FAIReconomics Newsletter week 42 –Wind energy – national security? 60 percent CO2 savings, Red List, Reduced payment to Nobel Prize winners, News from the Bundestag
Wind energy national security? The German government is working on a law that makes the use of renewable energies a matter of national security. In the dispute over wind turbines this will be of incalculable consequences. Experts see in it „an energy-political turning point“, so Gernot Engel expert for energy law at the Kanzlei Luther. Public security will fundamentally outdo other interests in disputes such as the construction of wind turbines. In the meantime the Federal Government confirmed that the new constitutional consecrations for eco-energy should facilitate the enforcement of building applications. „The regulation stipulates an overriding public interest in the generation of electricity from renewable energies as well as a public security interest,“ said the Federal Ministry of Economics. The specification is important for discretionary and balancing decisions by public authorities and institutions. welt.de
EU Parliament wants sixty percent CO2 reductions: The European Parliament wants a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 – and thus goes far beyond previous proposals, including those of the EU Commission. A narrow majority voted in favor of this goal last Wednesday. The EU Commission had proposed a reduction in greenhouse gases of at least 55 percent, thus abandoning the previous target of a 40 percent reduction compared with 1990. The Greens, who wanted to achieve this goal, managed to get both the Social Democrats and many Liberals to vote with them. one reason for this was that the Commission used a few tricks to calculate its reduction proposal. For example, the storage of CO2 in European forests was to be counted towards the CO2 reduction. Now the law passed by the EU Parliament is entering negotiations with the 27 member states. However, the latter have not yet agreed on a common line. Meanwhile, it has become known that the EU states could postpone the decision on a higher CO2 target for 2030 tagesschau.de, wiwo.de , euractiv.de (postonment)
Warmest September since 1979. According to measurements, the temperatures in September were 0.63 degrees above the average of the previous month. The months of January and May were already counted among the warmest months worldwide. It was particularly warm in parts of South America, in Australia and in the Arctic. tagesspiegel.de
DIHK wants to protect enterprises from CO2 tax: The European Parliament’s call for more far-reaching 2030 climate targets is a cause of concern for the business community. The DIHK wants to protect companies from a too high price. „Compensation is particularly urgent for companies that will be significantly affected by the national CO2 price from 2021 onwards“. It is feared that companies will otherwise relocate production for competitive reasons. The companies would need sufficient financial leeway to invest in new, more climate-friendly technologies. faz.net , dihk.de
Animal population in Germany is worrying: Almost a third of all mammal species in Germany are considered endangered. Besides the condition of many mammals in Germany worsened in the past ten to 15 years. Interesting: There, targeted nature and environmental protection measures are made, the animals could profit from it. The results of the current red list of the mammals, were presented last week by the Federal Office for Nature Protection (BfN) together with the red list center (RLZ). fair-economics.de
UN World Food Programme receives Nobel Prize and Germany reduces funding: The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 goes to the UN World Food Programme. The number of undernourished people worldwide is currently rising again and Corona is intensifying this trend. In addition, Germany, which is paying a „basic contribution“ of 58 million euros to the World Food Programme 2020, aims to reduce this subsidy from the development aid budget by 42 percent next year. In addition, organizations complain about bureaucratic hurdles. FDP Member of the Bundestag Ulrich Lechte wanted to move almost 300 million euros from the budget title of project-bound aid funds to the title of general payments to international aid organizations. Lechte, who is chairman of the Bundestag’s Subcommittee on the United Nations, recalls that four years ago at the first World Summit on Humanitarian Aid in Istanbul, Germany committed itself to disburse as much as possible 30 percent of the aid funds in the humanitarian sector by 2020 without any explicit earmarking.. faz.net
Bee insecticide remains banned in France: The French government was able to achieve a success before the European Court of Justice. Several insecticides harmful to bees remain banned in France. The Strasbourg judges ruled that a corresponding statement of reasons by the French government to the EU Commission was to be classified as „effective“. The judges had to rule on neonicotinoidem, which can cause reproductive, orientation and survival problems in bees. The French plant protection industry association had filed a complaint against the ban. . spiegel.de
BOOKTIP OF THE WEEK:
„This book presents in a catchy, easy-to-understand and entertaining way how all our well-being depends on the diverse life around us.
Dirk Steffens, science journalist and „Terra X“ presenter What do we care if a species disappears in Brazil whose existence we didn’t know existed until then? And wouldn’t it be fantastic if mosquitoes became extinct?
Not at all: Nature is a network in which every organism plays an important role. No species exists independently of the others – we humans are no exception. Without the richness of nature we could not survive: without insects no fruit, without microorganisms no humus, without mosquitoes no chocolate. If we carelessly destroy this diversity, we also endanger our own existence. To prevent this from happening, this book takes an entertaining look at the fascinating world of animals and plants, which provides us with food, security, health and so much more. And it makes clear what has to happen so that we can still stop the extinction of species. oekom.de
Energy will become more expensive in 2021: The passing of the Fuel Emission Trading Act (BEHG) will make heating and petrol more expensive .faz.net
Environmental price: Prince William lives out Earthshot price. rp-online.de
Cars versus cows: Greenpeace leakt Mercosur agreement. Hardly any environmental agreements.. fair-economics.de
Braunkohle: Despite exit – villages are resettled. rundschau-online.de
Gazprom/North Stream 2: Billion dollar fine from Poland. n-tv.de
Controversial: Network expansion for the hydrogen network. handelsblatt.com
Hydrogen for airplanes: If Airbus invests in hydrogen technology, then it must be „green hydrogen“. According to Airbus CEO Faury. Airbus wants to bring a passenger aircraft with zero CO2 emissions to the market by 2035. ZeroE is the project name under which three different technical concepts for zero-emission aircraft are being investigated. welt.de
Söder new ideas on the purchase premium: Bavaria’s Minister-President Markus Söder (CSU) has called for a novel purchase premium to boost sales of gasoline and diesel cars as well as electric vehicles. „We must support the automotive industry on its way into new technologies“, handelsblatt.com
Deutsche Bahn: With the new Deutsche Bahn timetable, there will be more long-distance trains on important rail routes. The number of seats available will grow by 13,000. zeit.de
European toll: A Europe-wide toll solution, which the German Ministry of Transport is striving for, will not be pursued there. tagesschau.de
Demand impulses for alternative drives: The German government expects the stronger orientation of the motor vehicle tax to carbon dioxide emissions to provide positive impulses for the demand for alternative drives. This is announced by the government in its answer (19/22358) to a minor question from the FDP parliamentary group (19/21932). The higher CO2 weighting in the measurement of the motor vehicle tax provides incentives for innovative and climate-friendly mobility that remains both affordable and socially acceptable.
Autonomous driving: According to a study by the German Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), autonomous and networked driving together with electromobility could lead to a 7.6 percent or 7.8 megatons of carbon dioxide reduction in CO2 by 2050, at least in Germany. derstandard.at
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
Using digital experiences in schools: „Don’t forget pandemic experiences in school lessons – raising the know-how of teachers and civil society in the long term“ is the title of a motion tabled by the FDP parliamentary group (19/23119). According to the motion, voting should be initiated promptly and emphatically together with the Länder in order to ensure that the positive experience gained with digital teaching services is not lost in regular operation. To this end, „best practice concepts“ for digital learning concepts for teaching units are to be brought together nationwide and their use in teaching made possible.
Setting standards in hydrogen technologies: During a public expert discussion on „European Green Deal“ of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Sustainable Development on Wednesday, Gerald Hagemann, head of the development department for liquid engines at the aerospace company ArianeGroup GmbH, made a plea for the use of hydrogen technology. Dörte Fouquet, an expert in European and energy law, subsequently made it clear that even the savings target tightened by the EU Commission, according to which greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by 55 percent compared to the reference year 1990, instead of 40 percent as originally planned, was not sufficient to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. ArianeGroup representative Hagemann told the members of parliament that hydrogen has great potential, great challenges but also great opportunities. „We have the unique expertise in Europe not only to follow the trend but to set the standards at the top“, Hagemann emphasized. For this purpose, he said, the existing knowledge and expertise had to be bundled and networked. Hydrogen could help to „kill two birds with one stone“. Hagemann was convinced that it would be possible to sustainably transform „core German economic sectors“, such as the automotive industry, the aviation industry and the shipping industry, and secure market leadership in these areas.
More sustainability education: The FDP parliamentary group wants the Bundestag to call on the German government to structurally expand and further develop education for sustainable development in all areas of education. In addition, a uniform environmental data platform for the public, schools and universities should be created at the Federal Statistical Office, the parliamentary group demands in a motion (19/23118). Furthermore, the federal government, together with the states, should „increasingly promote market economy correlations and MINT subjects“, it continues. Environmental problems cannot be solved with renunciation and asceticism alone, the FDP faction justifies its request. A rejection of prosperity and progress was neither necessary nor desirable. Instead, it would require intensive competition for creative ideas for the use of modern, resource-saving technologies. These prerequisites for sustainable social development must also be reflected in education.
Marine protected area in the Weddell Sea demanded: The Bundestag should support the international efforts of the German government and the EU to establish the world’s largest marine protected area in the Antarctic Weddell Sea. This is demanded by the parliamentary groups of CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in a motion (19/23125), which will be voted on in the Bundestag on Thursday. According to the petitioners, the Weddell Sea, which is about 2.2 million square kilometers in area, is under increasing pressure from international fishing fleets, and the German government is therefore called upon to ensure that the revised proposal to protect the Weddell Sea is put to a vote again as soon as possible at an annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). In addition, the German government should support the European Commission’s initiative to hold an interministerial conference with the aim of securing broad international support for the Weddell Sea Conservation Area.
Greens want resource-saving construction: In a motion (19/23152), the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group advocates more resource conservation in the construction and real estate industry. The members of parliament demand a legally required resource certificate for buildings and a mandatory life cycle assessment of buildings. It should also become mandatory to use only renewable heat in new buildings by 2025. An amendment to the model building code would have to include sustainability and resource conservation, the MEPs continued. They also propose several measures that could be used to digitize processes in the construction industry. The reason given for this is that the construction sector is one of the branches of industry with the highest consumption of resources. In addition, energy requirements during the utilization phase are also important. „The way we build is not sustainable and overburdens the planetary boundaries. What is needed is a new approach to the planning, construction and use of residential and commercial space and infrastructure, based on the principles of a circular economy, the Greens explain.
Brot für die Welt wants more funds for climate financing: Sabine Minninger, Climate Policy Officer of Bread for the World, spoke out in the Development Committee on Wednesday in favour of further debt relief for the poorest countries in the world and more funds for international climate financing. The climate crisis is an „acute driver“ of the massive debt crisis in the countries of the Global South, she said, and the corona pandemic is exacerbating the problems even further. In view of the growing climate damage in the countries, there was an urgent need for targeted and efficient financing to enable them to adapt to climate change. The German government’s draft budget for 2021 must be „significantly improved“ in this respect. The funds made available so far would not be sufficient to fulfill the promise made by the industrialized countries to increase climate financing to one hundred billion US dollars per year by 2020, Minninger stated. The German government should therefore also double its share to eight billion euros in the years 2020 to 2025. She was critical of the fact that a large part of the funding would be provided in the form of loans, which the states would have to repay. Minninger called it a „sleight of hand“ that these would also be counted towards the ODA quota, which reflects the share of public spending on development cooperation in gross national income. Also because of the historical responsibility and the polluter-pays principle, the funds would have to be allocated by the industrialized countries mainly as donations.
Question to coffee: Whether the Federal Government intends to lower, abolish or exempt Fairtrade coffee from the coffee tax, the AfD parliamentary group wants to experience in a small question (19/22384). In addition, it asks about support or cooperation with Sara Nuru, the founder of nuruCoffee of Nuru GmbH and nuruWomen.
„The biggest problem is that offsetting (this is the name given to measures that compensate for their own emissions and thus act in a supposedly climate-neutral way, i.e. editors) offers no incentive to change one’s own behavior. I can offset my emissions, everything is fine and I can happily continue as before. This is not conducive to achieving the climate goals of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees by the end of the century compared to pre-industrial times. Avoiding emissions is the top priority. Offsetting, on the other hand, would make it possible to actually increase emissions.
Adam Pawloff, climate expert at Greenpeace, avoiding emissions is the top priority. Offsetting, on the other hand, would make it possible to even increase emissions. Offsetting always assumes that you are in an isolated room, for example, by compensating for CO2 emissions on airline tickets offered by many airlines. The fuel consumption and associated emissions are calculated for each passenger. Not included are the production of the aircraft, the extraction of oil, the construction of airports, etc., all these things would not happen if the decision was made not to fly. futurezone.at
Shopping behavior is changing: consumers are increasingly changing their behavior due to concern for the environment. Four out of ten (42 percent) households in Europe indicate that environmental issues play an important role in their personal environment. It is above all children who have the greatest influence on household purchasing behavior. Both manufacturers and retailers must address the concerns of this younger generation if they want to remain relevant, as consumers believe that their purchasing behavior can make a difference. wn.de
Trump’s carbon footprint after four years: Donald Trump has brought about a small reduction in U.S. emissions, but his claim that he has the „lowest carbon content“ is wrong on most measures. During the US presidential election debate last week Donald Trump claimed: „We now have the lowest carbon footprint. If you look at our numbers now, we are doing phenomenally well.“ The US remains the world’s second largest emitter and the number one international emitter. The average American carbon footprint is twice that of a Chinese or EU citizen and eight times that of an Indian. fair-economics.de
How aluminum and cement can become carbon neutral: Greenhouse gas emissions must be radically reduced in the industrial sector, the same applies to the transport sector. A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) shows possible solutions. There are some sectors that are difficult to make CO2 neutral. The steel and aluminum industries are among them, as is the chemical industry. From Irena’s point of view, a paradigm shift must take place. Until now, the focus has often been on reducing emissions in part, for example by improving efficiency or by switching from coal to less climate-damaging natural gas. Some companies, such as parts of the aluminum industry, are actively thinking about reducing CO2 levels. klimareporter.de , irena.org (Originalbericht), fair-economics.de
China’s investment in Africa: The People’s Republic has become an important player in Africa over the past 20 years. Between the years 2000 and 2018, 152 billion US dollars in loans – some of which have since been repaid – were granted. This was calculated by the „China Africa Research Initiative“ of the US-American Johns Hopkins University. By far the largest recipient country is Angola, followed by Ethiopia. Now the World Bank foresees a recession for sub-Saharan Africa. spiegel.de , worldbank.org
Green Deal is not for Africa: Once the EU was mainly courting Ethiopia, but many old problems have come back again. Internal migration and corona are also causing the country problems. spiegel.de
Financial system: Corona has plunged Africa into a new recession. A new financial system could be a way out. dw.com
The Continent: The new weekly newspaper „The Continent“ is distributed via Whatsapp and aims to cover all 55 African states. And to counter the view from outside – which is too often a lump of war, corruption and disease. sueddeutsche.de
Water shortage is increasing: According to current forecasts, the water supply situation in Ethiopia will continue to deteriorate in the foreseeable future, especially due to climate change. In addition, the demand for drinking water is expected to increase in the coming decades in line with Ethiopia’s demographic and economic development, writes the German government in an answer (19/22934) to a minor question (19/22529) from the AfD faction. Nevertheless, it does not have a development policy cooperation priority with Ethiopia in the water sector at present. On behalf of the German government, however, the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is working on specific points to improve the drinking water supply for refugees and host communities. Currently, only 44 percent of Ethiopian households are electrified, the answer continues. The lack of access to a modern energy supply severely restricts the country’s socioeconomic development; companies suffer from spontaneous or seasonal power cuts and voltage fluctuations, and are thus unable to fully exploit their service and production potential. Against this background, the Ethiopian government considers electrification to be a key to the desired economic development.
Cooperation with Morocco inquires: The FDP faction wants to know in a small inquiry (19/23026) what criteria led to the decision to enter into an „alliance for the development of the Power-to-X sector“ with the Kingdom of Morocco. Power-to-X technology converts electricity from renewable energies into other forms of energy, such as hydrogen or methane. The MPs refer to Morocco’s water shortage, which has been described in several reports, and want to know what conclusions the German government draws from this for the production of green hydrogen and for the efficiency of the „Alliance for the Development of the Power-to-X Sector“.
Asset managers want to save rainforest in Indonesia: Indonesia wants to get out of the crisis with a deregulation package. But the plan has serious consequences for the rainforest and the climate. A group of asset managers is attacking the plan sharply. handelsblatt.com
Trees of the future: Resistant species that require little water are to withstand heat and drought in cities. berliner-zeitung.de
Professor of Economics: ‚Lockdowns‘ against climate crisis possible. kath.net
No woman on the team: Boris Johnson is known for his particular brand of politics. Now the British government has presented its team to prepare and lead the next world climate conference COP 26 in Glasgow. It is undoubtedly staffed with top-class members, numerous ministers belong to it, including head of government Boris Johnson, but on closer inspection, it is a boys‘ club. Not a single woman is in it. Despite the decision for an all-time team, Johnson had a spokesperson announce that Great Britain is determined to put diversity and inclusion at the forefront of its COP presidency. fr.de
All pictures, if not stated otherwise: pixabay.com
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