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Skimming off profits from electricity prices also retroactively?  In the course of the electricity price brake, 90 percent of the windfall profits are to be skimmed off by the operators on a technology-specific basis, first on the spot market and later on the futures market. There is also talk of retroactive absorption since 1 March, at least for the spot market. Biomethane, hard coal or natural gas electricity producers are in the clear, if one follows a concept paper of the Federal Ministry of Economics – all other electricity producers would be affected by the planned skimming of profits in the electricity market. This is part of a concept paper on the „electricity price brake“ . The paper is supposed to list „possible, preliminary options for implementing the EU decisions“, as it says in the 18-page paper. With the exception of biomethane, all renewable energies are to be affected by the profit levy, regardless of whether they are subsidised by the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) or not. The renewable energy industry criticises the considerations of the BMWK and ,

Delay in chemicals regulation: The EU Commission wants to prevent hazardous pollutants from entering the environment as part of the Green Deal. But now the implementation of the so-called REACH regulation for chemicals is delayed so much that it will probably not be completed in this legislative period. This emerges from a planning document of the EU Commission under President Ursula von der Leyen. The Commission was supposed to present a proposal for updating the regulation by the end of 2022. Now the „targeted revision“ of REACH is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2023.

24 percent that is the share of renewable electricity produced in the EU this year.

Since the beginning of the Ukraine war, record amounts of renewable electricity have been generated: The share of renewable energy from the sun and wind has never been greater since the war. The record production has saved the EU about eleven billion euros in gas purchases. „Wind and solar energy are already helping European citizens,“ says Chris Rosslowe of Ember. „But the future potential is even greater.“ Germany also reached a peak of 104 terawatt hours of electricity from renewables since March, according to the study. That corresponds to about one third of all electricity.

New names for the Ministry of the Environment in Italy: No sooner has Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni taken office than there is a dispute over the naming of ministries. For example, the name of the Ministry for Ecological Change was cancelled, which is seen as a clear signal that Meloni wants to set new accents in environmental policy. It will be replaced by a „Ministry for the Environment and Energy Security“. Sustainable mobility will in future be the responsibility of the new transport minister and Lega leader Matteo Salvini, who opposes the Europe-wide stop for combustion engines from 2030.“ Those who cannot afford a modern car should not have to walk, that is a decision against the people,“ Salvini said recently.

Putting his foot down on nuclear power: In the nuclear dispute between the Greens and the FDP, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has put his foot down in the traffic light coalition: All three German nuclear power plants still connected to the grid are to continue to run beyond the legally agreed end of the year – but until 15 April 2023 at the longest, according to a letter from Scholz to the federal cabinet published on Monday. The Chancellor referred to his authority to issue directives within the federal government. Scholz further wrote that „parallel to this decision“ an ambitious law to increase energy efficiency should be presented.

Disagreement in assessments of the Oder fish kill: Low water levels and sewage may have accelerated the growth of a toxic algae, according to the results of the investigations into the fish kill in the Oder. In Poland and Germany, however, different political conclusions are being drawn. There will probably not be a joint German-Polish final report. The Federal Environment Ministry now says that a joint report was probably not to be expected from the outset. But in the background, there are rumours of disastrous cooperation. Data was transmitted late or not at all – which is why it is already being said on the German side that the processing of the fish kill on the Oder is a testimony to the German-Polish rift.

The run on raw materials from the deep sea: The race for raw materials from the bottom of the oceans has long been on. However, the mining of minerals and metals on or under the seabed poses a permanent risk to the sensitive underwater world. It is also disputed whether there really can be no „green“ energy transition without „deep sea mining“ – or in other words: whether the ecological risk is the high price to pay.



Die Sprache der Zuversicht – Inspirationen und Impulse für eine bessere Welt

In the face of numerous crises, a dull feeling of resignation threatens to take hold. What we need now is new strength – and above all confidence. We carry the source of this within us: our language.

It has the power to clothe things in darkness or light, to fill them with trepidation or hope. In his new book, Ulrich Grober embarks on an entertaining and philosophical journey through our language and celebrates its inherent magic. He uncovers the deep layers of elemental words, recalls iconic images and explores the potential of idioms to set our imagination in motion and give the future a new direction. From the hiddenness of words, he opens up surprising approaches to the challenges of our time: the art of making do with little. The ability to be enchanted by the world. Empathy. Sustainability. Fearlessness. Chapter by chapter, he weaves a web of confidence for these highly precarious times.

Investments: Environmental organisations appeal to the green conscience of large fund providers.
Damage caused by hurricanes: Computer simulations show how vulnerable the US economy is to climate change.
Wind power expansion: Onshore expansion stagnates.
Uniper: Rescue could become much more expensive.
Fisheries: New fishing quotas for the Baltic Sea decided.
*Many employees do not know about the obligation to take back electronic waste.

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.



Regional food – here’s what you can look out for

On the one hand, regional and seasonal food is very trendy. On the other hand, almost every vegetable and fruit can be bought in the supermarket at any time of year. However, this supposed luxury comes at the expense of the environment and climate and is therefore actually nonsense. But how exactly does one actually eat regionally?

Strawberries in winter, fruit from overseas and freshly harvested apples in March? All things that really don’t have to be. In this episode of the Utopia Podcast, Denise, Frenzy and Lena talk about how to eat regionally, what to look out for and why regional food is not only healthy and delicious for us, but also really good for the climate and the environment.


Climate crisis in the rented flat

by Ruth Fartacek

For a long time, too little political attention was paid to housing and climate protection. The energy crisis now painfully confronts us with this omission. There is therefore no alternative to the building sector for achieving climate policy goals. For existing buildings, the central measures are the conversion of heating systems to renewable energies and the thermal insulation of houses. However, implementing these measures consistently is not only a Herculean task in terms of planning, but also in terms of social policy. In the rental market in particular, it is important to make the greening of housing socially fair so that the already precarious situation for Austria’s tenants does not worsen.


Companies fear the end of the e-car boom: high inflation, the energy crisis and reduced purchase premiums could end the boom in electric cars, according to German automotive suppliers Bosch and ZF. In addition, the economic situation could lead to a slump in new car production in Europe as a whole. The companies also fear that the higher prices for entry-level models will mean that low-income earners will no longer be able to afford a car. Frank Iwer, Head of Human Resources Germany at ZF, therefore believes that the goal of the traffic light coalition of 15 million e-cars in Germany by 2030 is „hardly achievable“. Iwer describes the sales stop for petrol and diesel cars planned by the European Union (EU) for 2035 as „illusory“. According to him, a „lifetime extension for combustion engines“ powered by synthetic fuels (e-fuels) is conceivable. Such a decision would be problematic for ZF, for example, because the company has invested over twelve billion euros in e-mobility and autonomous driving. According to Iwer, more than 14,000 filling stations would have to be equipped with charging stations for e-mobility to achieve a breakthrough in Germany. A study by Strategy& also delivered a similar result, according to which the existing charging infrastructure and the speed of expansion in Germany are not sufficient to achieve the climate targets of the German government.

A turning point in mobility: Mobility behaviour is changing as never before. The willingness to use autonomous means of transport is also increasing – although the vast majority do not expect a corresponding offer in the near future. The bicycle is the biggest winner here. Nine percent use the bicycle more often, 16 percent less often. A quarter (25 percent) use so-called on-demand services such as ride pooling or ride-hailing more often, but 14 percent use them less often. 22 per cent use their own car more often, but 36 per cent leave it at home more often. Likewise, 22 per cent use local bus and train services more often, but 37 per cent use them less often. Car sharing is used more often by 20 per cent and less often by 14 per cent. Bike, e-scooter and moped sharing is more popular with 14 percent, and less popular with 15 percent.

ADAC calls for more small e-cars from Germany: The electric vehicle market is booming – also in Germany. But the ADAC is now complaining that a certain vehicle class is seen much less from German manufacturers.

Volkswagen: VW shareholders want to force carmakers to be more transparent about lobbying. Several pension funds suspect the company of using lobbying activities to thwart its climate targets. Now the judiciary is to help.

Wissing and EU Parliament want to expand charging network for e-cars: E-mobility will only find acceptance if charging is as easy as refuelling. Gaps must be avoided, especially in rural areas, the transport minister explained. The cabinet approved a new plan for this. The federal government wants to reach one million publicly accessible charging points in Germany in 2030. So far, there are around 70,000. According to the information, around 6.3 billion euros have been earmarked for the implementation. The EU Parliament also dealt with charging points for e-cars. The MEPs demanded that there be a charging station at least every 60 kilometres on the most important roads by 2026.,

Hamburg: Will be the first test city for autonomous trucks in Europe.

Hyundai probably cancels H2 truck project in Switzerland: Hyundai has apparently surprisingly stopped its project with fuel cell trucks in Switzerland. Hyundai wanted to bring 1,600 such trucks to the Alpine nation by 2025. Now, according to a manager, the project is cancelled because of the „extremely fluctuating energy prices“. But Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility denies it.

9-Euro-Ticket sold around 52 million times to new customers: According to the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV), the 9-Euro-Ticket for local public transport (ÖPNV) has been sold to new customers about 52 million times since it went on sale. In addition, about ten million subscribers have automatically received the discounted ticket every month, according to the Federal Government’s answer (20/3825) to a minor question.


Söder demands hydrogen power plants from Habeck: The climate-induced energy turnaround and the acute energy crisis caused by Russia’s war against Ukraine are completely shaking up the structures in the German energy sector. Bavaria, however, fears that in the course of the restructuring of the German electricity and energy market, the location could be politically weakened. In a letter to the Federal Minister of Economics, Robert Habeck (Greens), who is responsible for the topic of energy, Minister President Markus Söder (CSU) is now venting his displeasure.

Energy crisis as accelerator of hydrogen: The Inflation Reduction Act of the United States signed by US President Biden to reduce inflation as well as the promotion by the EU with 5.2 billion euros are only two examples that illustrate that hydrogen is now also intensively promoted from the government side. Green hydrogen has become increasingly important in recent years. On the one hand, hydrogen is promising for achieving the net-zero target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; on the other hand, recent energy policy events increase the need and pressure to switch to alternative energies.

Logisticians rely on hydrogen propulsion: a survey by the German Logistics Association yields some surprising results. The respondents answered the question about the preferred drive technologies of the coming years with hydrogen. With a value of 5.09, the fuel cell takes the top position. Although in the so-called well-to-wheel analysis (roughly: from the borehole to the wheel) this technology scores significantly worse – by a factor of about 3 – than electromobility, which comes in second with a value of 4.77. It is followed by diesel propulsion with 4.40. LNG or CNG follow at some distance (3.82 and 3.09 respectively). According to the BVL, the respondents agree that the use of diesel-powered trucks will decline sharply in the future. However, a changeover is currently still failing mainly due to the availability – both of the alternative drives themselves and with regard to the charging or refuelling options. Of the approximately 70,000 e-charging stations in Germany, less than 6,000 are suitable for trucks. There are only about 100 hydrogen filling stations in Germany and not even 250 in the whole of Europe.

Hydrogen infrastructure not yet sufficient: According to the head of the testing organisation Dekra, the infrastructure in Germany is not yet ready for the widespread use of hydrogen. „Hydrogen is a highly explosive chemical. And it is a chemical that attacks the containers in which it is transported very aggressively,“ Dekra CEO Stan Zurkiewicz told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. The materials could become brittle and gas could escape. In future, natural gas pipelines in particular would have to be converted for the transport of hydrogen. The question must also be asked whether the existing infrastructure is safe enough in view of the chemical properties of hydrogen. „I would say not yet.“ Car manufacturers and other industries that want to use hydrogen as an energy source would also have to address this issue.

The ammonia is still „blue“: First hydrogen delivery reaches Hamburg.


Global Public Investment: New approach to fighting crises: In order to be able to deal with international tasks such as fighting pandemics and combating the climate crisis, a new approach to financing is needed. This was emphasised by Christoph Benn, Director Global Health Diplomacy at the Joep Lange Institute Amsterdam, on Wednesday evening during the public meeting of the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development on the topic of „International Responsibility and Cooperation“. The international funds to simultaneously deal with multiple crises and support sustainable development are simply not enough, he said.

Committee discusses CO2 pricing of waste incineration: The Federal Government wants to include waste incineration in CO2 pricing. Members of the Bundestag will decide on a corresponding draft of a second law to amend the Fuel Emissions Trading Act (20/3438; 20/3819) on Thursday. On Wednesday, the Committee on Energy and Climate Protection discussed it. An amendment of the coalition, which provides for a postponement by one year to 1.1.2024, deviating from the original price path, in order to avoid further burdens in the coming crisis winter, was adopted with the votes of the coalition factions SPD, Greens/Alliance90 and FDP against the vote of the CDU/CSU and the AfD, with the abstention of the Left Party. The correspondingly amended bill was adopted with the votes of the coalition factions against the vote of the opposition parties CDU/CSU, AfD and the Left.

„Traffic lights“ Ampel – Coalition and the CDU/CSU call for a marine protected area in the Weddell Sea: The coalition factions of the SPD, Alliance 90/The Greens and the FDP as well as the CDU/CSU faction are again pushing for the establishment of a marine protected area in the Antarctic Weddell Sea. Specifically, the Federal Government should lobby at the annual meeting of the responsible „Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources“ (CCAMLR) for a corresponding proposal by the EU to be reintroduced, according to a joint motion (20/4057), which the Bundestag will vote on directly on Friday after the first debate.


Germany has great expertise in renewable energies. This applies to both wind power and hydrogen. If business, politics and consumers pull together, we can achieve a strategic advantage. The hydrogen economy in particular is an essential element that complements the electricity-based energy economy. While electricity-based solutions should have the right of way in certain fields such as individual mobility, there are many applications where we come to physical or economic limits purely based on electricity – and then the hydrogen economy will be decisive.

Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Bosch, …Bosch has had a strategy of producing locally for local markets for decades. This has proved very successful. It is not only for us that a relocation of production back to Germany and a reversal of global value chains would be problematic. According to the Ifo Institute, such a development would cause Germany’s gross domestic product to plummet by ten percent. That is why he is absolutely convinced that the future does not lie in autarky, but in a globally networked and decarbonised world. However, two additions have to be made: We would need globalisation with a seatbelt and with pronounced competence strength.


Climate partnership with Morocco: Africa is responsible for only a small fraction of global CO2 emissions. yet the continent is more affected by climate change than any other. Moreover, the potential for generating renewable energy is great. This offers opportunities for partnerships. The European Union and Morocco are now seeking one in renewable energy and the fight against climate change. EU Commission Deputy President Frans Timmermans and Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita signed a declaration of intent on a „green partnership“ in Rabat on Tuesday.

More climate justice for Africa: Over 250 medical journals are calling for more climate justice for Africa. The continent has contributed little to the crisis but suffers disproportionately, says the editorial, which is published in renowned journals such as the British Medical Journal, The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine, as well as 50 African medical journals. There are not only moral reasons to help, the article says. Instability in Africa can have serious consequences for all countries. „The acute and chronic impacts of the climate crisis create problems such as poverty, infectious diseases, forced migration and conflicts that spread through globalised systems. These knock-on effects affect all nations.“

Congo: „A highly dangerous plan that endangers the future of the world“: Congo’s rainforests collect more CO2 than the whole of Africa emits. Now the government is auctioning them off to oil companies.Congo-Kinshasa is auctioning off millions of hectares of forest for oil and gas production. Environmentalists fear a disaster. The government says it wants to build schools, roads and hospitals. But it is possible that it is pursuing other interests.

Kenya and East Africa: Kenyan President William Ruto’s speeches since taking office on 13 September have left no doubt about how he envisions East Africa – as a bloc without borders. And he is counting on his friend, Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni, to push for the removal of barriers in trade, customs, financial services and even culture. „Mzee Museveni is our elder, we have great respect for him and look up to him …. so that we can remove the borders that divide our peoples in East Africa and in Africa,“ he told invited guests at Uganda’s 60th Independence Day celebrations at Kololo Grounds in Kampala on 9 October. President Ruto lamented that the border barricades had affected the pace of growth in the region. „It is our duty as heads of state and citizens of East Africa to work together so that we can transform our borders, which today prove to be barriers, into bridges so that goods, services and people can move freely across the region,“ he said.

CDU – Strategy for dealing with Russia’s influence in Africa: The CDU/CSU parliamentary group advocates a strategy for dealing with Russia’s growing influence in Africa. The Bundestag debated its motion (20/4048) for the first time. Russia uses its limited influence very cleverly to achieve high (political and economic) returns with little effort through „guerrilla geopolitics“, write the MPs. Unlike China’s involvement in Africa, this is „often done covertly or subtly through proxies such as the mercenary group Wagner and its affiliated entities, which allow the Kremlin to deny direct interference and evade sanctions“. This development has become a problem for German and European interests on the ground, he said. The current Russian actions in Mali and in the years before in the Central African Republic are among the most concrete examples, the MPs argue.

Nigeria: Kidnappers attack hospital in Nigeria and kill several people.
Malawi: Mass grave with 25 Ethiopian refugees discovered in Malawi.
Uganda: Tougher measures taken in Ebola outbreak. Church services are banned.


Storing electricity from solar systems: Solar systems on house roofs are usually intended to save costs and make owners more independent of the electricity supply. But especially in the winter months, households with photovoltaic systems remain dependent on the grid. In order to store solar electricity for weeks or even months, solar electricity generated in summer can be used to produce hydrogen from water. This can be stored in liquid form in gas cylinders or pressed into metal pellets to generate electricity in winter with the help of a fuel cell. With such systems, a completely self-sufficient supply would be possible all year round.

How Europe’s colonial plant heritage continues to shape the plant world today: The displacement of plant species to foreign territories has lasting effects on biodiversity and on the livelihoods of people. The restrictive trade policies of the European colonial powers ensured that plants were mainly traded between those regions that were occupied by the same power. Therefore, the plant species exchanged were largely limited to the respective dominions.

Climate change disrupts monsoon rains and droughts: The regularly occurring monsoon rains and droughts are connected: They are part of the Earth’s water cycle. Climate change is severely disrupting this important system that makes life on the planet possible: because warmer temperatures heat up the lower atmosphere and increase evaporation. As a result, more water vapour enters the air. More water in the air means a greater likelihood of precipitation, often in the form of intense, unpredictable storms. Conversely, increased evaporation can also increase drought in areas prone to drought – because the water escapes into the atmosphere instead of staying on the ground where it is needed. 

Education: A university for trees.
Climate triumphs over spectacle: Downhill skiing on the Matterhorn cancelled.
Mushroom pickers: Feel climate change.
Spruce: No future anymore.
Sustainable building: Palaces made of scrap.



Green World Cup in Qatar? At the World Cup in Qatar, emissions of climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO2) are likely to be significantly higher than the average of previous tournaments. The desert state wants to offset all emissions, for example by planting trees. Critics speak of „greenwashing“. According to critics, the expected CO2 footprint stated by Qatar is clearly underestimated and in reality up to eight times as high.  They also criticise the quality of the projects to compensate for the emissions as questionable, difficult to trace and not independently verifiable.

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