrate the current state of development of the hydrogen grid infrastructure at the decentralised level, BDEW has compiled hydrogen projects throughout Germany on a BDEW map of Germany. Commenting on the publication of the report, Kerstin Andreae, Chairwoman of the BDEW Executive Board, said: „In order to become independent of fossil fuels and thus also of gas imports from Russia, we need the rapid ramp-up of a hydrogen economy. This can only succeed if the appropriate pipeline and storage infrastructure is created quickly. To some extent, existing gas infrastructure can be converted for this purpose and thus continue to be used at favourable prices for the customer. In addition, the hydrogen grid infrastructure can relieve the electricity system and contribute to greater resilience of the supply system as a whole.

BMW: launches hydrogen division. Mercedes and Audi are investing in battery cars – BMW, despite critics, is betting on hydrogen. The small series iX5 Hydrogen should help to keep up with the competition from Asia. ,

 Hydrogen storage with natural gas compressors: How does hydrogen get into the natural gas grid? Hydrogen and the natural gas grid: that sounds like the dream couple of the energy transition. By feeding „green“ gas into the grid and using existing cavern storage facilities, defossilisation arrives at consumers and businesses without much effort. But you have to take a closer look at the compressors, say experts.

These countries can supply Germany with hydrogen: The TÜV Nord Group has published a current assessment of the hydrogen supply situation. According to a statement, Canada is currently the main focus as a possible supplier. But there are other countries that could offer themselves in the future, including in Europe. With a view to the global trade routes, some focal points crystallise for hydrogen.

Brunsbüttel: First LNG, then hydrogen: The current gas crisis poses massive challenges for the energy-intensive industrial companies in ChemCoast Park Brunsbüttel. Natural gas is used as an energy source and raw material for production by the companies located in Schleswig-Holstein’s largest contiguous industrial area, which represent an annual gross value added of around 870 million euros. A continuous and reliable gas supply is therefore elementary for the ChemCoast Park.

Consequences of the war for the German hydrogen strategy: According to the Federal Government, the current situation with the war in Ukraine underlines the urgency of becoming independent of fossil fuels and therefore leads to an intensification and acceleration of international cooperation on hydrogen with regard to the global market ramp-up and future supply chains for hydrogen. This is what the Federal Government writes in its answer (20/3155) to a small question of the CDU/CSU (20/2916) on the topic „Strengthening infrastructure, expanding networks and promoting innovation – prerequisites for the market ramp-up of the hydrogen economy in Germany“. The government further states that the update of the national hydrogen strategy announced in the coalition agreement is to be completed this year. Work on this has already begun. In July, a committee of state secretaries of the ministries involved approved the first key points. The cabinet will decide on the update at the end of the year. The federal and state working groups on hydrogen will be involved in the process. In response to the question of how much climate-neutral hydrogen the government expects to be produced in Germany, the answer states: „The goal is to build production capacities of at least ten gigawatts of green hydrogen in Germany by the year 2030 and thus contribute to achieving the national and European climate goals. In accordance with the current version of the National Hydrogen Strategy, there are funding instruments for production and users that exclusively address green hydrogen in order to achieve the climate protection goals. With regard to the transport infrastructure, no differentiation is made between the type of hydrogen production.


Exemptions from emission protection in case of gas shortage: In case of a gas shortage, the federal government wants to allow temporary exemptions for waste treatment plants in immission protection. To this end, it has submitted a draft amendment to the Ordinance on Installations for the Biological Treatment of Waste (20/3213), which must be approved by the Bundestag in accordance with section 48b of the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG). Specifically, it is intended to amend the ordinance to allow authorities to grant time-limited exemptions from regulations for mechanical-biological waste treatment plants in individual cases. So far, this has only been possible to a very limited extent due to the „high impairment potential“ of these plants, unlike other ordinances, writes the federal government. Due to the currently tense supply situation, „a lack of the necessary resources for the proper operation“ of the plants could not be ruled out. In particular, the gas required for the operation of the exhaust gas cleaning system could become scarce as a result of rationing, the draft states. In such a situation, the approved emission values could no longer be met. Temporary exemptions from immission control thus represent the only alternative to shutting down the plants, it continues.

Biodiversity on agricultural land: 14 species of breeding birds, 39 species of wild bees and five species of butterflies have become extinct or disappeared in Germany over the past 100 years. This is the result of an answer by the federal government (20/3161) to a small question by the AfD parliamentary group on the development of biodiversity on German agricultural land (20/3072). The Federal Government refers to the current Red List of Breeding Birds in Germany, according to which 14 breeding bird species have become extinct or have disappeared, including the red-legged partridge, the little bustard and the double-crested snipe. Since 1996, the number of species has remained „largely constant“, writes the federal government. According to the current list of wild bee species, 38 species have become extinct or disappeared since 1980, and one additional species after 1980. Moreover, not all species that have become extinct since then are already known, the government writes: „In the Red Lists, a species is only considered lost if it has not been found for a long period of time (usually between 20 and 50 years, depending on the species group) despite follow-up searches.“

Reduction of CO2 emissions in the transport sector: Due to the exceeding of the annual emission quantity of the transport sector in 2021, the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) has submitted the immediate programme of 13 July 2022 „in order to fulfil the obligation from section 8 of the Federal Climate Protection Act (KSG)“. This is what the federal government writes in its answer (20/3167) to a minor question by the AfD parliamentary group (20/3044). The ministry is being supported by a consortium of scientific experts in the development of climate protection measures for this emergency programme, it continues. During the preparation of the emergency programme, the published measures were considered. The models used by the experts take into account interactions between measures. The assessment is based on the sectoral definition according to the Climate Protection Act, the government writes. „According to an expert assessment by the BMDV experts, a reduction of around 13 million tonnes of CO2 would be achieved by 2030,“ the response states.

The CDU/CSU parliamentary group has submitted a minor question (20/3191) on the federal government’s immediate programme to meet climate targets in the transport sector. The MPs want to know, among other things, which measures – in addition to the development of the charging infrastructure – the Federal Government intends to use to promote the market ramp-up of electromobility. They also ask about any planned restrictions on passenger cars „in order to expand the cycling infrastructure in urban areas“.

Support for food banks: In 2021, around 1.6 million people in Germany took up the offer of the approximately 960 food banks. This is the result of an answer (20/3166) of the Federal Government to a small question (20/2946) of the AfD parliamentary group. According to the answer, 48 per cent of the food bank visitors are adults, 28 per cent are children and youths, and 24 per cent are senior citizens. The Federal Government had no further information on the profile of the visitors, such as gender or nationality, and no statistics were kept on the extent to which the profile of the Tafel visitors had changed since 2012. The federal government is funding two projects, each of which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) with about two million euros. There is no direct financial grant to the federal states by the federal government.


My top priority is to ensure security of supply in Germany. That is what the gas levy does. It is necessary for this. The combination of supply shortfalls, which the companies have to complain about, and the high gas prices has led to a dangerous combination. On the one hand, we have combated this by supporting the companies with money.

Robert Habeck, Federal Minister of Economics… We have invested in two large companies with sums of billions. On the other hand, if the companies, even if they belong to the state, constantly lose their credit rating, then they will be downgraded at some point. They would no longer be able to get loans, they would no longer be able to buy gas. It would be like a bottomless pit, and the gas levy would pull in that bottom. It ensures that the bleeding of the companies is stopped. Therefore, yes, it is necessary. What is not necessary, of course, is that these free riders, companies that actually make good profits, get the gas levy.


Algeria: A mixed commission of historians from France and Algeria is to be given access to archives to review the history of colonialism and the war (1954-1962) in order to help reconcile the two peoples. This is perhaps the most noteworthy outcome of a three-day visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Algeria, where he was given a decidedly friendly reception by his counterpart Abdelmadschid Tebboune.

Angola: The long-time ruling party in Angola has won the parliamentary election, according to official figures. President João Lourenço’s MPLA won 51.17 per cent of the vote, the National Electoral Commission announced on Monday. Lourenço can thus run for a second term in office. The largest opposition party, Unita, received 43.95 per cent, a good 17 percentage points more than in the previous election. It wants to contest the result.

Ethiopia – fighting is back: Since Wednesday, the ceasefire in the Tigray region has been broken. According to reports, several people were killed in an attack on a kindergarten.

Kenya’s election loser: Raila Odinga: I will respect the Supreme Court’s decision on the election petition.

Libya – Heavy fighting in Tripoli: After the outbreak of violence in the Libyan capital, Prime Minister Dabaiba was able to fend off the parallel government’s attempt to take over for the time being. Behind the conflict of two rival groups are the strategic interests of some major powers.

Morocco: Tying the knot despite the Western Sahara conflict. Baerbock’s trip was a diplomatic coup for the Kingdom. Now it is taking on Tunisia in the conflict over the Western Sahara.

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe’s largest hospital asks patients to bring their own medicines. The economic crisis in Zimbabwe has drastic consequences: In the capital Harare, doctors are now asking patients to bring their own syringes and painkillers. But the government has quite different ideas.

Increasing life expectancy: Growing old healthily – that is what many people want. In Africa, healthy life expectancy has increased by ten years, more than anywhere else. There are several reasons for the success – and ideas on how the trend can continue.


Fracking in Germany: Domestic shale gas deposits are moving into the centre of interest now that the energy situation in Germany is considered more than tense due to the ongoing Ukraine war. In the shadow of this energy shortage, voices are being raised in the coalition to consider fracking. This is a practice that is fundamentally banned in Germany and many other European countries because of its potential environmental and climate impact. 

Against ghost nets on the move: They threaten birds, fish and sharks – drifting net balls. When the plastic webs sink to the bottom, they can bury or damage entire communities such as coral reefs or seagrass beds. Larger animals swallow net parts whole. Meanwhile, a movement of volunteer activists has formed to try to recover the so-called ghost nets: trained divers, GPS and sonar help. In addition, says Kim Detloff, head of NABU marine conservation, the cause of the problem must finally be addressed. For example, fishing gear could be made from a single plastic or a small number of plastics and designed in such a way that they can be separated more easily later. This would enable more recycling and reduce follow-up costs.

The summer of 2022 shows the consequences of climate change more clearly than ever before: a third of Pakistan is under water, just a few months after the country experienced an extreme heat wave. Europe is experiencing a historic drought, Italy has declared a state of emergency, rivers are drying up. China is currently experiencing extreme temperatures and is trying to bring about precipitation by bombarding clouds. Famine is rampant in East Africa. The climate crisis and its consequences are changing the daily lives of millions of people around the world. But behind the numbers and statistics are people who are experiencing severe blows of fate.

Timber construction: Is concrete replaceable?
Natural disasters:  Could be weaker if humanity were better prepared.
CO2 storage: On the Norwegian seabed.
Nearing doom: Alexandria was once considered the pearl of the Mediterranean. Now the sea is coming dangerously close to the historic houses. A consequence of climate change.


Heatwave: Electric cars in California should not be charged in the evening

California is currently experiencing a heat wave and the power grids are at their limit. People are being urged to use electrical devices prudently. The warning from California once again highlights the difficulties awaiting power grids where significant portions of electricity come from renewable sources. In California, solar energy now accounts for about one-sixth of the electricity produced. Only in July, due to an ongoing heat wave in the US state of Texas, people were called upon to save electricity, and there were special saving instructions in electric cars. During the unprecedented heat wave in China, electricity was even rationed to the extent that public charging stations were temporarily closed or could only be used to a limited extent. Those without private ones got into serious trouble as a result.

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