Despite energy crisis – Green Party leader Lang urges rapid coal phase-out: „It is necessary that we phase out coal in 2030 – if only to achieve our climate goals,“ said Lang . „We want to reaffirm that at our party conference,“ she added, with a view to the meeting planned for October. A secure energy supply and the fight against the climate crisis are two sides of the same coin, Lang stressed. „Anyone who plays the two off against each other is knowingly putting our ability to act and the freedom of future generations at risk,“ the co-party leader warned. „No one can afford to pretend that the climate can wait now.“ Two nuclear power plants – Isar and Neckarwestheim – would go into a temporary operational reserve. In other words, all precautions would be taken to enable the reactors to be used for a short time in the coming winter, even beyond 31 December, if that should be necessary. If this is not the case, the two nuclear power plants will remain off the grid. Of course, there are questions about this in the party, but above all there is a great willingness to go along with this path. The members realise that we have not made it easy for ourselves. We have a special responsibility for security of supply. morgenpost.de
Germany misses environmental targets in the water sector: Germany needs to better protect its waters, according to the EU Commission. „In Germany, only 8.1 per cent of all surface waters are in good ecological condition,“ an evaluation by the Brussels-based authority, headed by Ursula von der Leyen as president, said on Thursday. For many water bodies, environmental targets had not been met by 2021 and could be missed even in 2027, it said. Water pollution by nitrates also remains a cause for concern. tagesspiegel.de
0.4 degrees Celsius
This is how high the average temperature was in summer compared to the same period last year. The summer months of June to August were warmer in Europe than at any time since records began. This was reported by the EU climate change service Copernicus last week. In August, the average temperature was even 0.8 degrees above that of August 2021. August was also significantly drier than average in large parts of Western Europe and in parts of Eastern Europe. However, there were also regions with above-average humidity: In most parts of Scandinavia and in parts of southern and south-eastern Europe, there was more precipitation than the long-term average. sueddeutsche.de
KFW develops eco price tag for the BiP: What are the ecological costs of our economic activity? The gross domestic product cannot reflect this. That is why KfW has developed a new measure. An ecological price tag, so to speak. It is already apparent that the climate targets for the next few years are looking bad. Based on the current KfW growth forecast, which predicts an increase of 1.4 percent for 2022, greenhouse gas emissions this year will probably be 722 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents, about 40 million tonnes above the political target path. That is six percent too much. faz.net , kfw.de (original document)
Skimming off profits from green electricity: The federal government’s plans to skim off high profits from electricity producers are met with scepticism by green electricity producers. They fear that this could stall the expansion of renewable energies. tagesschau.de
Continued support for energy transition: Support for the energy transition remains high among German citizens. Nine out of ten Germans still consider this transformation important or very important, as the recently published „Energiewende-Barometer“ shows. Many households are willing to actively participate themselves – for example by saving energy and using solar energy. Since the representative survey was conducted in December 2021 and January 2022, this rate is probably even higher at present. The drought this year, the floods in the Ahr valley last year and, last but not least, the Ukraine war have shown how strong the influences of climate change are on the one hand and the dependencies on fossil energies on the other. klimareporter.de
Lawsuits for climate protection: In the coming days, the regional courts in Detmold and Stuttgart will announce important decisions regarding the environmental behaviour of the car companies Volkswagen and Daimler. The environmental protection organisations Greenpeace and the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) are conducting lawsuits that will now enter their decisive phases. So far, most climate lawsuits have been directed against the state, but that is changing. Large companies are responsible for considerable climate pollution, quite on the scale of medium-sized states. On the other hand, the state is not left out: Just last Monday, DUH sued Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) for presenting a presumably insufficient immediate programme for climate protection in the transport sector. taz.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Außen grün, innen braun
How right-wing extremists use the climate crisis and nature conservation for their own purposes
From border controls in the name of the environment to eco-fascist attacks: After decades of denying the reality of climate change, a new generation of far-right activists and populist politicians have realised that the environmental crisis is their best chance to gain attention and power. Sam Moore and Alex Roberts analyse the appropriation of ecological issues by the right and outline possible futures full of hate and violence that must be prevented. An important read for all those committed to the fight againstright-wing extremism and for climate justice. With a foreword by right-wing extremism expert Natascha Strobl.
Australia: New climate law. rnd.de
Warning of the Alpine Club: Climate change makes mountain tours more dangerous. tagesschau.de
Study: G7 companies far from Paris climate target. berliner-zeitung.de
Federal Government: More electricity from solar and biogas. dlf.de
Where Russia’s climate policy is heading: Climate protection is not possible without Russia. But the climate won’t wait until the war is fought out. heise.de
Nuclear power plant debate: How quickly can shut-down nuclear power plants be restarted? rnd.de
German-French energy friendship: Both countries have promised each other solidarity supplies. dlf.de
Switzerland: Wants to build nuclear waste repository near the German border. rp-online.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:
Slash the dikes! Repair tips for rivers
After the environmental disaster on the Oder, it is worth taking a closer look at the role of rivers in the climate crisis. They could secure biodiversity, keep water in the landscape and provide natural flood protection. Warm low water in barrages and a massive discharge of salt at the beginning of August caused a toxic brackish water alga to multiply explosively in the upper reaches of the Oder. The so-called golden alga attacks the soft tissue of fish and mussels. The result was a hitherto unique mass mortality of these animals on the Oder. This is the analysis of the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin, a research institution that has been scientifically monitoring the Oder for decades. rbb24.de
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
Government freezes the CO2 price – The fatal mistake of the relief package
a commentary by Cordula Tutt
Climate protection should be like a well-targeted relief package in the energy crisis: consumers are supported instead of being encouraged to consume. This means that individuals or companies receive support when fuel prices rise sharply. The focus should be on those who are particularly poor, particularly dependent on a car or who work in a particularly energy-intensive way. A cleverly designed state subsidy is not about making petrol cheaper. That only artificially cheapens the fossil fuel economy and prolongs dependence on coal, oil and gas. It also gives money to those who easily pay for their consumption out of their own pockets and delays the switch. …. Compared to the current price explosions in energy, the CO2 price almost disappears. Above all, the money could be used to make a difference. Instead, the federal government is now giving away an additional source of revenue. Unlike horrendous prices on the electricity or gas markets at the moment, the CO2 price ends up with the state and is meant to be paid out again per capita to the people – from the youngest to the oldest. This relieves the burden on families and the elderly, low-income earners and commuters. This creates the prerequisite for the changeover. wiwo.de
The world’s first plant makes solar paraffin: it is located in the middle of Germany. efahrer.chip.de
Standstill due to lack of AdBlue: Almost all modern trucks, vans or tractors need the legally prescribed additive AdBlue to clean diesel exhaust gases. One of the largest AdBlue producers has now had to stop production because of the gas crisis. focus.de
German rail network: Facing collapse. In the long term, more and more passengers, more and more roadworks and more and more delays: The Deutsche Bahn system is on the verge of collapse. The enormous investment backlog is not the only problem. The company announced that 200,000 sleepers had been checked in the past weeks. Almost two thirds of them would have to be replaced. According to the information, this has already been done on 70 sections of track. tagesschau.de , deutschlandfunk.de
Flixbus: Because of the 9-euro ticket, Flixbus lost customers. Soon there could be a successor – and the long-distance bus provider wants to be part of it this time. Talks with politicians are already underway. n-tv.de
Air taxis: setting the scene“ for Urban Air Mobility before air taxis can take off in large numbers, many questions remain unanswered. Professor Karsten Benz looks at the regulatory framework – from infrastructure to market regulation. airliners.de
E-mobility and car rental: It remains difficult: For more electromobility, the fleet policy of car rental companies is very significant. But in the holiday and business travel business, the business hurdles for the politically hoped-for change become apparent. br.de
Green hydrogen – long-term uncertain supply: A news item caused a stir in the hydrogen community this week: green hydrogen from renewable electricity is of unique value for achieving climate neutrality. It can replace fossil fuels in industry or long-distance transport where direct electrification is not possible. However, even if production capacities grow as fast as wind and solar energy, the supply of green hydrogen remains scarce in the short term and uncertain in the long term. „The widespread success of green hydrogen is by no means a given. Even if electrolysis capacities were to grow as fast in the future as wind and solar energy have in the past, there is clear evidence of short-term shortages and long-term uncertainty in the availability of green hydrogen,“ says Falko Ueckerdt. „Both inhibit investments in infrastructure and application technologies, which reduces the potential of green hydrogen and jeopardises climate targets.“ fair-economics.com
Planned hydrogen chain via Hamburg to be abandoned: The project of a complete transport chain for green hydrogen on Helgoland will not be pursued further. „During the research and development work, it became apparent over the course of the last year that the originally planned hydrogen quantities are not in sync with the quantities actually available,“ the funding association Aquaventus announced on Wednesday, explaining the change of course. Instead, a new project called „AquaCore“ is now being launched, which is to supply the island with energy as a „nucleus for green hydrogen on Helgoland“ in order to replace the petroleum-based heat supply there in a climate-friendly way. hamburg.de
Hydrogen transport: Railways want to transport hydrogen in tank wagons through Germany. faz.net
Hydrogen transport II: In addition to production, the transport of hydrogen is also a decisive factor for a future hydrogen economy. At present, however, the most promising option seems to be hydrogen transport in the form of ammonia. The natural gas giant Qatar could contribute to the choice of the pungent-smelling and toxic gas. ThyssenKrupp Uhde recently won a major contract to build a blue ammonia production plant from Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO), a subsidiary of state-owned QatarEnergy. After completion in 2026, the plant is to be the world’s largest producer of blue ammonia. Up to 3,500 tonnes of ammonia per year are to be produced here. Other countries are also planning terminals for ammonia, for example in Brunsbüttel. Around 300,000 tonnes are to be landed there annually from 2026. Rotterdam already has a 400,000-tonne terminal for conventional, i.e. non-green ammonia, the capacity of which is to be increased to 1.2 million. edison.media
Hydrogen from moist air: Hydrogen is seen as a beacon of hope for the energy transition – it is to be used as fuel for aircraft, ships and trucks, as a raw material for industry or fuel for heating. If it is produced with renewable energy from water, its production is even almost climate-neutral. However, in particularly sunny or windy regions, there is often not enough water for electrolysis. A research group led by chemical engineer Gang Kevin Li from the University of Melbourne has therefore developed a prototype that can take in moist air, extract the water from it and split it directly into the two gases oxygen and hydrogen.. spektrum.de
Duisburg: Pipeline to bring green hydrogen from Antwerp to Duisburg. rp-online.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
Removal of contaminated munitions in the North and Baltic Seas: The Federal Government plans to spend 20 million euros next year on the removal of dumped munitions in the German North and Baltic Seas. This is stated in the answer of the Federal Government (20/3198) to a small question of the parliamentary group Die Linke (20/3090). The sum had been set aside in the draft budget for 2023 to finance the immediate programme for contaminated ammunition sites. In addition, 35.6 million euros would be earmarked for national marine protection with due dates in the following years 2024 to 2026. 400,000 euros could already be used for the removal of ammunition waste in the current year, the answer continues. Another six million euros are also earmarked in the 2022 budget as commitment appropriations for the financial years 2023 to 2025. From 2026 onwards, the „transition to a permanent solution within the framework of constitutional responsibilities is being sought“, writes the Federal Government. The coalition agreement provides for the establishment of a federal-state fund for the medium- and long-term removal and destruction of ammunition contamination.
Habeck criticises nuclear power plant operator: Federal Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) has expressed his annoyance at the reactions to his conclusions from a nuclear power plant stress test – not only from the political opposition and among the coalition partners, but above all about a letter from the operator of the Isar 2 nuclear power plant. „EON obviously did not understand what the proposal was,“ Habeck told MPs at a meeting of the Climate Protection and Energy Bundestag Committee on Wednesday evening. PreussenElektra boss Guido Knott had described Habeck’s plans in a letter to the ministry as „technically unfeasible“, according to media reports, „and therefore unsuitable for securing the plants‘ contribution to supply“. This would be all the more true if the plant were to be completely shut down, as Habeck’s plan envisages. In view of the threat of energy shortages in the winter of 2022/23, Habeck wants to send the two nuclear power plants Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim into a reserve after the regular end of their operating lives from the turn of the year – in order to have them started up again if necessary. As early as 25 August, the ministry had been informed that in a nuclear power plant stretch operation, a „flexible raising or throttling of output is no longer possible“, the operator now says. Habeck told the committee that he was surprised by this statement. He had already heard something different from EON. Moreover, the concept of the emergency reserve does not envisage a repeated ramping up and down of the plants. The plan is rather to decide once we know what we don’t know today – how many of the French nuclear power plants will be back on the grid by winter, how the river levels will develop, on which the transport of coal, for example, depends – whether or not the nuclear power plants are needed to secure the energy supply. That will be decided in December, January or February.
I believe that all citizens and also all entrepreneurs have great problems throughout Germany because energy prices have become so high that pensioners, families, but also the master baker, the freight forwarder, but also ultimately energy-intensive companies are heavily burdened, and of course this has a particularly strong effect where incomes are even lower and people do not have large reserves. That is why it is very important that we react in the same way as in the Corona pandemic, that we help companies and institutions with a protective umbrella for the economy, but also, for example, for culture, so that they do not lose their existence, and that we also help the citizens who have small incomes with relief packages.
Manuela Schwesig, SPD, Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, said that it was good that we had already agreed on the energy allowance of 300 euros for workers and 100 euros for children. This would relieve a family with both employees and children by 800 euros. But the pensioners had been forgotten and that is why we clearly demanded the energy allowance for pensioners from the country. But at the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves whether we can survive in the long run with this way, gas levy and relief packages, or whether we don’t actually have to come to an energy price cap. Our country, the experts we have at the energy summit, are clearly in favour of the energy price cap. deutschlandfunk.de
African countries demand compliance with promised climate aid: In two months, the UN Climate Change Conference will take place in Egypt. In the run-up, African governments have reminded the industrialised countries of their responsibility.
Payments for Congo National Park suspended: On 27 January 2022, the German government was informed about allegations of human rights violations against the indigenous population in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is stated in its answer (20/3200) to a small question of the Left Party (20/3058). The parliamentary group had referred to reports that park rangers had raped and killed members of the indigenous Batwa people living there in the period from 2018 to 2021. According to the answer, the German government then suspended its payments to the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation and „publicly and unequivocally“ expressed to its Congolese partners the need to respect human rights. The German ambassador, who visited the national park in August 2021, was not aware of renewed incidents of violence in July 2021 at the time, the German government emphasises. The ambassador was not informed of any clashes that had occurred in the park area around Kalehe. According to its own information, the Federal Government provided logistical support of 18,000 US dollars to the commission of enquiry set up for the Kahuzi-Biega National Park. In addition, an independent expert was financed.
Climate change in Africa needs more money: Five heads of state and government from Africa, representatives of international financial organisations, two heads of government from the EU and the Vice-President of the EU Commission met in Rotterdam to discuss the financial consequences of climate change on the African continent. Things are not looking good, says Bertram Zagema, a policy expert with the development aid organisation Oxfam: „The people in the communities on the ground actually know what needs to be done in most cases, but they don’t have the means“. Jackson Muhindo from Oxfam Uganda explains that money is lacking everywhere. At the same time, many African countries are trying to improve their internal structures and administrations so that the investments from the climate funds can be put to good use. dw.com
New report highlights African countries‘ progress on green growth: The African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), have released a joint report analysing the state of preparedness for green growth in seven African countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Gabon and Mozambique.The joint report was launched on the sidelines of the African Climate Week in Libreville, Gabon (29 August to 2 September). The study assesses the status and trends of green growth, as well as the degree of preparedness of African countries for the transition to green growth, based on a number of parameters. africa-live.de
South Africa: Pastor has been in mortuary for over a year – family awaits resurrection. saharareporters.com
Ghana: How Corona is damaging the economy in Ghana. The infection figures are not a problem at the moment. But the African country is struggling with the economic consequences of the pandemic. Especially in agriculture. Women farmers in particular are facing great difficulties. dw.com
Kenya and the death of the Queen: Elizabeth II’s legacy in Kenya. The colonial legacy reverberates. In Kenya, where flags hang at half-mast, it not only has the face of the brutal colonial war. Anyone who wonders why many African countries still harbour sympathies for Moscow today and why many Africans dismiss Western discourses on universal values of freedom as mendacious hypocrisy need only take a look at the history books and at events that many people in Africa know not from books but from the stories of their parents and grandparents, especially in the former settler colonies: Algeria, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya, with the special case of South Africa. taz.de
In search of new energy sources: Natural gas is becoming scarce, the expansion of renewable energies has been delayed, coal-fired power plants are extremely harmful to the climate – and now perhaps the renaissance of nuclear power is coming. But Dirk Eidemüller also sees an opportunity in the current situation: „The war exposes the energy policy failures of the past and increases the pressure to achieve the energy transition as quickly as possible. […] One can debate for a long time whether it would have been better in terms of climate policy to shut down the coal-fired power plants first and then the nuclear power plants. But especially in difficult situations like now, the options must be considered soberly. A seriously pursued energy turnaround that is strong in research and technology is – with a twenty-year delay! – is finally underway and can lead to new solutions in partnership with other countries“. spektrum.de
How fish make rice fields more sustainable: Rice is one of the world’s most important foods. But cultivation requires large amounts of water and produces a lot of methane. How can it be done better? A project in the USA is trying it out – with fish. Researchers have discovered fish that can reduce methane emissions from a lake by up to 90 percent: The fish ate the zooplankton in the lake, which in turn fed on methane-eating bacteria. The fish meant that these bacteria had fewer predators: they were thus able to store methane on a large scale. enorm-magazin.de
Indigenous Peoples Report: Amazon rainforest at tipping point. The primeval forests in the Amazon basin can only exist at a certain size. The extent of the destruction is now becoming critical. More than a quarter of the rainforest in the Amazon Basin has been destroyed – and with it the entire existence of the huge forest area is at stake. This is according to a detailed report presented at the Amazon Summit in Peru’s capital Lima at the beginning of the week. The report was written and presented by a consortium of indigenous peoples. It was linked to political demands on how the home of the rainforest inhabitants could still be saved. amazonwatch.org (report), tagesspiegel.de
False green promises: Many financial investments advertised as sustainable contain companies that are active in the arms or oil industry. tagesschau.de
Online climate: Tweets sent in the USA point to a limit to human tolerance of heat. tagesspiegel.de
Climate activist against PSG behaviour. Union professional scolds Mbappé’s ignorance: They are both professional footballers, but their positions on climate protection are completely different. While Union professional Morten Thorsby is an activist for the climate, Kylian Mbappé doesn’t seem to care at all. Professional footballer and climate activist Morten Thorsby of Bundesliga team 1. FC Union Berlin is harshly critical of the thoughtless behaviour of superstar Kylian Mbappé and coach Christophe Galtier of Paris St. Germain. „It’s a shame, but not surprising. We are most disappointed in the coach, he should know better. We would wish the same of Mbappé,“ Thorsby told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. n-tv.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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