SPD, Greens and FDP present key points for a possible coalition: 12 euro minimum wage, „super write-offs“ for climate protection investments, no tax increases, no softening of the debt brake – SPD, Greens and FDP have worked out important points and coalition negotiations are to begin as early as this week. In a twelve-page paper, the explorers have agreed, among other things, to reject increases in income, corporate and value-added taxes or the softening of the debt brake, but also to introduce „super write-offs for climate protection investments“. There is „fiscal leeway for what is necessary“, said Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz (SPD) in response to the question of the financeability of the necessary investments emphasised by all three parties. To this end, „superfluous, ineffective and environmentally and climate damaging subsidies and expenditures“ are also to be reviewed, the paper states. Among other things, the target of 400,000 new dwellings per year was also agreed upon. On Sunday afternoon, a small party conference of the Greens voted with only two votes against to start coalition negotiations. spiegel.de , focus.de (wording of the exploratory paper) fr.de (Greens)
Activists criticise exploratory paper: Activists of the Fridays for Future movement criticise the result of the exploratory paper. Of the possible traffic light coalition parties, only the Greens have effective ideas on climate protection. The SPD and FDP have hardly any ideas, and the Greens seem to be deviating from their former red line. Jakob Blasel, „Fridays for Future“ activist, who could not enter the Bundestag, called the previous agreements of SPD, Greens and FDP on climate protection insufficient. The exploratory paper was „acceptable in many points and partly even good“, but he continued: He believed it would take tough coalition negotiations to ensure that the 1.5 degree target did not fall completely out of reach. He had higher expectations, especially in the transport and agriculture sectors. He was also surprised that the Greens were apparently the only ones „negotiating for consistent climate protection“. The SPD and the FDP had hardly any climate protection ideas to offer. Criticism also came from trade unions and social organisations. n-tv.de , br.de
40 to 60 years are needed to compensate for clear-cutting in the rainforest.
Over a period of twenty years, a group of researchers studied a piece of forest in the West African Ivory Coast to see how long it takes for a rainforest to „digest“ a clear-cut and return to its original state. It is possible that this will not be possible at all. Until now, the forestry industry has assumed about 30 years. Now it has been established that it will probably take 40 to 60 years until the original ecosystem is restored in its depth and breadth. spektrum.de
Criticism of previous climate policy: Economists from the leading economic research institutes have called for reforms in their „Joint Economic Forecast“, which they produce twice a year. The pension system is not stable, said Holtemöller. In fact, compared to the tone of other scientific reports, the researchers are comparatively harsh on the climate policy of the previous federal government. „Current climate policy is insufficient to achieve emissions targets and unnecessarily expensive for given targets,“ they say „Instead of micromanaging through small-scale sector-specific targets or setting a date for the coal phase-out, the state should successively reduce CO2 allowances and leave it to market actors to find the most cost-effective CO2 savings.“ Since the majority of the necessary investments will come from the private sector, the framework conditions for this must be significantly improved, the researchers further demand. tagesspiegel.de
Sustainable energy procurement is crucial to be able to achieve climate goals: Rising energy consumption and higher greenhouse gas emissions highlight the importance of realistic, financially viable plans to accelerate the energy transition. A key contribution can be to use scientific methods and data to measure the movement of companies towards Net-Zero and to achieve concrete effects. fair-economics.de
WHO warns of medical catastrophe due to climate change: In the run-up to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, the World Health Organisation has warned of a medical catastrophe due to climate change. According to a special report, climate change poses the greatest health threat to humankind. The consequences will be felt most by the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people. „The burning of fossil fuels is killing us,“ the organisation continued in the report. It gave the global community ten recommendations on how to maximise the health benefits of combating climate change and avoid the worst health impacts of the climate crisis, according to zeit.de , who.int (Special Report)
Energy transition is too slow: The International Energy Agency (IEA) is concerned about the speed of the energy transition in its recently published annual report. It is proceeding far too slowly worldwide. With the current plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the global community will only succeed in reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2050. In the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, greenhouse gas neutrality was stipulated for the middle of the century. A tripling of investments within the next ten years is necessary to achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement. There are also positive trends: the renewable energy sector, such as wind and solar energy, continued to grow last year. The market for electric vehicles also set new sales records. However, this progress was not enough to bring global greenhouse gas emissions to a net zero by 2050. The „stubbornness of the status quo“ counteracts these developments. spiegel.de , iea.net (World energy outlook Report, original document)
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
AFTER EUROPE. Beiträge zur dekolonialen Kritik – CONTRIBUTIONS TO DECOLONIAL CRITIQUE
Decolonisation is on everyone’s lips. In art, science and society, one’s own colonial entanglements are currently being reflected upon not as a temporally closed or spatially distant context, but as a fundamental deep structure of the modern world. But to what extent must central assumptions and concepts of decolonial critique be expanded and rethought so that critical practice in the German-speaking world today does not degenerate into phrasemongering?
In this volume, art mediator Nora Sternfeld, protest researcher Olga Reznikova and cultural anthropologist Rohit Jain problematise central concepts, argue about universalism and discuss a non-Western imperialism. The volume documents the symposium of the same name at the Sophiensaele in Berlin, where open discussions were held and not immediately determined. verbrecherverlag.de
Less dependence on Russia: Egypt and Europe want to connect their electricity grids. rnd.de
EEG: The Federal Government is apparently planning to lower the EEG levy with the help of a billion-euro subsidy. n-tv.de
Bundestag election: Climate activists contest Bundestag election. klimareporter.de
Agriculture: Endangers insect diversity the most. sueddeutsche.de
Global CO2 emissions: Second strongest annual increase in history. faz.net
Climate protection: Turkey to get billions in climate protection credit from Germany and EU. rnd.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:
Solar geoengineering consists of the idea of creating a kind of solar protection for the earth. Because until the efforts in climate protection take effect, years can pass in which the earth can continue to heat up. The engineers and researchers working on this topic want to use aerosols to increase the water droplets in the clouds, for example. Another: imitate an artificial volcanic eruption. You can catch up on all this in the „Climate Report“ podcast . Our guests are Ulrike Niemeier from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology and Johannes Quaas, Professor of Theoretical Meteorology at the University of Leipzig. spiegel.de
Intelligent mobility: Shorter delivery routes, smart traffic light switching, fewer traffic jams – intelligent mobility saves millions of tonnes of CO2 and helps protect the climate. In 2030, for example, up to 25 million tonnes of CO2 can be saved in Germany alone if the use of digital technologies is accelerated. it-daily.net
Hamburg: Wants to become a model for mobility of the future. wiwo.de
Paris – capital of cyclists: Cycling in the French capital is booming, the number of cyclists in the Seine metropolis has increased by over 65 percent. This increase was caused, among other things, by the countless demonstrations in the centre of Paris, where there was no way through for car drivers, the weeks-long breakdown of the metro and the corona pandemic. In addition, the 30 km/h limit on Parisian roads, which has been in force since the summer, has led to a further switch to the bicycle. freitag.de
Autonomous ship: The AI plays captain. A ship is to cross the Atlantic all by itself. Even though a first attempt to cross the Atlantic recently failed, the team wants to start a new attempt next spring and then, for the first time, an autonomous ship will sail to the other side of the „Big Pond“ completely without human help. t3n.de
EU climate package increases costs: Lufthansa expects 20 billion euros. Lufthansa says it is preparing for significantly higher expenses in order to comply with the EU’s planned climate protection laws. It fears competitive disadvantages. wiwo.de
Federal Government reports on implementation of the Hydrogen Strategy: According to its own statement, the Federal Government has „vigorously driven forward the implementation of the National Hydrogen Strategy (NWS) adopted in June 2020, thereby laying important foundations for investments from industry and for research initiatives“. These would contribute to positioning Germany as a pioneer and technology leader, it says in the „Report of the Federal Government on the Implementation of the National Hydrogen Strategy“ (19/32641).
One important measure was the launch of the so-called „Important Projects of Common European Interest“ (IPCEI) in the field of hydrogen, the government announced. Sixty-two major hydrogen projects were selected, for which the federal and state governments will provide a total of eight billion euros in funding. A special focus is on the industrial and transport sectors. According to the Federal Government, the focus is particularly on the steel sector, as the decarbonisation of the steel industry is an important field of action for Germany as a business location. An overall framework has also been proposed for this with the „Steel Action Concept“.
The start of the promotion of industry transformation projects through climate protection contracts („Carbon Contracts for Difference“) planned for 2022 should also make an important contribution. The decided exemption of the production of green hydrogen from the EEG levy is also of particular importance for the cross-sectoral market ramp-up, „as it will contribute to lowering the costs for the production of green hydrogen“. With the amendment of the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) in summer 2021, the first regulatory foundations for a pure hydrogen grid infrastructure have been created, the German government writes in the report.
Gazprom: The soaring gas prices are bringing the Russian world market leader Gazprom rich profits and are driving the share price ever higher. In the distant future, the share price of the Russian commodity giant could possibly be boosted by another topic: hydrogen: Hydrogen. deraktionaer.de
Ports important for hydrogen imports: Renewable energy capacities in Germany will not be sufficient to meet demand. Above all, their import and processing offer prospects for a new upswing for the seaports. An analysis shows the potential. Since industrialisation, Germany’s seaports, especially Hamburg and Bremen, have been integrals of logistics, industry and energy supply to a certain extent. Hamburg’s port, for example, used to import a great deal of crude oil and refineries to process it. Little remained of the mineral oil industry in Germany’s largest seaport; energy companies such as Shell, BP and Exxon concentrated many years ago on larger plants at other locations. welt.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
EU will issue 250 Billion Green Bonds: The European Union will issue so-called green bonds for the first time in October this year as part of its Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument, which is intended to support economic recovery after the Corona crisis. This is what the German government writes in its First Report on the Next Generation EU Development Instrument (19/32639). The programme has a total volume of around 750 billion euros, which is to be made available to Member States as direct grants and loans, also to support the green and digital transformation. The Building and Resilience Facility accounts for the largest share of the Building Instrument.
As the German government writes, the first green bonds are to be issued in October if market conditions are suitable. By 2026, the European Commission wants to issue green bonds with a volume of up to 250 billion euros. This would correspond to about 30 per cent of the issuing volume. According to the Commission, the first, not yet green bonds to finance NGEU have met with strong investor interest and have been oversubscribed several times. In total, bonds with a volume of 45 billion euros and maturities of five, ten, 20 and 30 years were issued within four weeks. The largest grants from the Reconstruction and Resilience Facility were provided for Spain (69.5 billion euros) and Italy (68.9 billion euros). This is followed by France (39.4 billion euros), Germany (25.6 billion euros), and Poland (23.8 billion euros). Of the loans provided for in this programme, Italy can receive up to 122.6 billion euros. Up to 12.7 billion euros are envisaged for Greece and around 2.7 billion euros for Portugal.
According to the Federal Government, the programmes submitted by the individual countries were examined in the Economic and Financial Committee and in the European Council. In all cases, the Commission’s assessment was generally positive. The programmes were adopted unanimously.
Additional climate protection measures in the building sector: In a briefing (19/32636), the Federal Government informs about the additional measure for the building sector submitted by it – according to section 8 paragraph 2 of the Climate Protection Act (KSG) – „which will contribute to closing the target gap that arose in 2020“. According to the submission, it provides for the securing of an „additional new commitment volume for funding applications under the Federal Support for Efficient Buildings (BEG) totalling 11.5 billion euros“. Of this amount, 5.8 billion euros had already been made available by the Budget Committee on 24 June 2021 as an unscheduled commitment appropriation to ensure continuous programme progress, it is reported. Another 5.7 billion euros are reportedly to be made available in 2021 under this measure. Due to the impending programme freeze in the area of the KfW programmes, the provision of the funds must take place promptly, it says. „The corresponding funding of the BEG can be implemented promptly and is an important signal with regard to the sharp increase in funding calls and their contribution to the transformation towards a climate-neutral building stock,“ writes the Federal Government.
„If biodiversity decreases, ecosystems become unstable. In the worst case, they collapse completely. The global extinction of species has the greatest consequences. For us humans, it takes far too long for species with similar ecological roles to emerge again. Mammals, for example, have been separated from their closest relatives for an average of over 1.5 million years. With every species we lose locally or globally, the risk of collapse of local ecosystems or the global system as a whole increases. So for future generations, we have an ethical responsibility to ensure that species do not become extinct because of us.“
Prof. Dr Martin Wikelski, Director of the Max Planck – Yale Center for Biodiversity Movement and Global Change, … in the biodiversity crisis we are today where we were 20 years ago with climate change. At that time, people could not have imagined the terrible consequences of global warming. In his birthplace, for example, little has changed at first glance compared to the past. But there are far fewer insects than in the past and perhaps that is why there are no swallows any more. The changes are still gradual, but in a few years the consequences will be catastrophic. That scares him! mpg.de
„A new start means that we have to rethink the system. Up to now, the introduction of renewable energies has always been carried out within the existing system, that is, the regulations and laws have always been adapted in order to ultimately drive this development forward, but not to think about it in terms of this new energy system.
Professor Dirk Uwe Sauer, Chair of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage Systems Technology at RWTH Aachen University, … In practice, this means that we have to see electricity as the primary energy source, and that also means, for example, that we really have to see it as a primary product and not as an end product in terms of regulation and taxation. The end product, electricity, is so expensive today due to many levies and taxes that it often does not pay off, for example in heating systems. We have to work on that! deutschlandfunk.de
Coalition partners‘ exploratory paper – Africa forgotten: „In their exploratory paper, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP do not say a single word about our neighbouring continent Africa and – beyond a general commitment to free trade – not a single word about foreign trade policy. More needs to be done urgently,“ says Stefan Liebig, Chairman of the Africa Association. … „This must also apply to the issue of climate protection. A successful climate policy must be thought globally. An early coal phase-out in Germany may improve the national carbon footprint, but if Germany and Europe do not actively provide incentives for the expansion of renewable energies in Africa, more coal-fired power plants will be built there in the next ten years than we can shut down in Germany and Europe,“ says the chairman of the Africa Association. We need a comprehensive partnership with Africa to shape the future.
Coming to terms with German colonialism in Namibia: The Joint Declaration of Germany and Namibia in the context of coming to terms with German colonial rule focuses in a special way on measures that benefit the descendants of the victim groups. This is emphasised by the Federal Government in its answer (19/32617) to a minor question of the parliamentary group Die Linke (19/32075) and considers this an expression of Germany’s special moral and historical responsibility towards Namibia. Since the independence of the Republic of Namibia, Germany and Namibia have maintained special bilateral relations. Although in Namibia the appreciation of the historical struggle for independence had initially been seen primarily in comparison to coming to terms with the colonial past, this had become much more important in the last 15 years. Since 2015, the German government has been holding talks with the Namibian government on coming to terms with German colonial rule.
Ethiopia: Confirms military offensive against rebels in Tigray. Heavy fighting with artillery, drones and fighter planes, supplies to the population severely limited. derstandard.at
Benin: France returns African looted art to Benin-26 art objects return to the possession of the African country. derstandard.at
Burkina Faso: Historical process. Finding the truth after 34 years. In Ouagadougou, the murder of revolutionary hero Thomas Sankara is on trial. Contemporary witnesses still remember well. taz.de
Eswatini: Soldiers and police have been deployed to schools in Eswatini, where students have been protesting for weeks for political reform. theeastafrican.co.ke
Kenya/Somalia: The United Nations Supreme Court has largely ruled in favour of Somalia in its long-running dispute with Kenya over the maritime border. Kenya rejected the ruling „in its entirety“ and accused the International Court of Justice of bias. The case was over a 38,000-square-mile (100,000-square-kilometre) triangle in the Indian Ocean believed to be rich in oil and gas. The dispute was at the centre of a diplomatic row between the neighbours. In a tweet, Somali Information Minister Osman Dubbe welcomed the ruling and congratulated the Somalis on reclaiming their territory. For four decades, Kenya has claimed its maritime border runs in a line just east of where the two countries meet on the coast. However, Somalia argued in court that the maritime border in the Indian Ocean should run in the same direction as the land border. Somalia had also argued that Kenya had violated its sovereignty by operating in its territorial waters and demanded reparations. However, the judges rejected this argument. The 14-member panel in The Hague said Kenya had not proved that Somalia had previously agreed to the border it claimed. bbc.com
Madagascar: Madagascar’s vanilla industry is facing uncertain times as it risks failure due to organised and violent theft. The industry is a magnet for corruption and money laundering from the illegal logging of rosewood hardwood trees, which has contributed to a vanilla price bubble that has led criminal groups to pursue the theft of the spice. theeastafrican.co.ke
Mali: No security without authority of the state. dw.com
Rwanda – Many pupils are failing to attend school, exacerbating the education crisis: More than 60,000 pupils in Rwanda have to repeat a grade. Until now, promotion was automatic, even without good grades. Now the government is taking countermeasures. dw.com
Zimbabwe: In two weeks, Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU/PF (Zimbabwe African National Union/Patriotic Front) will meet for its annual party conference. The former liberation movement is rocked by the most serious power struggles since the ouster of its historic leader Robert Mugabe in 2017. taz.de
South Sudan: „Music keeps us from fighting and killing ourselves“. Ten years ago, South Sudan declared its independence, shortly after which civil war broke out. Young rappers, bands and dance groups process the conflicts in their music – and want to unite the torn country. spiegel.de
The political aspect of the weather report: „…and now the weather“, the forecast of which is always at the end of news broadcasts. In the meantime, reporting on the weather has achieved a much more important relevance than, for example, sports reporting. Weather reporting has become an indispensable part of news about contemporary issues. It must not be treated as a marginal note by public broadcasters. spiegel.de
Peatlands can contribute to climate neutrality – if they are not drained: Of the 1.5 million hectares of German peatlands that once existed, perhaps five per cent are still intact today. However, drained peatlands release enormous amounts of greenhouse gases. If the Federal Republic of Germany wants to become climate-neutral by 2045, as envisaged in the Climate Protection Act, there is no way around restoring all peatlands to their wet state. faz.net
Machine learning on climate change: There is an almost unmanageable flood of publications on the topic of climate change. Researchers have now trained an artificial intelligence to identify, analyse and summarise scientific publications on climate change and its consequences. A team of scientists used machine learning to analyse over 100,000 studies. The respective evidence for location-specific impacts of climate change can now be read on a world map. „We conclude that the effects of human-induced climate change are found on 80 per cent of the Earth’s land area, where 85 per cent of the population lives,“ the researchers write. wissenschaft.de
Historic parks: To be used as climate protectors. fair-economics.de
Netherlands: Sand against flooding. dlf.de
Insect mortality on tropical islands: Researchers study consequences of tourism and urbanisation. fair-economics.de
The Municipal Climate Conference 2021 will take place on 4 November 2021. Stakeholders in municipal climate protection 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
Youth sins on the internet: The net does not forget, as Sarah-Lee Heinrich, who was elected co-spokesperson of the Green Youth organisation at its national congress a week ago on Saturday, had to experience. Statements she made several years ago triggered a fierce online controversy. Among other things, it was about a tweet from her account in which she responded to a swastika with „Heil“. Heinrich explained that she did not remember the tweet, but apologised for it. Moreover, the zeitgeist changes What is considered perfectly okay to post today may be received quite differently in 5 or 15 years. Old posts could be taken out of context and used against someone, and that should be taken into account when publishing them. heise.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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