Lindner questions gas levy and promotes price brake: The gas levy may be on the brink of extinction: The Federal Minister of Finance questions the economic sense of the instrument. At the same time, more and more politicians are calling for a gas price brake.The federal government has for the first time given detailed figures on the costs of a possible price cap for electricity and gas. In order to reduce the end consumer price for electricity by one cent per kilowatt hour, the state would have to raise 1.3 billion euros. To reduce the gas price by one cent, even 2.5 billion euros would be required. This was written by the Federal Ministry of Economics in its answer to a question by the Left Party in the Bundestag. handelsblatt.com, tagesschau.de
Scholz wants to invest in nature conservation: It is the UN General Assembly and time for big words. On the sidelines of the General Assembly, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany wants to significantly increase its contribution to international nature conservation. By 2025, 1.5 billion euros per year will be made available for this purpose, Scholz said in a video message during an event in New York. Germany is thus making the largest financial commitment of all industrialised countries to date. The German government is thus concretising promises on nature conservation funding made by the G-7 countries at their summit in Elmau this year. The environmental organisation World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) states that Germany would thus more than double its payments. zeit.de
That is almost one third of all trees are threatened with extinction. This is about twice as many as there are threatened mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles combined. Mass plantations of trees actually exacerbate the problem, as often only very few species are cultivated. It is not just about the sheer number of trees, but also about species diversity. A single species can form the basis of an entire ecological network. Hundreds of plant conservationists around the world are working to save those trees that are threatened with extinction. Trees do not have a good lobby, and rare specimens are difficult to grow. spektrum.de
More than a quarter of a million people on the streets: Thousands of people have once again taken to the streets worldwide for more climate protection following a call by the climate movement Fridays for Future. In Germany, according to the organisers, more than 280,000 participants were out and about on Friday – the largest demonstrations took place in Berlin and Hamburg. There were actions in more than 270 cities across Germany. The main demand is a 100 billion package for the climate. tagesschau.de
Norway’s state wealth fund puts pressure: The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund is now putting more pressure on companies. They are supposed to operate in a climate-neutral way by 2050. The sovereign wealth fund is not just any fund. The nearly 1.2 trillion euro fund has invested in more than 9,000 companies in 70 countries. So far, ten percent of them have set themselves the goal of becoming climate neutral in the foreseeable future „We are setting a target of net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest for all companies,“ said board member Carine Smith Ihenacho. The pension fund now wants to encourage everyone to develop climate plans. To do this, it wants to enter into dialogue with them, exercise its voting rights at general meetings and withdraw from their capital „as a last resort“. spiegel.de
BDI is also putting pressure – on climate protection: Despite the worrying energy crisis, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) wants to stick to the climate targets for 2030 and 2045, according to which Germany should become climate neutral. Even though nothing less is at stake in the coming weeks than ensuring the survival of industry in Germany and Europe, climate protection „must remain a high priority“, BDI President Siegfried Russwurm postulated on Thursday at the association’s climate congress in Berlin. wiwo.de , heise.de
Soon almost 40 million people working in renewables: Last year, around 12.7 million people worldwide worked in the renewable energy sector, which is an all-time high. And employment growth is unabated. By 2030, there could be around 38.2 million jobs. This is according to a study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). „The increase in jobs is mainly related to the growing demand for wind power, solar power, solar thermal power, bioenergy and hydropower,“ says Irena head Francesco La Camera. Numerous states and corporations are now investing large sums in renewable energies. „No crisis in the world, no matter how severe, seems to change that“. spiegel.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
The Road to a Climate-Friendly Society: Seven Steps to a Sustainable Future (Vienna Lectures)
What does it take to achieve a climate-just society? How should we respond to the climate and environmental crisis? These are questions that environmental historian Verena Winiwarter explores. Climate justice means dealing with resources in a way that ensures fair living conditions between generations, but also within the people living now. As an environmental historian, Verena Winiwarter shows that a different way of dealing with fossil energy is at the core of the climate justice debate. She argues that the current society, because it is not oriented towards services of general interest, massively violates human rights and proposes a constitutional convention that lays the foundation for a climate-just society with a climate-just constitution. picus.at
Northern German states: want – because they generate a lot of wind power – different electricity price zones. faz.net
Great Britain: Fracking ban lifted because of energy crisis. welt.de
Supermarkets: The Federal Environment Agency still sees potential that is not being exploited. n-tv.de
German Climate Computing Centre: A new supercomputer is to make climate simulations possible on a new scale.spiegel.de
Federal government takes over Uniper: The state’s entry into Uniper is one of the largest in the history of the Federal Republic. businessinsider.de
Climate activists: Remind political scientists „strikingly of the first RAF members“. welt.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:
The city of the future is high and green
How do cities remain liveable in the climate crisis? High-rise buildings and many small parks are part of the solution, but when it comes to water we have to think in a completely new way.
In Germany and in the EU as a whole, more than three quarters of all people live in cities. Worldwide, cities are responsible for about 80 per cent of energy consumption and for over 70 per cent of CO2 emissions.
On the one hand, cities must be adapted to climate change in order to protect many people from its consequences; on the other hand, a great deal could be done in cities to protect the climate. Climate geographer Christoph Schneider talks to Gradmesser about what the city of the future must look like. tagesspiegel.de
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
By Bernhard Pötter
Climate protection is going too slowly. But attacking fossil infrastructure for this reason would be morally, politically and strategically wrong – and counterproductive … „Direct violence against coal, oil and gas infrastructure in the sense of ‚break what breaks you‘ would perhaps bring apparent short-term victories. […] But it would cynically accept the endangerment of people and nature in order to supposedly save people and nature. Such a strategy would […] deprive the climate movement of its most important strategic levers: the willingness of the population to change. And above all: the moral orientation of the environmental movement in striving for a better and fairer world. […] If anything can be learned from the protest history of the Federal Republic, it is this: The revolution does not take place, at least not with violence“ taz.de
IAA Transportation: Electric mobility, fuel cell drives, these were the big topics at the IAA Transportation in Hanover. Nikola and Iveco are jointly focusing on electric drive and fuel cell. The Artic version of the Nikola Tre BEV is an emission-free heavy-duty truck with a range of 530 kilometres, which covers many applications with its power spectrum. As a near-production prototype, the Nikola Tre FCEV gives a preview of an electrically powered semitrailer truck for long-distance transport, which is scheduled to come in the second half of 2023 in North America and in the first half of 2024 in Europe. „The zero-emission Nikola Tre trucks – both the battery-electric and fuel cell-electric versions – are true game-changers in commercial trucking,“ says Nikola President Michael Lohscheller, „designed as electric vehicles, they are on par with their diesel competitors in terms of performance and driving experience, even in the toughest and heaviest operations.“ efahrer.com
When an app replaces the car: simple travel planning, flexible, affordable and environmentally friendly. This is what multimodal mobility promises. Its potential is high, but practical applications are rare. But there are providers who finally want to help the new networked mobility get off the ground. automotiveit.eu
Deutsche Bahn is investing more than 19 billion euros in trains by 2030: With the total of 450 planned trains, Deutsche Bahn wants to expand long-distance transport and make regional rail travel more pleasant. But there are also renovations to be made to the rail network. wiwo.de
Getting cars out of people’s heads: The discussion about mobility without a car is often conducted as an urban-rural conflict. In metropolises, about 40 percent of households live without their own car, in rural regions only about 10 percent. But what about the in-between? What about the traffic turnaround in the many cities with 50,000, 100,000 or 200,000 inhabitants in Germany? A city in the flat countryside should be made for cycling. „I have to say that Berlin-Kreuzberg is more bicycle-friendly,“ says taz editor Felix Zimmermann. He discussed with local politicians and activists under the title „The city, the bike and the climate“ taz.de
Tesla still plans battery factory – just slower: According to the Brandenburg state government, the US electric car manufacturer Tesla still plans to build a battery factory in the state, contrary to earlier reports. „The battery factory will be completed,“ wrote Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach on Twitter. According to the statement, there could only be „internal process modifications“. „But the factory is coming.“ A spokeswoman for his ministry also confirmed the construction. The US newspaper Wall Street Journal had reported last week, citing insiders, that Elon Musk’s company had suspended the construction project in order to examine possible tax advantages in choosing an alternative location in the USA. zeit.de
The focus must be on people, not cars: In Africa, South America and parts of Asia, it will take decades before electric cars are driven there. Until then, synthetic fuels can be a transitional solution in these countries for a long time, because the number of combustion engines will remain high there for a very long time. Because there are numerous opportunities to generate renewable electricity at low cost in the regions mentioned, for example in Patagonia through wind turbines, plants for the production of e-fuels definitely make sense there. Porsche operates the world’s first pilot plant for the commercial production of synthetic fuels in southern Chile. This can reduce CO2 emissions in conventional combustion engines by up to 90 per cent. For them, e-fuels are a quick solution to rapidly reduce greenhouse gases because the vehicles for them exist and the existing infrastructure for refuelling is in place. nzz.ch
Scholz is wooing the Gulf for green hydrogen: The German government is betting on a medium-term switch to energy from hydrogen. But the technology of the future will only be implemented if enough countries in the world are convinced of it and join in, so the calculation goes. This is precisely why Scholz is not only on a liquefied gas buying spree in the Gulf. When Olaf Scholz and Robert Habeck are currently travelling the world, one suspects that they mainly want to collect commitments for liquefied natural gas (LNG) available at short notice. This makes it all the more disappointing that Habeck’s visit to Qatar, for example, has not yet been followed by a major conclusion. Now the chancellor is on a different mission in the Gulf states: he is primarily a travelling salesman for another gas – hydrogen. The first contracts for hydrogen deliveries were signed with RWE in Abu Dhabi yesterday. They are to be landed in Brunsbüttel. n-tv.de , faz.net
Ammonia: As a transporter of hydrogen.New technology should reduce energy consumption and enable imports from sun- and wind-rich regions. mmonia has great chances of becoming a transporter for green hydrogen from distant countries such as Australia and Chile. Since ammonia has a vapour pressure of only 8.6 bar at 20 degrees Celsius and already becomes liquid at minus 33 degrees, the requirements for storage tanks are much lower than for hydrogen, which has to be cooled to minus 253 degrees to become liquid. At the same time, the energy density of ammonia at ambient temperature is significantly higher than that of hydrogen gas under the same conditions, but only half as high (6.25 kilowatt hours per kilogram – kWh/kg) as that of petrol (12.7 kWh/kg). There is only one catch: ammonia production consumes huge amounts of electricity, which runs counter to the hoped-for energy turnaround. The „PICASO“ project (Process Intensification & Advanced Catalysis for Ammonia Sustainable Optimised process) aims to change that. golem.de
Cheaper than diesel: hydrogen company cracks important price barrier. efahrerchip.de
EU pushes hydrogen development with a further five billion euros: EU Commission Vice-President Vestager announces a second hydrogen funding programme. handelsblatt.com
Hydrogen instead of LNG: How „H2-ready“ are LNG terminals? ndr.de
New hydrogen deal: DAX-listed E.on and US start-up Nikola want to drive decarbonisation in European heavy-duty transport. A joint venture is to be set up for this purpose, and the two companies have signed a letter of intent to this effect. The vision of the joint venture is to promote the advantages of hydrogen, says E.on. Accordingly, the planned cooperation is aimed at establishing a hydrogen supply and the associated infrastructure for the European heavy-duty transport market. The partnership should help reduce emissions from the European transport sector, it adds. deraktionaer.de
LNG: Construction of LNG connection in Brunsbüttel started. faz.net
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG:
Cruise industry on the road to sustainability: The cruise industry sees itself well on the way to achieving ambitious sustainability goals. Both in the increased use of shore power and in the development of sustainable ship fuels, clear progress can be seen, representatives of various river and ocean cruise companies made clear during a public hearing of the Tourism Committee on Wednesday. Sönke Diesener from the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), on the other hand, found that environmental and climate protection were still not at the forefront of cruise companies‘ ship operations and new construction. Heavy oil continues to be the fuel of choice for the majority of existing fleets, said the NABU representative. bundestag.de
Forest and species protection in the rainforest discussed: How existing obstacles to the protection of forests, biodiversity and the rights of indigenous peoples can be dismantled was discussed by experts on Wednesday using the example of the Amazon and Congo basins. In the public hearing of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development, biologist, author and freelance consultant Jutta Kill criticised the so-called „REDD+“ concept of the United Nations. The concept aims to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and to use forests as carbon reservoirs in developing countries. This compensation project is unsuitable to protect the forest, prevent its destruction and secure the rights of the indigenous population, Kill said. Such compensation projects had led to serious human rights violations and the restriction of smallholder land use, and accelerated the climate crisis. An important guarantor for the protection of forests is the safeguarding of the rights of indigenous peoples and the local population. bundestag.de
Coalition wants to strengthen basic education in the global South: In a joint request (20/3495), the SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and FDP want to strengthen the right to education and establish and expand basic education in the „global South“ as a basis for social participation. The motion will be debated for the first time in the Bundestag on Wednesday. According to the United Nations and the World Bank, 258 million children worldwide had no access to basic education even before the Covid 19 pandemic, the parliamentary groups write. More than 50 per cent of children attending school in low- and middle-income countries could not read and understand simple text by the end of primary school. This figure is expected to rise to as much as 70 per cent. When schools were closed due to the pandemic around the world, more than 370 million children lost access to school meals, which for many had been the only reliable source of daily nutrition. bundestag.de
Labelling and strengthening of regional food: The uniform and comprehensive labelling of regional food is the subject of a small question (20/3327) of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. More than ten years ago, the voluntary Regionalfenster label was developed with the support of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The parliamentarians ask, among other things, whether the Federal Government plans to standardise the definition of regionality in the Regional Window and how many products are currently labelled with the Regional Window. The CDU/CSU parliamentary group points out that the Regional Window, which was presented by the BMEL in 2014, should be available to trade and customers „as quickly and comprehensively as possible“ when it is introduced.
Coal and waste are to be subject to CO2 pricing in future: In order to achieve Germany’s national climate protection goals, the law on national certificate trading for fuel emissions was promulgated on 19 December 2019 as part of the climate package of the then Federal Government – initially for the heating and transport sectors. With a bill now submitted by the federal government (20/3438), the fuels coal and waste are now also to be included in the law from 2023. The removal of the previous fuel restriction ensures a comprehensive CO2 pricing of all fossil fuel emissions through the Fuel Emissions Trading Act (BEHG). bundestag.de
„… if people continue to live as they do now, booking their cruises and buying so many SUVs, then I honestly don’t see anything happening. People talk as if all this is important to them. If you do surveys on whether people would be willing to spend more money on organic meat or an organic T-shirt, most people answer in the affirmative.
Hannes Jaenicke, actor, book author, environmental and animal rights activist and documentary filmmaker…. But when they would stand at the shop counter, they would still buy the cheapest. There is still a big gap between what we say and what we do. Nevertheless, we can do a lot, there are many environmental success stories. The Rhine is a prime example: a few decades ago, it was still a chemical cesspool, so that you couldn’t even put your hand in the water. Now you can swim in the Rhine again. But he believes we have become so accustomed to luxury, cheap energy and consumption that he has little hope for mankind. But nature will recover – with or without us. schwaebische.de
After the drought comes the flood: flood protection in Africa: Africa’s rivers are the continent’s lifelines. But the alternation of extreme weather events makes living with water increasingly difficult. In the Niger Basin, for example, where early warning systems sometimes fail. dw.com
South Africa: Up to eleven hours without electricity, South Africa slides deeper and deeper into the energy crisis. People in the Cape of Good Hope are increasingly in the dark. The stumbling state-owned company Eskom is partly responsible – as is the government, which is unwilling to reform. tagesspiegel.de
Tunisia: „Tunisia calls for sustainable funding to combat terrorism in Africa and the implementation of the decision of the Heads of State and Government adopted in July 2016 to establish the AU (African Union) Special Fund to Prevent and Combat Terrorism and Violent Extremism,“ Tunisian Chief Diplomat Othman Jarandi stressed. china.org
Uganda: After an Ebola outbreak, the death toll now stands at 19. The cause of the outbreak early last week is still unclear. faz.net
The Guardians of the Seed: Women in particular are fighting for food security in southern Africa. Their goal is fair and healthy food for all. They hope to achieve this with the help of organic farming.
Kenya: Within 24 hours of taking office, the new President Ruto surprised his supporters. He overturned the petrol price subsidy that his predecessor had granted to cushion the price increases resulting from the Ukraine war and the Covid 19 pandemic. The „hustler“ Ruto may be on the side of the masses, but he is not naive. He inherits large foreign debts, lenders are getting impatient, and the sooner the people get used to hard times, the better from his point of view. Ruto is an experienced businessman and he will use the advantage of Kenya’s financial and technology sectors to expand Kenya’s economic dominance in East Africa. Already, Kenyan firms are the biggest players in the DRC’s banking sector and Ethiopia’s telecoms sector, the region’s two giants in terms of population. The „hustle“ has begun. Interesting times are dawning. taz.de
Humboldt Forum finally opened: After heated debates about looted art and restitution, the last part of the Humboldt Forum, the East Wing, has now opened. The highlight of the presentation is the Benin bronzes, which are considered looted colonial art. Last month, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, whose collection is exhibited in the Forum, transferred ownership of its 512 objects to Nigeria. Instead of 220, as originally planned, only about 40 objects are now on loan. The loan agreement expires in ten years and must be renegotiated with Nigeria. A milestone, finds Abba Isa Tijani, director of the National Museum Commission of Nigeria: „It’s the only way we can really work together. Three of our experts are here to help shape the exhibition. But in return, they also benefit from the experience of their European colleagues.“ dw.com
Sudan on the brink of collapse: Sudan is on the brink of collapse without quick solutions to numerous problems, according to UN expert Eddie Rowe. „I would describe Sudan today as a ticking time bomb,“ the country director of the World Food Programme (WFP) told the Evangelischer Pressedienst (epd). „Almost a third of the population suffers from severe food insecurity.“ The situation has been worsening every day since the military took power in October 2021, he said. The WFP country director stressed that violence was increasing. Aid is being obstructed by the government and armed militias, he said. „We are gradually moving towards a situation where more than 70 per cent of the country is not able to survive.“ welt-sichten.org
The world is moving closer together:
When Indians or Chinese eat more meat and consume more oil, food and petrol become more expensive in our country. Conversely, we influence living conditions in Africa, Asia and Latin America with our consumption, our exports and our policies. Such interactions are crucial for the fight against poverty, for environmental and climate protection and for securing peace.
welt-sichten helps to better understand the interrelationships – whether printed as a magazine or online with the website www.welt-sichten.org. The spectrum of topics ranges from the global economy and development policy to climate change and environmental protection to peace issues and the role of religions.
Every month, the magazine offers analyses, reports, interviews and short reports, book and film tips. Each issue has a thematic focus. Authors from all over the world have their say, and we take up controversial debates in discussions and commentaries.
Solar energy versus agriculture: In order to meet the expansion targets, more and more solar plants are being built on meadows and fields – and new conflicts between energy, nature conservation and food are emerging. a solution could be agri-PV, i.e. the combination of agriculture and, one floor up, so to speak, solar energy. In fact, the promises of this technology are immense. For example, the combined use could not only bring agriculture and energy production together, in times of climate change the yield of the land could even increase due to the solar modules providing shade, promise the proponents of such systems. wiwo.de
Man-made air pollution more significant than desert dust: Earlier this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the Middle East is one of the regions with the worst air quality. However, it is widely believed that desert dust is the most significant cause of air pollution there. A study by an international team led by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz now shows that more than 90 per cent of the fine dust particles that are hazardous to health come from anthropogenic sources. solarify.eu
The pitfalls of the lifetime extension: In an emergency, Isar-2 and Neckarwestheim II are supposed to supply electricity until spring. According to experts, however, the reactors cannot simply be used to produce electricity again. The reactor cores would have to be re-equipped – with more efficient fuel elements from reserve pools. The use of reserve fuel elements has hardly played a role in the public debate so far. Technically, it is possible, because during the annual overhauls fuel assemblies are sometimes removed that have not yet been completely burned up. However, if the plants are actually put into reserve operation in 2023 and decommissioned first, there are risks: Every newly assembled reactor core must be approved by the nuclear authorities before restarting. Problems could arise during the inevitable safety review. spektrum.de
How does climate-adapted gardening work? Because climate change is making itself felt in existing gardens, the aim is to switch to varieties with lower water consumption. Instead of tomatoes or cucumbers – carrots, potatoes or pumpkins. tagesschau.de
Olive oil at Stiftung Warentest: four products fail. utopia.de
Spain: Mar Menor Lagoon is the first ecosystem in Europe to be granted personal status. spiegel.de
PETA demands sex ban for meat-eating men: Because meat eaters leave too high a climate footprint, the largest animal protection organisation PETA demands a „sex ban for all meat-eating men“ and calls on all women to show solidarity. For the love of the climate: PETA, the largest animal protection organisation, is demanding that men radically change their diet. They should cut meat out of their diet in future. The alternative: abstain from sex. Daniel Cox (46), campaign manager at PETA Germany: „Men are much worse for the environment than women because they eat too much meat …“ focus.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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