IMF chief calls for funds to fight climate change: International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva has called on G-20 members to lead by example in the fight against the climate crisis and poverty after the summit in India. They must deliver on the promised $100 billion a year in climate finance and strengthen multilateral development banks, a statement said Sunday. „Our (…) planet is threatened by existential climate change,“ Georgieva said. Large-scale investments by both the international community and the private sector are needed, she said. At the same time, countries need to support the green transition, for example through tax reforms.The IMF chief cautioned that while the global economy was just recovering from „a series of severe shocks,“ the global economy was not recovering from a series of severe shocks. However, she said, the medium-term growth outlook is the weakest in decades, while inflation and interest rates remain high. As a global body, the IMF is supposed to watch that no major currency turbulence develops and leads to political unpredictability. Among other things, it grants loans to over-indebted countries and countries in payment difficulties. finanzen.net
Climate protection in an international comparison: Grade three minus for Germany: Researchers see deficits in German climate protection policy. In particular, the Ministry of Transport and the heating law are criticized. China is ahead in the production of solar and wind power plants, car batteries and jobs in climate-friendly sectors. In the current Climate Action Tracker (CAT), Germany is rated „insufficient“. rnd.de
384.1 megawatt hours
a wind turbine jointly developed by Three Gorges Corporation and Goldwind has generated electric power within 24 hours. However, tropical typhoon Haikui, which caused much damage in southern China, helped a lot to this enormous production. golem.de
Solar parks on every highway – Without the consent of local authorities? An amendment to the Building Code makes it easier to build solar parks, for example on freeways and railroad lines. Landowners can expect significantly higher lease prices. What is supposed to drive the energy turnaround is causing trouble in some communities – because they no longer have a say. welt.de
Heating Act passed: Last Friday, the German Bundestag once again discussed the Building Energy Act (GEG) and passed the law with a large majority. This means that a sometimes emotional discussion about this important law can come to an end and the serious side can begin: a farewell to fossil fuels for heating. Much criticism from associations accompanied this law until the end – too long deadlines, too little funding, unclear consequences for municipal heating planning. In the coming months, it will become clear which developments are actually triggered by this, and what should be changed after all. fair-economics.de
Fridays for Future calls for climate money: Shortly before the next major climate strike on September 15, Fridays for Future is calling for the implementation of the climate money agreed in the traffic light coalition agreement as social compensation for rising CO₂ prices. „This money is important so that the climate protection we need can actually have a social impact,“ activist Luisa Neubauer told Deutsche Presse-Agentur at a Fridays for Future press conference outside the Berlin Chancellery on Tuesday. She thus reiterated existing demands. faz.net
Lemke and the wolf: If a wolf kills many farm animals, it should be easier to shoot it in the future. This is what Environment Minister Lemke is advocating, according to a media report. Concrete proposals are to be available at the end of the month. According to a newspaper report, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke wants to make it easier to shoot wolves and thus better protect grazing animals such as sheep. „Shootings of wolves after wolf depredations must be possible more quickly and with less bureaucracy,“ the Green Party politician told Die Welt newspaper. „If dozens of sheep are torn and lie dead on the pasture, then it is a tragedy for every grazing animal owner and a very big burden for the affected. Therefore, they need more support and security.“ At the end of September, she wants to present concrete proposals. tagesschau.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Der breite Staat
Sustainable Liberalism Beyond Capitalism – A Utopia
Liberal democracy could be a utopia. But in the form of the neoliberal lean state, it is in crisis. The promise of prosperity of the social market economy has become fragile – and the economic growth necessary to achieve it threatens the future of the planet.
Dominik Vogt develops the idea of a „broad state“ as an alternative: Instead of transforming the growth-dependent economy, he proposes to become independent of the capitalist economy itself. To this end, he subjects work and property to a reconsideration and argues for a new kind of social participation – through basic income and social services.
In his polemic, Dominik Vogt thus outlines a new interplay between democratic politics, liberal society and a free market economy. Only a broad foundation of collective services of general interest enables individual freedom and genuine self-responsibility. In the „broad state“, the community provides for basic needs – the market economy serves luxury.
Heat, frost, heavy rain: This is how German vintners are arming themselves against climate change. stern.de
Germany could mine lithium for years: Researchers in Karlsruhe are now certain that significant quantities can be tapped relatively easily in Germany. spiegel.de
After nuclear phase-out: Germany imports more electricity. faz.net
Ex-VW boss: Wants to revolutionize solar industry. n-tv.de
IAA: Chancellor’s tour disrupted by Greenpeace. spiegel.de
Storm: „Biblical catastrophe“ in Greece. zdf.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:
Mid-term review of the traffic light: Will Olaf Scholz still be climate chancellor?
The SPD, the Greens and the FDP had promised a lot. And now? In the podcast, an energy expert and a transport expert discuss what the traffic light must now deliver in order not to fail in climate protection. Olaf Scholz wanted nothing less than to be climate chancellor, and FDP leader Christina Lindner promised at the start of government almost two years ago: „No industrialized nation will do more for climate protection than Germany.“ Expectations of the coalition were high, as all three parties could theoretically complement each other well when it came to climate protection. But this episode also looks at why in practice the Greens and the FDP, in particular, keep getting stuck in each other’s craw, why it is the free-market economists from the Liberals who are blocking a higher CO₂ price, and why climate money is now urgently needed. tagesspiegel.de
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
Listen to the voices of African civil society!
by Kathrin Henneberger
… The demands of the African states, set out in the Nairobi Declaration, are clear: the global North must finally deliver on its promises.
In addition to debt relief, this primarily involves providing the promised $100 billion in annual climate financing and quickly making operational the fund for offsetting climate damage agreed at last year’s climate summit in Egypt. Negotiations on this at the next climate summit in Dubai at the end of the year will be crucial. … That is why the expansion of renewable energies must not be limited to exports. What is needed are solutions for a nationwide energy supply for the population. The development of so-called minigrids, decentralized energy systems, is a suitable option for this. This is already being done, but much more effort is needed.
…Africa has been portrayed as a victim for too long by the so-called industrialized countries, also and especially in development policy circles. While it is true that Africa is disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, this does not mean that the countries of the global North should dictate to African countries how to deal with it. The solutions exist, they just need to be recognized as such and supported.
Civil society forces in African countries must finally be recognized and taken seriously. Environmental and climate activists have been fighting on many fronts for decades. The only way to combat fossil fuel exploitation is to end fossil fuel combustion and its financing – and this continues to come to a large extent from the countries that also historically have the largest CO2 footprint. klimareporter.de
Equality with e-cars: Lindner wants to give tax breaks to e-fuels. golem.de
Mobility turnaroundCulture war over the bicycle – or the car after all? Cities argue about new bike lanes and old parking lots. What happens when the space for the traffic turnaround becomes too small? Because there is no way around a traffic turnaround if Germany wants to reduce its CO₂ emissions in the problem area of traffic. And that also means fewer cars. And inevitably more bicycles? spiegel.de
Auto show IAA: Scholz defends individual mobility. In the face of growing criticism from climate activists, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz defended individual mobility as a major social achievement and called on the automotive industry to make electric cars affordable for all. euractiv.de
EHI study: Drive types of the future in logistics 2023: Sustainability aspects are gaining importance in all areas of retail. Particular potential lies in logistics, which is why climate-neutral driving in the transport of goods and merchandise will gain in importance in the near future. „The rapidly changing transport landscape will increasingly have to address issues surrounding alternative drive technologies in order to make its contribution to Co2 reduction and achieve climate targets,“ explains study author Niklas Stanislawski. Above all, electromobility, hydrogen and fuel cell technology can be used in both urban and long-distance transport. stores-shop.de
More night train services: Deutsche Bahn and Austrian Railways (OBB) have announced new connections for the pan-European night train network. Starting in December, Nightjet trains are to run three times a week from Berlin and Vienna to Paris and Brussels. Daily connections are then to be offered on the routes from fall 2024. tagesschau.de
Study: Competencies in e-mobility higher in German industry than elsewhere. ecomento.de
The fate of Europe’s hydrogen industry could be decided in Washington: While Europe has opted for strict renewable hydrogen production standards, upcoming U.S. regulations could prove crucial for the EU’s electrolyzer industry. Electrolysers, which convert water into hydrogen, are considered the cornerstone of the future net-zero industry. As a result, the technology is the focus of the Net-Zero Industry Act, the EU’s push for green industrial policy. „However, the manufacture of electrolysers for hydrogen production is currently still a nascent industry,“ notes the International Energy Agency. It expects U.S., Chinese and European manufacturers to dominate the global market by 2030. Already, Europe is expected to produce more electrolysers than it wants to install, setting the stage for global exports. „EU electrolysers are among the best in the world,“ says Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, lobby chief for Hydrogen Europe. Still, European electrolyzer manufacturers warned in January that China and the U.S. were threatening to steal their thunder. „The first electrolyzer project with stacks from China has already been installed in Europe.“ euractiv.com.
Researchers take a critical view of e-fuels in cars: The FDP is backing cars that fill up with synthetic fuels. But the scarce hydrogen would be better used elsewhere, experts say. How much of it can realistically be provided for Germany’s energy supply? faz.net
Enabling a market for hydrogen: Renewable and decarbonized gases are a central building block for the energy supply of the future. „In the future, renewable and decarbonized gases – i.e. hydrogen and biomethane – will play a central role in the energy system as partners of renewable energies,“ says Dr. Kirsten Westphal, member of the BDEW Executive Board. „Because one thing is clear: Full electrification will not be possible. It won’t work without molecules.“ That applies to applications in the industrial and transport sectors, she said. But especially for future electricity and heat supply: „Through their use in controllable gas-fired power plants and CHP plants, renewable and decarbonized gases contribute to the necessary flexibilities in the future energy system and make the energy supply more resilient.“ bdew.de
McKinsey: One million tons of hydrogen will be needed annually along the Rhine corridor by 2030: According to the consulting firm’s Energy Transition Index, a clear and reliable target picture and a process to get there must be developed in the course of the German hydrogen strategy. Only then would investment decisions be possible in the short term. pv-magazine.de
Africa Climate Summit: Green hydrogen strategy launched from Kenya. ec.europa.eu
Guide to the hydrogen era: acatech and DECHEMA present H2 Compass: The German government’s hydrogen strategy marks Germany’s departure into the hydrogen economy. With the H2 Compass, acatech and DECHEMA are now providing orientation for possible paths to this goal. Based on data and facts, the digital H2 Compass shows options for action on production, transport, import and use. One conclusion: Germany will remain an energy importer even with hydrogen – but can greatly reduce critical dependencies compared to oil and gas. wasserstoff-kompass.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG:
Bundestag passes Building Energy Act despite fierce criticism: Members of the German Bundestag passed the so-called Heating Act on Friday, September 8, 2023. In a roll call vote, 397 MPs voted in favor of the bill to amend the Building Energy Act (GEG), to amend the Heating Costs Ordinance and to amend the Sweeping and Inspection Ordinance (20/6875) as amended by the Committee on Climate Protection and Energy. 275 parliamentarians voted against the bill and five abstained. A resolution recommendation by the Committee on Climate Protection and Energy (20/7619) with extensive amendments to the government bill and a report by the Budget Committee pursuant to Section 96 of the Rules of Procedure of the Bundestag on financial feasibility (20/7620) were available for the vote. The vote on the bill was originally scheduled for July 7. bundestag.de
Union parliamentary group promotes near-surface geothermal energy: The Union parliamentary group is promoting greater support for the use of near-surface geothermal energy. In their motion (20/8210) entitled „Exploiting the potential of geothermal energy – removing hurdles, minimizing risks, easing the burden on the electricity sector“, the CDU and CSU members of parliament call on the federal government, among other things, to regularly take near-surface geothermal energy into account in the specifications for municipal heating planning, also to create an effective incentive for the expansion of cold heat networks and neighborhood solutions, so that geothermal solutions are used in preference to air-source heat pumps in existing buildings – and to work towards simplifying and speeding up the approval procedures for near-surface geothermal energy in the federal states. „If possible, they should be bundled in one approval authority,“ the motion says. It should also be examined whether binding procedural deadlines should be introduced for this purpose. In addition, standardization of EIA and nature conservation law should be considered.
What we are facing is a completely different category of crisis than the examples you mentioned. These are orders of magnitude that we cannot even imagine. If we continue as we are, the earth will heat up by three to four degrees by 2100 in the worse scenarios. This will be accompanied by extreme changes to which we can no longer simply adapt. It is a serious existential crisis that humanity is experiencing.
Professor Stephan Heinzel, psychologist, Yes, fear is a very natural, appropriate reaction. And recent studies have shown that people with moderate levels of anxiety are often more active in climate protection. A certain level of fear can be conducive to climate-conscious action. Many people do not realize the magnitude of the problem. The latest scientific findings are clear and are being communicated more and more clearly. But many people do not look at what science says, what needs to be done and what was agreed in the Paris climate agreement. This is where the problem lies. zeit.de
Africa is calling for a different financial system: The Africa Climate Summit has been meeting in Nairobi since yesterday. The aim is to steer the growth of African economies in a green direction. The international financial system also stands in the way of this. From the point of view of the African countries, it systematically disadvantages their countries because they have to pay higher interest rates. As a result, many developing countries are in danger of slipping into a debt crisis, since a large part of their budget is used to repay public and private loans. Rising interest rates have recently exacerbated the situation. Kenya’s President William Ruto, who is hosting the three-day summit, is one of those better known for advocating a shake-up of international financial institutions. The stated goal is to steer the growth of African economies in green directions, through the massive expansion of renewable energy and clean technologies. So far, only a small portion of the world’s renewable energy investment has gone to African countries – yet the potential for renewable energy is enormous. „In the past decade, only two percent of global renewable energy investment has flowed to Africa,“ said Wangari Muchiri of Africa Wind Power, a wind power initiative for the African continent. So far, only wind energy with an installed capacity of 7,300 megawatts is available there. klimareporter.de
Food supply in Ethiopia remains difficult: Poverty, hunger and malnutrition continue at a high level in Ethiopia. In 2021, 100.8 million Ethiopians would not have been able to afford a healthy diet, writes the German government in a response (20/8148) to a minor question (20/8003) from the AfD parliamentary group. 26.4 million members of the Ethiopian population would have been affected by hunger in the period 2020 to 2022, about 6.3 million children under five years in 2022 chronically malnourished and about 1.2 million children under five years acutely malnourished. While Ethiopia has a wide variety of fertile farmland, agricultural yields are low, the response continues. Significant increases in production over the past 30 years have not been sufficient to ensure access to healthy food for the rapidly growing population. In addition, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has caused already high food and fertilizer prices to rise further, it said. The German government stresses that it is following the development of agricultural production and trade in Ethiopia and is in close contact with its partners there.
After earthquake in Morocco: Hundreds of people are still missing: After the severe earthquake in Morocco with at least 2,000 dead, the search for survivors continues. The emergency forces are making only slow progress in the mountains. In addition, numerous aftershocks are complicating the search for missing persons. The number of victims is rising by the hour. zdf.de
ECB is in favor of more climate activism: A faster transformation is not only good for the climate, it also contributes to the stability of the financial world. The ECB warns that if policymakers continue to drag their feet on climate action, it could in fact massively increase credit default risks for banks. That’s according to the second climate stress test, the results of which it published Wednesday. „We need more decisive policy action to ensure a faster transition to a net-zero economy in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement,“ ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos urged. „If we continue as we are, the risks and costs to the economy and the financial system will increase,“ de Guindos said. The ECB had conducted a first climate stress test two years ago. taz.de
Mismanagement is to blame for Europe’s water shortage: Agriculture, dwindling wetlands and encroachment on flowing waters: According to a recent study, this water shortage in Europe is largely due to „decades of water mismanagement“ and not primarily to climate change, the WWF now reports. Virtually everywhere in Europe, wetlands have been drained, rivers straightened, canalized and dammed, and groundwater recharge areas destroyed, according to a study published Thursday by the environmental organization. The climate crisis, with more frequent droughts, is further increasing the water risk for Europe, the authors say. The report highlights different examples of water mismanagement and theft in Europe. derstandard.at
How dengue fever is becoming a growing problem: Some countries in South America and Asia are currently seeing an increase in dengue cases. The government of Guatemala, for example, has declared a state of health emergency due to the fever. In Bangladesh, on the other hand, the WHO announced that the country had joined India and dengue had now become endemic there. The current outbreak is the largest in Bangladesh, with about 120,000 infections and 570 deaths. There is no government vaccination program in the country. fair-economics.de
Shifting tourism flows: It’s getting hotter in the Mediterranean – with consequences for travel behavior. zdf.de
Rather not: How climate neutral are wood heaters really? sueddeutsche.de
Drought in South America: Lake Titicaca is running out of water. n-tv.de
From tens of thousands to hundreds of listings: New York significantly limits Airbnb
In New York, apartments may now only be rented out on a short-term basis if you remain present. This is likely to drastically reduce the supply on Airbnb & Co. In New York, far-reaching specifications for apartment brokers are now being enforced and it is assumed that this will result in the loss of thousands, or even tens of thousands, of offers for the U.S. metropolis at the industry leader Airbnb alone, compared to high times. This is reported by US media such as the New York Times and lists which rules now apply. The city’s rules, which have now been upheld by the courts, stipulate that apartments may only be sublet for less than 30 days at a time if the residents are present during that time. In addition, no more than two people may move in. After a series of court cases, the rules are now to be implemented. Penalties can be imposed on providers and platforms for violations. heise.de
All images unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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