Federal Cabinet approves EEG draft: The Federal Ministry of Economics continues to insist on an obligation to invite tenders for all photovoltaic roof systems with a capacity of 500 kilowatts or more, as well as a smart meter for all systems with a capacity of one kilowatt or more. Despite only slight improvements in own consumption, it believes that the requirements from Brussels have also been met. There are rays of hope in the draft for ground-mounted systems and for photovoltaic tenant electricity. The DIHK rejects the planned reform of the Green Electricity Act – and demands the abolition of the EEG levy. Instead, a „guarantee of origin“ could make German green electricity a sought-after commodity, say industry representatives. This would have several advantages. Representatives of various NGOs want to overturn the EEG, which they see as a law to prevent the energy turnaround, in this form. pv-magazine.de , welt.de , parentsforfuture.de
In 2019 China will account for almost 80 percent of the coal burned worldwide. Consumption accordingly amounted to 81.7 exajoules (plus 2.3 per cent). Global energy consumption in 2019 rose less than in 2018 and the share of renewable energies increased more than ever before. They account for more than 40 percent of the additional energy consumed. Meanwhile, the share of coal in the global energy mix has fallen to its lowest level in 16 years. Nevertheless, the climate killer coal remains the most important energy source worldwide. capital.de
China wants to become climate neutral by 2060: At the UN General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that his country wants to tighten its climate targets. „Our goal is to reach the peak of CO2 emissions before 2030 – and CO2 neutrality before 2060,“ said Xi. Climate neutrality means that the use of fuels or human activities have no effect on the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and are therefore not harmful to the climate. China will increase its intended national contributions to the Paris Climate Convention by taking „more vigorous measures“, the President said. At the virtual EU-China Summit, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Merkel had these steps in mind. It is interesting that China has for the first time given a date for its climate neutrality. zeit.de , klimareporter.de
Global warming is stronger in Germany than elsewhere: extreme weather conditions will increase in Germany and the Federal Republic will be more severely affected – compared to the global average. While global temperatures in the current decade are about 1.1 degrees higher than in the period 1881-1910, in Germany they are almost two degrees. In Germany, the consequences of global warming are mainly heat and drought. fair-economics.de
Biodiversity – a new market of the future? The vast majority of the business community is not yet aware of what the loss of biodiversity means. How much will the losses amount to in the future? Or vice versa – what is the contribution of biodiversity to potential economic performance. Nobody has calculated this exactly. Now WWF and the Boston Consulting Group have joined forces: Biodiversity provides more than $ 170 trillion in ecosystem services annually, in addition to its intrinsic value. That is twice the current global economic output. Every year more than six trillion dollars are lost in economically relevant environmental services. sueddeutsche.de , bcg.com (Studie)
Germany is not making progress on marine plastic waste: in a Kleine Anfrage in the Bundestag by the Greens, the German government itself admits to having failed in its efforts to combat plastic waste from the North and Baltic Seas. The goal set in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive of 2008 of achieving a „good environmental status“ in European seas by 2020 was missed, because implementation would have meant that the properties and quantities of the waste should have „no harmful effects on the coastal and marine environment“. tagesschau.de , bundestag.de (Antwort der Bundesregierung)
BOOKTIP OF THE WEEK:
Bogs store huge amounts of carbon. When bogs are no longer full of water, air reaches the peat, which then decomposes quickly. This produces the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide on a large scale. In Germany, most moor soils are used for agricultural or forestry purposes and are drained for this purpose. Drained moorland areas are a major burden on climate protection. The rewetting of peat soils can significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of these areas. The rewetting of such soils therefore makes an effective and cost-effective contribution to climate protection. This book explains what should be considered when rewetting and how wet peat soils can be used, as well as presenting existing programmes for the protection of peatlands and possibilities for financing rewetting. oekom.de
Zalando: enters the second Hand market. welt.de
Fridays for Future: Thousands have demonstrated again. tagesspiegel.de
Netherlands: Testing the re-entry into nuclear power. energate-messenger
StartUps: Want to take responsibility in the climate crisis. fair-economics.de
Poland: Becomes a European dump. dlf.de
The seventeeen goals Magazin presents inspiring stories about how people move the world and shows how everyone can contribute to achieving sustainability goals.
Söder against new internal combustion engines from 2035: Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder is in favour of a ban on the registration of cars with internal combustion engines from 2035, but he wants to promote the car industry, which has been shaken by the pandemic, by pushing through a car purchase premium for modern internal combustion engines as well. FDP man Marco Buschmann, calls this proposal „typically Söder“. rnd.de
California without internal combustion engines from 2035: Whether Markus Söder has cribbed the Californians? We do not know. Surely not the other way around…at least from 2035 onwards, new cars with petrol or diesel engines will no longer be allowed to be sold in the US state of California. Governor Gavin Newsom explained that this applies to both cars and trucks. From 2035, only new cars that do not emit exhaust gases should be allowed to be sold. However, used petrol or diesel cars would be allowed to continue to drive and be resold. It is interesting to note that California is the largest car market in the USA. sueddeutsche.de
Legal actions against the Fehmarnbelt tunnel: A fixed link between Hamburg and Copenhagen, or more precisely between the island of Fehmarn and the Danish island of Lolland, is not only an old dream, but also one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects. While the Danish side has already made further progress, since last week the Federal Administrative Court has been hearing the first of a total of seven lawsuits. The plaintiffs, Nabu and Aktionsbündnis gegen eine feste Fehmarnbeltquerung argue in their lawsuit that the planned tunnel, through which both cars and trains are to pass in future, will have a serious impact on the Fehmarnbelt marine reserve and neighbouring bird sanctuaries. rswbeck.de, ndr.de (Hintergründe)
More space for cyclists and pedestrians: The Federal Environment Agency wants to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists and motorists to switch from cars to other means of transport. In the Disaster Management Agency, the corona pandemic is referred to as a „window of opportunity“. UBA also wants to increase the cost of parking fees and resident parking permits. „While residents in Copenhagen pay more than 200 euros and Amsterdam more than 500 euros for parking, the fees in Germany are currently far below that“, the authority says. tagesschau.de
Transport largest investment budget: The budget of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) provides for expenditures of 34.08 billion euros for 2021. This is stated in the draft budget law 2021 (19/22600) submitted by the Federal Government. Compared with the second supplementary budget adopted in mid-June (19/20000, 19/20601), the amount is €2.7 billion lower (2020: €36.78 billion). Compared with the budget originally adopted for 2020 (19/11800, 19/13800), expenditure increases by €2.58 billion.
No obstacles to night train services: According to its own statement, the German government is positively disposed towards an expansion of the offer of long-distance passenger rail services and night train services in Europe. There are no obstacles or market access barriers to the introduction of such transport in Germany, according to the government’s answer (19/22059) to a minor question from the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group (19/21513). Access to the German railway market and thus to the network is open to domestic and foreign railway undertakings and applicants on an equal and non-discriminatory basis.
Airports in Germany: Federal Minister of Transport wants to support German airports. handelsblatt.de
Hydrogen instead of jet fuel: Airbus relies on hydrogen. welt.de
Logistics sector: Must become greener and more sustainable. verkehrsrundschau.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG:
Safety of spent fuel elements: In the opinion of the Federal Government, there is also a need for action in the future to maintain the required high safety level of the facilities and equipment for the treatment of radioactive waste. This is stated in the report of the Federal Government to the Seventh Review Conference on the implementation of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and Radioactive Waste Management (19/22252). The seventh Review Conference is to take place in May 2021.
Light pollution: The extent and effects of light pollution are the subject of a report (19/22433) by the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment. The report, written by the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB), defines light pollution as the undesirable effects of artificial lighting in outdoor areas.
Amazon deforestation: According to official data from the Brazilian authority responsible, a gradual increase in deforestation rates in the Amazon has been observed since 2012. Deforestation rates in 2019 were the highest since 2008, according to a response by the German government (19/22652) to a minor question (19/21781) by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group. Moreover, it was not apparent at present that there would be an improvement in this trend in the current year. As far as Germany is concerned, the German Government also states that the quantities of tropical timber imported from Brazil are very small compared with Indonesia. Thus the risk of illegal logging for imported products from Brazil into the Federal Republic should be negligible..
Development aid at EU level should be strengthened: Joint action and communication between the EU and EU Member States should also be further strengthened in the area of development cooperation. The „Team Europe“ approach of the EU’s Corona support programme, of which the Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) is a member, puts this goal into practice, emphasises the Federal Government in an answer (19/21834) to a minor question (19/21570) from the FDP parliamentary group. The BMZ is actively involved in the development and implementation of the „Team Europe“ initiatives at state level, it says. In addition, the ministry is committed to using the current momentum in European coordination for long-term cooperation in other areas of cooperation and within the framework of Joint Programming. In April 2020, BMZ also published a „BMZ Strategy for a Strong European and Multilateral Development Policy“. One of the aims of this strategy is to send German staff to strategically important international organisations and positions in an even more targeted manner.
German government sees no advantages in climate change: The German government rules out the possibility that climate change will improve the living conditions of many people On the contrary, at about one degree Celsius of global warming, clear effects of climate change can already be observed in many places today, according to the answer (19/22411) to a minor question by the AfD parliamentary group (19/22009).
The German government wants to be a role model in climate protection: The German EU Council Presidency had made it a priority to use diplomatic channels to convince other states to present higher climate protection targets soon. This is what the German government writes in its answer (19/22315) to a minor question by the AfD Group (19/22010). The latter had criticised that Germany’s intended role model effect in the reduction of CO2 emissions was not yet apparent. The Federal Government now states that Germany’s CO2 emissions in relation to its population are about twice as high as the global average. Countries with a robust economy had a special responsibility to set an example in climate protection and thus motivate other countries to take ambitious climate protection measures. In addition, the German government comments on the questioners‘ demand that it must be weighed up whether the proposed measures for climate protection are more beneficial than harmful. In its response, the German government stresses that climate protection offers great opportunities for innovation, modernisation and international competition. Environmental and climate technologies are already an important pillar of German industry and thus a motor for employment in Germany.
„Climate change threatens our security. Therefore, NATO must do more to better understand climate change and integrate it into all aspects of our tasks, from military planning to the way we train and educate our armed forces“.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, said NATO and its member states also have a responsibility to contribute to climate protection by reducing emissions. For a long time now, the focus has been on fuel efficiency to improve military effectiveness. Reducing dependence on fossil fuels, for example by using solar cells to supply field camps, would not only contribute to combating climate change. It could also increase the security of our troops and equipment by improving our ability to act independently and flexibly. spiegel.de
„No, we are not apart at all. When I presented this law a fortnight ago, I already said: If the European Union now decides to jointly pursue more ambitious climate protection targets – and we have been discussing this with concrete figures for a week now – then we must also be more ambitious in expanding renewable energies. This is already included in my draft.
Peter Altmaier, CDU, Federal Minister of Economics, … the point is that we do not know at this stage exactly how these efforts will be distributed among the individual countries. This was being negotiated under the leadership of the Environment Minister, which is why Mrs Schulze did not give any concrete figures. We would only be able to call them responsible once the European Union had reached an agreement, and he would like to keep up the pressure on all our friends and Member States in the European Union to increase their efforts. Germany alone cannot and will not be able to cope with this task, but we could set a good example. dlf.de
How elephants can be sensibly protected: The Tembe Elephant Park in South Africa is threatened by the very species that the park is supposed to protect. In their search for water, food and elephant queens, especially young bulls from the neighbouring country keep breaking through the fences from outside. A solution is urgently needed to preserve this valuable species. The park already belongs to the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) together with large areas in neighbouring Mozambique and the kingdom of eSwatini. In the Transfrontier Conservation Area, local communities will also benefit from nature without destroying it. It is important to link the individual reserves, including through cross-border corridors. But there are some hurdles to be overcome that are not just fences enorm-magazin.de
Marine heat waves damage ecosystems and fisheries: Heat waves in the world’s oceans have become more than 20 times more frequent due to human influence. They have serious consequences for marine ecosystems, which then need a long recovery period – if they ever fully recover, said marine scientist Charlotte Laufkötte. While heatwaves on land are often in the headlines for weeks, the heating of the oceans has so far received little media attention. Yet these marine heat waves have become much more frequent in recent decades. And they can have devastating effects on ecosystems. deutschlandfunk.de
Intelligent electricity: How can demand be sensibly combined with the production of electricity? A group of scientists at Bielefeld University is currently working on an answer. They want to create an artificial intelligence (AI) that can predict fluctuations in the energy supply and adjust the power supply to meet demand.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
Jackets and trousers: From the skin of the trees. sueddeutsche.de
Climate change: Decades of mega draughts expected in the USA. advances.sciencemag.org
Spain: Due to orcas no pleasure craft on the Atlantic coast at times. spiegel.de
Norway: Balancing act between oil and sustainability. stern.de
Why fries are threatened by climate change: In the case of our Belgian neighbours, two important national shrines are at risk from climate change. Beer and French fries, this is the conclusion of a study by the National Climate Commission. Heat waves, floods and droughts will also increase in our neighbouring country – warmer, drier summers and milder, wetter winters will become the new norm. This will have an impact on the potato and cereal harvest. „In recent years, Belgium has experienced persistently mild winters, recurring droughts and a series of hot summers culminating in the unprecedented temperature extremes recorded in the summer of 2019,“ says the report, which was written before this year’s record summer temperatures. euractiv.de , adapt2climate.be (Studie)
All pictures, unless otherwise stated pixabay.com