German Environmental Award presented: This year’s German Environmental Award goes to species conservation expert Katrin Böhning-Gaese and peatland researcher Hans Joosten. Both have „made outstanding achievements in the broad field of climate and species protection“, said Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the award ceremony in Darmstadt. „The consequences of climate change have also reached us in Europe. And they will hit future generations all the more brutally the less we do now.“ But the work of the two honourees shows: „We are not standing helplessly on the edge of the abyss“. Climate change and species extinction are not irreversible. „What we are facing is a change in society as a whole,“ said the Federal President. n-tv.de , faz.net
More ambition and political will at the World Conference on Biological Diversity: The UN World Conference on Biological Diversity begins this week in China, where the German government and environmental organisations have called for decisive measures to protect biodiversity globally. All states must show „more ambition and political will“, said Florian Titze of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). The goals to be agreed upon by the global community „must be able to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030“. The World Biodiversity Council, for example, warns of the extinction of one million species already in the next ten years. greenpeace-magazin.de
In the past two years, the German railway infrastructure has been expanded by 9.6 kilometres – in words, nine decimal places six kilometres.
This is the result of an answer by the Federal Government (19/32486) to a small question by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group (19/32023). According to the government, the number of route kilometres will also increase significantly in the coming years due to new construction measures, „since the planned cases presented in the BVWP 2030 and the Deutschlandtakt concept will have been implemented by then“. The planned new construction projects are listed in the Investment Framework Plan 2017 to 2023.
Nobel Prize in Physics for German climate researcher: For decades, the Hamburg meteorologist Klaus Hasselmann has made significant contributions to explaining the human influence on global warming. Now he has received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his achievements, together with Syukuro Manabe from Japan and Giorgio Parisi from Italy. The climate models developed by the scientists helped to raise public awareness of the greenhouse danger posed by charging the atmosphere with CO2, methane and co. and laid a foundation for climate policy. klimareporter.de
Global water balance is in danger: In some regions of the world, floods are increasing, in other regions greater water scarcity can be observed. The UN warns of this imbalance in the global water balance and, above all, of its consequences. Population growth and dwindling resources further exacerbate the problem. Since the turn of the millennium, flood disasters have increased by 134 percent compared to the previous two decades. At the same time, water supplies on the Earth’s land mass have declined: over the same period, the number and duration of droughts have increased by 29 percent. sueddeutsche.de , wmo.int (original document)
Coal expansion has not stopped: Almost half of all companies worldwide in the coal industry have expansion plans. This data can be found in the „Global Coal Exit List“ published last week by the environmental organisation urgewald. It was compiled in cooperation with 40 other NGOs. „New coal mining projects with more than 1800 million tonnes of annual production capacity are still in the pipeline,“ the analysis says. tagesschau.de , coalexit.org (original document)
Climate change creates energy insecurity in the USA: Extreme weather affects the energy supply in the United States. This is because they abruptly drive up energy demand. This happens precisely when the grid is most vulnerable to disruption. The US lacks a national power grid and has three major regions that operate independently of each other. While renewable energy is the best way to combat climate change and avoid such disasters, the state of Texas even has its own grid. The state of Texas, for example, even has its own grid. Last winter, when a snowstorm collapsed the power supply, state utilities could not import electricity from the major interconnectors. The USA also needs a different grid infrastructure for the development and expansion of renewable energies. wired.com
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
FREE DAY – Learning to change the world! For a school on the move
„Margret Rasfeld shows how to transform a school system (…). The idea is amazingly simple!“ Andreas Schleicher, OECD education director and coordinator of the Pisa studies .
Digital flunked, environmental knowledge poor, future competence in need of improvement: our education system is in urgent need of an update, as the corona pandemic has shown at the latest. Margret Rasfeld, who has been headmistress for many years, pleads for regular free spaces in which a different kind of learning can be tried out and pupils can pursue their own projects. This not only prepares them much better for the world of work, but also lets them experience what skills and interests they have. In this way, current topics are no longer a problem, but a programme! oekom.de
Dena: Lead study on climate-neutral energy system in Germany published. fair-economics.de
Streetscooter: Post sells electric delivery van production. welt.de
RWE boss Krebber: More gas-fired power plants are needed as a transitional technology. wiwo.de
Earth: Getting darker and no longer reflecting as much light. spiegel.de
Brussels: Thousands at climate protection demonstration. dlf.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:
Climate change will have a decisive influence on the policies of the next coalition in Germany. The Greens have repeatedly called for a climate government. The awarding of the Nobel Prize to the German climate scientist Klaus Hasselmann had underlined that the issue is vital for the survival of all humanity. But politicians have been ignoring the challenges for decades, criticised Luisa Neubauer, co-founder of Fridays for Future in Germany. „What you can’t ignore are the people who build up pressure. That’s why, for me, this award is more of a wake-up call to people everywhere not to be persuaded that everything is fine. The climate catastrophe is escalating. And still there is no government that says: we stand up against it – with everything we have.“ swr.de
Climate protection in transport: Short-haul flights are controversial for climate protection reasons – and could also come into focus in coalition negotiations. handelsblatt.com
More Sprinter trains to relieve air traffic: With additional Sprinter connections on selected routes, Deutsche Bahn wants to make domestic flights less attractive with its new timetable. However, the company is also raising prices. tagesschau.de
Promotion of pedelecs, e-pedelecs and e-load bikes: According to its own statement, the Federal Government promotes measures „which may include the establishment of public e-charging facilities for pedelecs, s-pedelecs and e-load bikes“. This is stated in the government’s answer (19/32472) to a small question of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group (19/31861). The special programme „City and Country“ supports investments for the further development of cycling in the federal states and municipalities on site within the framework of the Federal Government’s Climate Protection Programme 2030, according to the answer. The aim of the programme is to increase the attractiveness of cycling through greater road safety and better road traffic conditions in both urban and rural areas. Applications for funding can still be submitted on an ongoing basis in accordance with the specific regulations of the federal states, it is reported.
The new National Cycling Plan (NRVP 3.0), which was adopted by the Federal Government on 21 April 2021, focuses, among other things, on the development of a seamless and safe cycling infrastructure as well as the strengthening of commuter cycling and cycle tourism, especially in structurally weak regions. This was announced by the Federal Government in its answer (19/32473) to a minor question by the FDP parliamentary group (19/32171). The aim of the NRVP is that more and more people feel comfortable on their bikes and use them more often and for longer journeys. The number of journeys should increase from about 120 to 180 journeys per person and year, without this being at the expense of the other modes of transport of the environmental network, according to the answer. Furthermore, the average length of journeys made by bicycle is to increase from 3.7 kilometres to six kilometres. Compared to 2019, the number of cyclists killed in traffic is to be reduced by 40 per cent, „despite significantly more cycling“. According to the federal government’s ideas, the financial support for cycling by the federal government, the federal states and local authorities should be oriented towards around 30 euros per person and year in the future.
Slow-flowing transport transition in rural areas: Well-functioning bus and rail connections are rare in rural areas, where many people rely on their cars. If Germany wants to achieve its climate goals, this must change. In the area around Lüneburg, people are relying on call buses and reactivating old railway lines, among other things. deutschlandfunk.de
Grünheide near Berlin: Giga Factory Berlin almost finished – First Tesla Model Y still in December. Tesla boss Elon Musk has built a huge factory on the outskirts of Berlin in just under two years. He refuted criticism from local residents and environmentalists about the industrial plant, which was designed and built in just two years. The goal is „a beautiful factory in harmony with its surroundings“. heise.de
Federal government in favour of separate network charges: In the view of the federal government, separate regulation of hydrogen and natural gas networks is imperative under the current EU legal framework. The network fees of the transmission system operators are subject to regulation by the Federal Network Agency in direct application of European law, says the government’s answer (19/32533) to a minor question of the FDP parliamentary group (19/32119). According to the current legal framework, hydrogen and natural gas network operation „must be considered separately in regulatory terms“. Possible cost risks would therefore currently have to be considered separately due to the clear requirements of European law, the government writes. The discussion about a separate regulation of hydrogen and natural gas networks and the allocation of cost risks has a strong European dimension. It is to be expected that the revision of the current EU rules for the gas market (Gas Directive and Gas Regulation) announced by the European Commission for the end of this year will also contain indications for the further design of the legal framework for the hydrogen economy.
Associations call for scientific emissions balance in „Hydrogen Manifesto“: Three industry associations and the trade fair The Smarter E have presented a joint hydrogen manifesto. It is meant to be a sign for decarbonisation and a sustainable circular economy and help to advance green hydrogen in Europe faster. „With our manifesto, we want to help ensure that green hydrogen is given appropriate consideration in the current reorientation of policy – whether in the energy or economic sector,“ says Werner Diwald, CEO of DWV. „Because hydrogen produced from renewable sources is not only important for the energy transition. Above all, it also offers great economic opportunities for the European Union.“ solarserver.de
The German hydrogen plan is already being nipped in the bud: Hydrogen produced with green electricity is considered climate-friendly, and the demand is huge. But the EU is putting the brakes on the market launch with tight regulations on the origin of the electrolysis electricity. Germany is particularly affected by the regulatory fetters. welt.de
Sunfire: Plans to invest more than 100 million euros in a green hydrogen plant. heise.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG:
The election campaign is over, the new Bundestag will be constituted in its new session on 26 October. Nevertheless, parliamentary business continues now during the transition period, for example in answering parliamentarians‘ questions.
Export of waste to Poland and the Czech Republic: According to its own information, the Federal Government does not have any information on how many cases of illegal export of waste from Germany to Poland and the Czech Republic there were in 2020. This is stated in the answer (19/32574) to a minor question (19/32426) of the parliamentary group Die Linke. The Federal Government explains that the enforcement of waste legislation in Germany is the responsibility of the Länder. In principle, the federal government continues to advocate the further development of international regulations for the transboundary shipment of waste, the answer continues. The aim must be to achieve high-quality disposal worldwide and to prevent illegal practices as far as possible.
Area-based promotion of forests: The Federal Government is working on a remuneration of ecosystem services of the forest. This is stated in an answer of the federal government (19/32351) to a small question of the AfD parliamentary group (19/32049). However, before a decision can be made on the concrete design of the subsidy, among other things, substantive and budgetary prerequisites must be clarified, writes the federal government. On the other hand, special CO2-binding payments for agricultural crops, which are paid irrespective of the area premiums already paid for landscape use, are not envisaged. However, the answer states that the Energy and Climate Fund will support projects that contribute to the build-up of humus.
Germany as a location for research and innovation: The performance of Germany as a location for research and innovation is an integral part of the annual report of the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation. This is explained by the Federal Government in its answer (19/32510) to a minor question by the FDP parliamentary group (19/32256). Based on a resolution of the Bundestag of 22 June 2006, the Federal Government has further developed its reporting system on research and innovation. In addition to the „Federal Report on Research and Innovation“, the „Reports on Research, Innovation and Technological Performance“ have been submitted at regular intervals since 2008. The Expert Commission on Research and Innovation, which is independent in its activities, is responsible for the latter.
The Federal Government’s research and innovation policy is based on a broad understanding of innovation that encompasses technological and social innovations. The development of suitable indicators for social innovations in particular is currently the subject of scientific debate.
„I am optimistic that people will understand it (climate change and counteracting it). First of all, you can already see the changes in the climate that are becoming noticeable. And I think that because young people are picking up on this and bringing it to the public, I’m optimistic that we’ll manage it.
Klaus Hasselmann, Nobel laureate in physics, also said it was not such a problem technically. The problem can be solved. One could certainly switch to renewable energies and do so. He hoped that this would be done in time. He was optimistic that this would be done, and he was pleased that public awareness had now developed more strongly. Climate deniers have never had much support in society. They also had little influence on his work. deutschlandfunk.de
Tensions between Algeria and France: Algerian war by other means. Algeria recalls its ambassador from France. The reason are questionable statements by President Macron – and open wounds of colonialism. taz.de
Ethiopia – UN toughens tone: UN Secretary-General António Guterres sounds the alarm over the threat of famine in violence-stricken northern Ethiopia. At the same time, the expulsion of seven high-ranking UN staff is causing discord. dw.com
Kenya: Pandora Papers – Secret assets of Uhuru Kenyatta family revealed by leak. bbc.com
Congo: Abuse by aid workers: Breaking the silence. Foreign policy debates in Germany tend to revolve around military missions. But the behaviour of civilian aid workers should also be put to the test. taz.de
Libya: Russian mercenaries allegedly shot prisoners in Libya. According to the UN, torture, exploitation and violence have reached alarming levels in Libya. In the middle of it all: the Russian mercenary company Wagner. derstandard.at
Morocco: Rabat – Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has appointed a new government led by businessman and billionaire Aziz Akhannouch. The 24 members of the new cabinet, unveiled at a ceremony at the royal palace in Fez on Thursday, according to official news agency MPA, include seven women – three more than before. The government team is largely made up of professionals; foreign minister remains the non-party diplomat Nasser Bourita. derstandard.at
Senegal is riding the wave of success in the tech industry: mobile operator Wave, the first tech unicorn in Francophone Africa, is causing a stir in an otherwise quiet market dominated by the continent’s Anglophone giants. african.business
South Africa: He was the first black Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg and later Archbishop of Cape Town. He fought alongside Mandela against apartheid in South Africa. He celebrated his 90th birthday on 7 October 2021. dw.com
Southern Africa: Threatening oil drilling in southern Africa. A Canadian company wants to drill for oil in the biodiverse Okavango Delta. The project could endanger the water reserves of humans and animals. derstandard.at
Climate change: voices from the global south are muted by climate science.Scientists from some of the regions most affected by global warming are struggling to get published, according to a new analysis.
The study looked at 100 of the most cited climate science papers from the last five years. Less than one per cent of the authors were from Africa, and only 12 of the papers had a female lead author. The lack of diverse voices means that important perspectives are being ignored, according to the study’s author. bbc.com
Delivery services are not always environmentally friendly: they are called wolt, nimble, or go by the name of gorillas. the delivery services that deliver your daily shopping to your doorstep. But Eleonora Morganti, a researcher at the University of Leeds, doubts whether these delivery services are environmentally friendly – apart from the sometimes precarious employment conditions. Even if the goods are delivered by e-bike instead of a car, she says, the question remains as to how high the environmental impact really is. If they replace the weekly bulk shopping, the delivery method could be more sustainable than, say, making a bulk purchase by car. But if only the last groceries for dinner are delivered instead of a short walk to the corner shop, it is rather less sustainable businessinsider.de
Biocatalysts as driving forces: Catalysts steer reactions in the desired direction and are used to use raw materials efficiently and save energy. Nature also uses these reaction accelerators – we call them enzymes – to trigger and specifically control biochemical reactions, for example in metabolism. Reproducing biocatalysts in the laboratory and thus copying nature, at least to a certain extent, is complex and very difficult. The German Benjamin List and the Briton David MacMillan have now been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their achievements in rebuilding catalysts. faz.net
Aichi Targets clearly missed: Eleven years ago, the so-called Aichi Targets for the global protection of biodiversity were adopted in Nagoya, Japan. The aim was to achieve these core goals for the protection of biodiversity by 2020. Most of these goals have been missed. For example, there is still no complete list of invasive species and their distribution pathways. Within the European Union, twelve billion euros would have to be spent annually to combat invasive species. However, this figure does not yet include the ecological damage. deutschlandfunk.de
Recycling: Securing raw materials for a climate-neutral Europe. fair-economics.de
Aldi: Plans worth billions for the waste market. handelsblatt.com
Underground of the North Sea to become CO₂ repository: Disused pipelines on the seabed could be used to transport the climate gas in liquid form to an underground repository. There is enough space for 800 million tonnes. ingenieur.de
Google wants to become greener: New features in Maps, Flights should give the opportunity to live more sustainably. heise.de
The Municipal Climate Conference 2021 will take place on 4 November. Climate protection actors from all over Germany are invited to the livestream and online expert forums.
Cities, counties and municipalities are increasingly affected by the impacts of climate change and at the same time are among the most important actors in climate protection. This year, the Municipal Climate Conference is taking place under the motto „Pressure to act meets energy – climate-active municipalities on their way“. The focus is on the challenges and tasks of administration and politics. At the same time, the conference offers municipalities the opportunity to learn from the exemplary climate activities of other cities, municipalities and districts.
The conference is divided into two parts this year. The first part of the conference will take place on 4 November from 2-5 pm as a face-to-face event for invited guests in Berlin. It will be broadcast online as a livestream for all other interested parties. The event will focus on the public announcement and awarding of prizes to the winners of the national competition „Climate Active Community„. https://www.klimaschutz.de/klimakonferenz2021
Hate speech is deleted too slowly: The EU Commission has found that social networks are slower to delete hate posts. Youtube and Twitter reacted slightly faster, Facebook and Instagram noticeably slower to objectionable content. According to the European Commission, IT companies checked an average of 81 per cent of the reports within 24 hours and removed an average of 62.5 per cent of the content. Last year, an average of more than 90 per cent of the reports were checked within one day; in 2019 and 2020, an average of 70 per cent were deleted. heise.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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