Difficult coalition negotiations expected: The election result in the Bundestag election is not clear at the time of going to press, with the CDU and SPD candidates for chancellor, Arnim Laschet and Olaf Scholz claiming victory. At present (Sunday 23:00) the results are as follows: CDU 24.1 SPD 25.9 AfD 10.4 FDP 11.5 Left 5.4 Greens 14.7 Others 8.4 The two major parties are each dependent on two coalition partners. With the Greens, climate protection will be one of the important issues, how that will go with the respective partners and with the FDP, which is also needed to form an alliance, is so far completely up in the air. On election night, both Olaf Scholz and Arnim Laschet were still courting the Greens and the FDP.
klimareporter.de , taz.de
UN General Assembly sends climate signals: At the UN General Assembly in New York last week, positive signals were sent towards climate change. Joe Biden, in his first appearance as US President before the General Assembly, called for more international cooperation. He then announced that he wanted to double the US contribution to international climate aid to 11.4 billion US dollars in 2024. Whether the US Congress will agree, however, is open. taz.de
The mountain of e-waste worldwide currently amounts to more than 50 million tonnes per year.
In 2030, the United Nations University predicts that there will be 75 million people using electronic devices, and by 2050 there will be 111 million. There are several reasons for the increase, one being digitalisation, so that more and more devices are equipped with electronic parts, and the number of users is also increasing. In addition, product life cycles are decreasing. taz.de
Forest fires cause record carbon emissions: Many places in the northern hemisphere have burned this year, causing carbon emissions to rise to record levels. The EU’s Copernicus atmospheric monitoring service has measured carbon emissions that have never been so high in the months of July and August this year since measurements began in 2003. 1258.8 megatonnes of CO2 were released in the two months from fires alone. In August, the figure was as high as 1384.6 megatonnes. More than half of the emitted carbon in July and August was thus released by fires in North America and Siberia. zdf.de
Is the climate conference in Glasgow in danger of failing? According to experts, the climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, is in danger of failing. At the moment, the pressure is mounting for stronger efforts, because the 1.5-degree target of the Paris climate agreement is now unattainable without an immediate change of course, according to a UN report. „I call on all Member States to be more ambitious in their national contributions to Cop 26 and to translate their commitments into concrete and immediate action,“ UN Secretary-General António Guterres appealed at a high-level UN Security Council meeting on climate and security on Thursday. Global emissions must be reduced by 45 per cent by 2030 or the „devastating impacts“ of the climate crisis will become unmanageable. In the general debate of the UN General Assembly, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that humanity was in control of its own destiny: „We have a great power to change things or to change things for the better, and a great power to save ourselves. derstandard.at
China renounces the export of coal-fired power plants: Against global warming, China wants to stop building coal-fired power plants abroad. Chinese leader Xi announced in his speech at the General Debate of the UN General Assembly in New York that China will no longer build coal-fired power plants abroad to combat global warming. China will increase its support for other developing countries in the expansion of green energies and energies with low CO2 emissions, he said. Xi also stressed the importance of international cooperation. Instead of confrontation and exclusion, dialogue must be sought, he said. deutschlandfunk.de
Gorleben to be closed for good: The Federal Environment Ministry has announced that the mine in Gorleben, Lower Saxony, formerly considered as a potential nuclear waste repository, will be closed for good. The ministry had decided to „entrust the Federal Company for Final Disposal (BGE) with the decommissioning of the mine“. The salt mine is now to be backfilled. The planning and considerations in Gorleben go back decades and were accompanied by countless protests during the discussion about a nuclear repository. The end does not come as a surprise: In the context of the German search for a final repository, the mine was finally removed from the list of potential sites by the BGE in September 2021 due to considerable doubts about the geological suitability of the site. zeit.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Flussnatur – Ein faszinierender Lebensraum im Wandel
„Giving rivers more space again is the order of the day. This protects against flooding and replenishes the groundwater. „Josef H. Reichholf
Whether long-lasting drought or heavy rain: Extreme weather events often express themselves directly in rivers. However, droughts and floods are not solely the consequences of climate change: because riparian forests have been cleared, wetlands drained, tributaries straightened and areas sealed over decades, the water flow in rivers is becoming increasingly extreme. The good news is that if we let our rivers flow freely again, they will become true natural wonders. We can draw drinking and industrial water from them. Life develops in them in lush abundance.
Josef H. Reichholf takes us to various rivers in Central Europe. He reports on successful renaturations, on reservoirs that have developed into bird paradises, and he brings us closer to the nature of rivers with their beauty and many special inhabitants. We need near-natural rivers more than ever. oekom.de
Dams: Resist climate management and stick to old business models. klimareporter.de
Rising gas prices: Just a foretaste. handelsblatt.com
Poland: New tones on climate targets in Poland. tagesspiegel.de
Palm oil: German government abolishes subsidies for blending in fuels. spiegel.de
Lithium: The German Lithium Institute ITEL opens in Halle and researches future technologies. mdr.de
Thirsty strike: Scholz promises talks with protesters. spiegel.de
Brandenburg: Vestas closes wind power plant in Brandenburg. welt.de
Fine: Poland must pay fine for open-cast mining. mdr.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.
Energy cost comparison at petrol stations: From October, large petrol stations in Germany will have to display a comparison of energy costs for different types of drive. Customers will be able to see the costs – depending on the size of the vehicle – for 100 kilometres with different energy sources from hydrogen to electricity to premium petrol. With this regulation, Germany is implementing an EU requirement. greenpeace-magazin.de
Accidents with e-bikes are on the rise: Seven million e-bikes are now on the roads and cycle paths in Germany. However, this has also led to an increase in the number of accidents. Last year, more people had fatal accidents on the road with an e-bike than ever before. A total of 142 people, that is 20 per cent more than in 2019, yet 2019 was a year in which there was less traffic due to the pandemic and the number of overall accidents also fell. Experts are therefore calling for better driver training courses. tagesschau.de
New concepts for rail transport: According to the Federal Government, the TEE concept (Trans Europe Express) provides for the expansion of the European night train network in addition to the expansion of high-speed transport during the day. This is stated in the government’s answer (19/32378) to a small question of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group (19/31991). On 28 June 2021, the first journey of the night train Berlin – Copenhagen – Stockholm operated by a private company took place, writes the Federal Government. The new night train cooperation between Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG), the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and the French state railway company (SNCF) for the further expansion of trans-European night transport is a first concrete building block for the implementation of the TEE concept developed by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in practice, the submission states. Further new services are planned within the framework of the new night train cooperation. From December 2021, there will be the night train Zurich – Cologne – Amsterdam and the night train Vienna – Munich – Paris. From December 2022, the night train Zurich – Hildesheim – Berlin/Hamburg is planned to be split into two separate trains Zurich – Hamburg and Zurich – Berlin (with wings to Prague). From December 2023, the Berlin – Paris/Brussels night train and the extension of the existing Vienna – Paris/Brussels connections are to follow.
E-mobility from the deep sea: The island nation of Nauru wants to be the first to mine the seabed for metals needed for batteries. This is not uncontroversial. diepresse.com
Synthetic fuels in greener mobility? There are synthetic alternatives to petrol and diesel. Some say that if you want to scratch the climate curve, you can’t do without e-fuels. Others consider them stillborn. derstandard.at
What do the parties want – in terms of mobility? The next federal government – in whatever constellation it will exist – must make more progress on climate protection. How do the parties want to tackle this, what is in their election programmes? klimareporter.de
Five steps to large-scale green hydrogen production: A recent study by Gasunie Deutschland, Thyssengas and Tennet shows that north-western Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein could play a central role in the future production of green hydrogen. They propose a five-step development path to enable large-scale green hydrogen production in 2035. element-eins.eu
Federal Ministry of Economics pushes hydrogen at sea: Ordinance on the allocation of areas for hydrogen production at sea published. The Ordinance on the Allocation of Other Energy Production Areas in the Exclusive Economic Zone (SoEnergieV) is being promulgated today in the Federal Gazette and will come into force on 01.10.2021. This will create the possibility to practically test hydrogen production from offshore electricity. Up to now, electrolysis for hydrogen production has only taken place on land. Business and industry will now have the opportunity to use and test offshore electrolysis for the first time. bmwi.de
Hydrogen – value chains and fields of application: Hydrogen can and should become a central energy carrier for a successful energy transition. Within the framework of a study  commissioned by the Chambers of Industry and Commerce in North Rhine-Westphalia e. V. (IHK NRW), the management consultancy BET examined three fields of activity and seven use cases for hydrogen. ingenieur.de
Thüga is testing pure hydrogen in the gas grid: A grid line of Energie Südbayern (ESB) is to be supplied with 100 percent hydrogen over an initial period of 18 months: This is a gas stock network. zfk.de
Development of ammonia technologies for the transport of green hydrogen – Launch of TransHyDE: TransHyDE is launched, one of three hydrogen lead projects of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) from the Future Package for the implementation of the „National Hydrogen Strategy“ adopted in Germany in 2020. With its largest research initiative to date on the topic of „energy transition“, the BMBF is supporting Germany’s entry into the hydrogen economy. Over a period of four years, the lead projects are to remove existing hurdles that impede Germany’s entry into a hydrogen economy. TransHyDE researches and develops technologies for the transport of hydrogen. idw-online.de
Airbus wants hydrogen propulsion: Too complicated, too complex, too expensive – hydrogen has long been doubted as a propulsion technology for aircraft. But aircraft manufacturer Airbus is now forging ahead. CEO Guillaume Faury even predicts a triumphant advance of hydrogen technology for aircraft in the industry. In the meantime, even previously sceptical engine manufacturers have changed their minds about this technology, said the manager. Faury predicts that „other manufacturers will follow suit“ – without mentioning the main rival Boeing from the USA by name. Airbus wants to bring a market-ready hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft to market by 2035, making CO2-neutral flying possible. A first prototype is to take off in 2030 with liquid hydrogen. deraktionaer.de
Further development of fuel cells by FURTHER-FC: The importance of hydrogen technology is growing rapidly. It covers many areas from production to use. Of particular interest is the – CO2-neutral – green hydrogen produced using renewable energies, which will contribute to future, sustainable electromobility. In addition to the use of purely battery-electric vehicles, this will also require the use of fuel cell vehicles, which obtain their electrical energy from hydrogen. In order to use it with even greater efficiency, the currently available fuel cells must be further improved. innovations-report.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
Governmental foresight of the Federal Government: The task of foresight is to develop possible different future scenarios and to identify suitable options for action. This is stated in an answer of the federal government (19/32447) to a minor question of the FDP parliamentary group (19/32117). Foresight methods are supposed to look ahead in the medium to long term (five to 30 years). The purpose of foresight is not to prioritise or categorise the results, but to „open up thinking spaces“ and initiate social discourse. Therefore, it is an element of every foresight process to enter into a dialogue with different social groups about the different futures and current options for action, for example through conferences, citizens‘ dialogues, publications, expert workshops or digital discussion formats. The FUTUR process of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in 2002 focused not only on „scientific and technological developments but also on identifying socio-economic trends“. The scenarios developed for the year 2020, for example, would have contributed in many ways to anticipating many aspects of life in a networked and digital everyday world (scenario „Tina and her butler“) or to taking up the involvement of customers in product development at an early stage (scenario „Problem XY unsolved“).
Composition of electricity prices for households: Revenues from the electricity tax amounted to about 133.6 billion euros from 1999 to 2020 inclusive. This is reported by the Federal Government in its answer (19/32266) to a small question of the FDP parliamentary group (19/32024). According to the submission, electricity prices for households in Germany have risen from 29.8 ct/kWh in 2016 to 32.1 ct/kWh in 2020. The EEG levy had risen from 6.4 ct/kWh to 6.8 ct/kWh in the same period. According to the submission, the price share for procurement and distribution was 7.4 ct/kWh in 2016 and 8.0 ct/kWh in 2020 – the price share for grid charges and metering was 6.8 ct/kWh (2016) and 7.1 ct/kWh (2020). Consequently, more than half of the electricity price for households consisted of taxes, levies and charges in both 2016 and 2020.
Connection between extreme weather and climate change: The connection between man-made climate change and increasing extreme weather events is scientifically convincing, according to the Federal Government. The latest assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) encourages the federal government to continue with ambitious climate protection, according to an answer (19/32386) to a minor question (19/32030) of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group. However, based on the available data, no statistically reliable conclusions can be drawn about a change in the number of extremely heavy rainfalls, the answer continues. However, climate projections until the end of the 21st century show that the probability of heavy precipitation events in Germany is likely to increase in the future. However, the extent to which the risk of extreme precipitation increases with every tenth of a degree of warming cannot be quantified. In addition, the Federal Government says it considers it necessary to draw up heavy rainfall risk maps according to uniform standards. In the light of the findings from the recent flood disaster, it is therefore being examined whether the Federal Water Act should be amended with a view to drawing up such risk maps.
Federal government defends supply chain law: Based on the results of the NAP monitoring (National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights), the federal government has come to the conclusion that a voluntary commitment alone is not sufficient for companies to adequately fulfil their human rights due diligence along their supply chains. This is why the coalition has agreed on a supply chain law in this legislative period, the government emphasises in its answer (19/32238) to a minor question (19/31870) of the FDP parliamentary group. „In addition, the Federal Government supports the EU Commission’s plan to propose a European legislative act on sustainable corporate governance before the end of this year, which should also contain binding due diligence obligations in global value chains. An EU-wide regulation can, on the one hand, increase the effectiveness of the protection of human rights and, on the other hand, create uniform competitive conditions in the internal market,“ the answer continues.
„All parties signed the Paris climate agreement six years ago, none has a programme that meets the 1.5 degree target“
Clara Reemtsma, spokesperson for the German Fridays for Future movement, said that in the midst of the escalating climate crisis, this was a scandal. The Greens are also not ambitious enough. They too were building on the illusion of green growth, although it was clear that we had to get away from these rigid growth forecasts. In any case, the Greens are not the natural allies of the climate movement. The Greens would like to be, but they are not. We will not make election appeals for certain parties as long as no party has a programme for the 1.5-degree target. welt.de
VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
Germany is experiencing heat waves with record temperatures, fires with clouds of smoke over entire continents and, most recently, floods after heavy rain, only the beginning of the climate crisis. Extreme weather events are now considered normal. The average global temperature has already risen by more than one degree since the industrial revolution. What does that mean for us? zeit.de
PODCAST OF THE WEEK:
Is natural gas still worth it? There is currently a lot of investment in natural gas. New power plants or pipelines like Nord Stream 2 cost billions. Yet Germany wants to be climate-neutral soon. So is it still worth investing in fossil fuels at all? Natural gas is burned in this country to generate energy and heat. In the first half of 2021, gas was Germany’s third most important energy source. A big advantage: the power plants can generate electricity and district heating regardless of the weather. A major disadvantage, on the other hand: when natural gas is extracted, methane is also released – a climate gas that is 84 times more harmful than CO₂. The methane is released into the atmosphere through drilling or leaks in the pipelines. So is it worth continuing to invest in natural gas, even though Germany wants to be climate neutral soon? And is it really a bridging technology to renewables? spiegel.de
Over 100,000 on the run in Burundi: In the East African country of Burundi, the consequences of climate change have driven over 100,000 people to flee their homes. „Over 84 percent of all internally displaced people in Burundi have not been displaced by conflict, but by natural disasters,“ explains the British aid organisation Save the Children. According to the organisation, the biggest problem is the rise of Lake Tanganyika, the second largest lake in Africa. In East Africa, extreme weather conditions such as persistent heavy rainfall have increased. This is mainly attributed to the strong temperature difference at the sea surface between the western and eastern areas of the Indian Ocean. The waters around East Africa were recently about two degrees Celsius warmer than those of the eastern Indian Ocean near Australia. zeit.de
Namibia: Protests in Namibia before vote on reconciliation agreement: On Tuesday, about 400 opposition members protest in front of the Namibian parliament building in view of the upcoming vote on the German-Namibian reconciliation agreement. The agreement between Namibia and Germany, announced in May after six years of negotiations and processing, was to be ratified by the Namibian parliament this week. In the course of the agreement, Germany publicly acknowledges the genocide committed against the Herero and Nama population groups during the colonial period. In addition to the German admission of guilt, the political agreement also includes the willingness to provide around 1.1 billion euros over the next 30 years for projects that will benefit the Namibian population. africa-live.de
Slow vaccination progress in Africa: Long wait for the spade. Vaccination in Africa continues to make slow progress – only 4 percent of the people are fully immunised. This is not only due to too few doses. taz.de
Equatorial Guinea: At the negotiating table with a kleptocrat: How do you get a corrupt family clan to use its embezzled millions for the common good? Luxury cars and real estate belonging to the corrupt vice-president of Equatorial Guinea were recently confiscated in Switzerland and France. How can the money be transferred back to the country without disappearing into the regime’s pockets again? nzz.ch
Morocco: Algeria announced on Wednesday the closure of its airspace to all Moroccan flights. The decision was taken by the Algerian High Security Council, which includes the country’s main civil and military authorities. A statement from the Algerian presidential office said that the closure of the airspace was made „in view of the continuation of provocations and hostile practices from the Moroccan side“. taz.de
Nigeria: Cholera outbreak – a preventable crisis. Nigeria is experiencing its worst cholera outbreak in years. It highlights the poor state of hygiene and access to sanitation. zeit.de
Rwanda: Guilty verdict for „Hotel Rwanda“ hero in terrorism trial. A court in Rwanda has found „Hotel Rwanda“ hero Paul Rusesabagina guilty of terrorism. Rusesabagina had provided financial and logistical support to the armed wing of an opposition movement he co-founded, the court said during the sentencing in Kigali. This armed wing, the National Liberation Front, was responsible for deadly attacks in Rwanda in 2018 and 2019, it added. derstandard.at
Tunisia: Parliament remains in forced recess. Despite protests, Tunisia’s President Saied wants to continue to govern only by means of controversial presidential decrees. He knows that the majority of Tunisians are behind him. taz.de
Africa: The Next German Chancellor Must Prioritise Ties With Africa. allafrica.com
World Tourism Day: African Tourism Council and the African Union Development Agency stand for a sustainable partnership in tourism. YouTube.com
New again from October! The new magazine from Weltsichten: With the following topics –
HUMAN RIGHTS: Homophobia is not African | ZAMBIA: Election victory at the sixth attempt | LOBBYISM: Nuclear power for the climate?
Pentecostals on the rise Young churches are gaining influence – also on politics.
Climate-friendly building materials could save millions of tonnes of CO₂: A climate protection quota for steel and plastic could save as much CO₂ as the entire domestic air traffic in Germany, an analysis shows. Even if it only applied to government construction projects. There is thus great potential for climate protection in the construction of new buildings. According to a calculation by the Institute of the German Economy in Cologne (IW), 1.9 million tonnes of CO₂ could be saved annually in the public awarding of contracts to the construction industry alone. The state is one of the largest builders in Germany. The potential CO2 savings correspond to the amount of greenhouse gases caused by domestic air traffic in Germany every year. spiegel.de
The true price of gold is much higher: gold is considered crisis-proof and anyone who is self-respecting has some of it in the safe. But not all that glitters during extraction is gold. For example in Brazil, where the Yanomami and other indigenous peoples in the Amazon lowlands pay a high price for it. Illegal mining with its destructive potential and criminal methods is eating into the tribes‘ territories. spektrum.de
Heating with the neighbour’s bath water: sustainable solutions do not always have to be complicated. A simple solution shows how more efficiency can be achieved with existing energy. A wastewater energy network is being used for the new construction of the „Wien Kanal“ headquarters in Inzersdorf in Vienna Favoriten. In future, the almost 4,000 square metre building will be heated and cooled entirely with energy obtained from the wastewater canal in Großmarktstraße through heat exchangers. futurezone.at
WHO: Demands stricter guidelines on air pollution. dlf.de
Young shoppers: Paying attention to the environment and climate. ontetoone.de
Sunlight: Decomposes plastic into tens of thousands of compounds. forschung-und-wissen.de
Bitcoin mining: According to a new study, mining the cryptocurrency Bitcoin not only consumes a lot of electricity, but also generates large amounts of electronic waste: the mass of discarded mining machines amounts to around 30,700 tonnes per year. This is roughly equivalent to the annual volume of small electrical appliances of a smaller country like the Netherlands. If the price of bitcoin increases, this could even rise to over 64,400 tonnes. heise.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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