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Industry calls for compliance with 1.5 degree target: Corporations such as Amazon, Nestlé, Microsoft and Ikea have joined around 200 companies, organisations and celebrities in calling for global warming to be stopped at 1.5 degrees. „Governments, starting with those of the most developed industrialised countries, must honour their commitment to meet the 1.5 degree target and implement it more decisively,“ reads the appeal, which the signatories presented on Saturday at the World Climate Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The urgent need for action is shown by another figure: according to a new calculation, in order to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, about one trillion US dollars will have to be invested in the energy transition, adaptation to climate change and the conservation of natural areas in the Global South alone (with the exception of China) as early as 2025. By 2030, this need will rise to 2.4 trillion dollars annually, according to the study „Finance for Climate Action“. handelsblatt.com , capital.de
Skimming off windfall profits: The solar industry in Germany believes that the federal government’s plans will jeopardise investments worth billions. The reason given by the German Solar Industry Association is that „windfall profits“ of renewable energy operators are to be skimmed off to finance the electricity price brake. According to an industry survey, three quarters of entrepreneurs would reduce or postpone new investments in the event of such a „revenue skimming“. Carsten Körnig, the association’s CEO, criticised the need for a „solar booster“ and not a solar brake. heise.de
800 million jobs and more
Climate change and the energy transition have a direct impact on this worldwide. The management consultancy Deloitte has now warned of this. This corresponds to a quarter of the current global workforce. Jobs in agriculture, the energy sector, mining, industry, transport and construction are particularly affected, says the study, which the consultancy presented today at the UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh. tagesschau.de
Devastating impact of climate change on Africa: A report by the organisation Christian Aid describes the devastating economic impact that climate change may have on the economies of countries on the African continent compared to a scenario without climate change. Estimates show that with current climate policies and a possible global temperature rise of 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, African countries could face an average decline in their gross domestic product of 20 percent by 2050 – and 64 percent by 2100. Richer countries have already announced support in some cases at this year’s world climate conference. however, a common line is lacking. spiegel.de
Ban on wind power in the forest unconstitutional: For years, Thuringia has been struggling to be part of the energy transition. Many forest owners would like to generate electricity from wind. But the state prohibited the construction of wind turbines in the forest. Now the Federal Constitutional Court has ruled on the dispute. The complaints were upheld because, according to the judges of the first senate, the state of Thuringia lacks the legislative competence for such a ban. tagesschau.de
German Cabinet adopts national strategy to protect peatlands: Peatlands can make a decisive contribution to climate protection. The Federal Government therefore wants to re-wet large areas and work closely with farmers in the process. Currently, more than 90 percent of Germany’s peatlands are so drained that they release about 53 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year. This corresponds to 7.5 percent of Germany’s total greenhouse gas emissions. When peatlands are intact, on the other hand, they are a potent store of climate-damaging carbon dioxide. The Federal Government therefore wants to better protect peatlands in the future. To this end, the Federal Cabinet adopted a national strategy this Wednesday. It is intended to contribute to the achievement of the Federal Government’s climate protection goals and to restore biodiversity in peatlands. Among other things, the strategy envisages that the rewetting of peatlands will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least five million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents by 2030. spektrum.de
Economics Minister Habeck wants to use priority areas for wind energy quickly: Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck wants to accelerate the expansion of renewable energies. Designated priority areas for wind energy are to be used quickly. „Now it is a matter of building on these areas quickly,“ said Habeck. rnd.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Die monetäre Maschine
A CRITIQUE OF FINANCIAL REASON
Ailing infrastructures, underfunded social and health systems, pandemic and climatic emergencies: the public sector is short of money. But at the same time, money seems to be in abundance: for decades, money supplies have been growing much faster than the economy. In his book, Aaron Sahr shows how we are dominated by an ideology that wants to transfigure money into an apolitical technology – with disastrous consequences for prosperity, stability and justice. It is high time to reclaim monetary sovereignty as a democratic community and collectively take the helm of the money machine.
For decades, money supplies have been growing much faster than the economy. Despite this self-dynamic expansion, there is a lack of funds for productive investments and public goods, for the expansion of digital and analogue infrastructures, for preparing for climate change and for overcoming economic and pandemic crises. Could it be that these payment difficulties are not fate, but based on a blatant misunderstanding?
Economic sociologist Aaron Sahr subjects our financial rationality to a critique. He shows that money is not an innocent technology for running markets – an ideology cemented in central bank independence or the debt brake – but a political institution. By conceiving of economics as a legitimate debt context, he can pointedly name the operating problems of the monetary machine: Fully privatised, our money produces wealth for the few instead of prosperity for all, destabilising itself and the ecological and social fabric. According to Sahr, a socialisation of the modern money machine is the only way out of the manifold crises of the present. chbeck.de
World Climate Conference I: Oxfam calls for tax on the super-rich. zeit.de
Alarming climate data: Measured values from leading weather services in Europe and the USA record the eight hottest years since records began in the period from 2015. n-tv.de
France: Leak discovered in cooling system of French nuclear power plant. spiegel.de
Renate Künast: Tough on the last generation. fair-economics.de
World Climate Conference II: Climate activists accuse Olaf Scholz of deception. zeit.de
EU Commission: Richer countries should cut emissions faster. zeit.de
EON: Write-off on Nordstream 1. wiwo.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:
The commodity of sustainability: where is the common sense?
The topic of sustainability dominates public debates today. In politics, when shopping, in society in general, sustainability statements cannot be overlooked. Companies or organisations use them to show how they define themselves, what values they pay attention to, what social responsibility they assume in the face of climate change. But are all these claims credible and do they reach consumers and the public?
Irina Lock in Jena deals with such questions. „I would never advise relying only on labels,“ says the communication scientist and professor at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. Even if manufacturers label their products as sustainable or ecological, as consumers we should always use common sense. mdr.de
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
by Tanja Esswein
Do not shift responsibility
Reading the statement by Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) on the UN World Climate Conference, one briefly thinks she has mixed up the sentences: In her statement, she calls for concrete climate protection measures, „because two thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions come from emerging and developing countries“. This is misleading. With her statement, Schulze shifts the question of responsibility away from those who should actually make a difference at the UN World Climate Conference: the states that are historically responsible for the climate crisis.
The USA is one of the largest CO2 emitters in the world. It was only in the 1990s that China overtook it. And if an Oxfam report published yesterday is to be believed, over a hundred billionaires and their investments are responsible for as much greenhouse gas emissions as individual emerging and developing countries combined. taz.de
ECJ rules in favour of Deutsche Umwelthilfe: Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) is allowed to sue against certain approvals of defeat devices in the exhaust gas purification of cars. As the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled, recognised environmental associations must be given the opportunity to have their compliance with European environmental law reviewed. Specifically, the case concerned an action brought by Deutsche Umwelthilfe against the Federal Republic of Germany because of a decision by the Federal Motor Transport Authority in Flensburg. The decision had approved a Volkswagen car equipped with a thermal window. A thermo window is software that reduces exhaust gas purification in diesels depending on the outside temperature, causing the cars to emit more nitrogen oxides, especially in cold weather. zeit.de
The new Euro 7 emissions standard will cost consumers 100 to 150 euros: The new European emissions standard is intended to help protect the climate and improve air quality, says the EU Commission. Car buyers must be prepared for additional costs. faz.net
German „Ampel coalition“ reaches agreement, toll for trucks over 3.5 tonnes: The traffic light coalition has reached an agreement in a dispute over the HGV toll. The way is clear for the toll amendment law, the coalition factions announced. Accordingly, it was agreed that a toll reform would come into effect on 1 January 2024. This would include the extension of the HGV toll to vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and a CO2 toll. Up to now, the HGV toll applies to vehicles weighing 7.5 tonnes or more. n-tv.de
Environmental aid demands recall of five million diesel cars: The European Court of Justice has ruled in favour of the German environmental aid organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe: The German authorities have probably wrongly approved diesel cars whose exhaust gas purification only works cleanly at mild temperatures. This has consequences. spiegel.de
Mobility in transition: two-wheelers of all kinds are more in vogue than ever in Germany. The reason for this true two-wheeler boom: in addition to the important environmental aspects and the continuing focus on individual transport in Corona times, it is above all the energy crisis and the associated rise in petrol costs that are making Germans increasingly switch from cars to two-wheelers. This is the result of the current „Mobility Report 2022“, for which eBay Ads compared and evaluated sales on eBay.de for the first two quarters of 2022. Demand for bicycles (+46 per cent), e-bikes (+40 per cent), electric scooters (+38 per cent) and scooters (+54 per cent) on eBay.de is growing at a correspondingly rapid pace. marketing-boerse.de
Rail travel in Europe: 600,000 Interrail tickets have already been sold across Europe this year – this mark has never been reached before. This means that the number of tickets sold almost doubled compared to 2019. With 142,000, the most Interrail tickets were sold in Germany. Switzerland follows in second place with 94,000 and England with 63,000 tickets sold. zeit.de
Federal budget 2023: More money for the railways. bundestag.de
Eon analysis – Germany is not hydrogen-ready: The energy company has analysed data from the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne. According to the analysis, the German government will only achieve half of its hydrogen target for 2030, according to an H2 balance sheet presented by the company on Wednesday. It is based on data from the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI) in combination with concrete project plans up to 2030 and other indicators such as green hydrogen production capacity, import volumes, infrastructure and costs. Currently, according to Eon’s analysis, Germany is not sufficiently prepared for the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy: domestic green hydrogen production capacity is insufficient, German import demand cannot be met, and there is no infrastructure to transport hydrogen from the country’s borders to the customers who depend on it for their conversion to green technologies. eon.com
Hydrogen from manure and slurry: since last Friday, a plant producing green hydrogen has been under construction in Krefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia. What makes the pilot plant, which fits into a large blue container, unique in Germany so far is that it produces the energy carrier not from green electricity but from biogas. „The fuel can thus be produced directly on site where it is also consumed,“ explains Andy Gradel, managing director of the BtX company. handelsblatt.com
„Russia loses energy war“: Von der Leyen announces three hydrogen agreements. Calling green hydrogen the „energy of the future“, the EU Commission President added: „I will conclude three agreements for green hydrogen here at this COP27, for example with Namibia and with Egypt.“ She specified that this would take place within the framework of the EU’s „Global Gateway“ investment programme, which is endowed with 300 billion euros. Such a partnership is also being sought with Kazakhstan. n-tv.de , euractiv.de (Kazakhstan)
Airbus A320 becomes real laboratory for hydrogen technology: A second aircraft life in the service of science: Lufthansa’s decommissioned Airbus A320 „Halle an der Saale“ will now become a flying laboratory for hydrogen technology in the service of Lufthansa Technik, DLR, ZAL and Hamburg Airport. produktion.de
How ocean current becomes green ammonia: There is an abundance of green electricity on the British Orkney Islands. The inhabitants want to use the surplus to produce green ammonia – which could be used to power ships and aircraft in a climate-friendly way in the future. tagesschau.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG:
More money for economic cooperation and development: The Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze (SPD), can expect to spend €12.16 billion in her portfolio in 2023. The budget for Section 23, which was approved by the Budget Committee early Friday morning, is thus 1.08 billion euros above the estimate in the government draft (11.08 billion euros) and 11.19 million euros below the target for 2022 (12.35 billion euros). The new commitment appropriations for the coming budget years are €10.93 billion, some €137.37 million above the government draft (€10.79 billion). On the revenue side, 749.11 million euros are budgeted for 2023 as in the government draft, which is 1.28 million euros more than in 2022 (747.83 million euros). bundestag.de
Mowing robots are dangerous for hedgehogs: Mowing robots are a danger for hedgehogs, but also for other ground-dwelling animal species. They can injure and kill them. This is stated by the Federal Government in its answer (20/4252) to a minor question by the AfD parliamentary group (20/4034). Mowing work is basically a risk, whether carried out by humans or robots. However, the potential danger posed by robots operating automatically and unsupervised, especially at night, is „to be assessed as correspondingly high“, it says. Since robotic mowers move relatively slowly, the animal species most at risk are those that stop and duck when such a device approaches. These include hedgehogs as well as amphibian species such as toads, amphibians and frogs. A scientific and systematic overview of the injuries to hedgehogs caused by robotic mowers is already available in the form of a Danish-British study published in 2021, the German government writes. However, it does not have figures on how many hedgehogs, other small mammals or other animals fall victim to mowing operations throughout Germany.
16.8 billion on the EEG account: The balance on the EEG account at the end of September 2022 was around 16.8 billion euros. Since the abolition of the EEG levy in July 2022, the EEG account balance has fallen by 81 million euros, according to the Federal Government’s answer (20/4256) to a minor question from the CDU/CSU parliamentary group (20/3862). For the year 2023, based on an expert opinion of the transmission system operators, revenues totalling 3.6 billion euros are forecast for the EEG account, most of which is accounted for by photovoltaic plants. If the EEG levy had still existed in the second half of 2022, this would have generated revenues of an estimated 6.6 billion euros on the EEG account, the Federal Government reports.
Assistance for poorer countries in the event of climate and disaster damage: „Hedging packages“ of the Global Climate Risk Shield are financed by various bilateral and multilateral donors as well as by the central financing structure of the shield. As the German government explains in its answer (20/4258) to a minor question by the AfD parliamentary group (20/3997), the umbrella is managed by a high-level steering committee and accompanied by a coordination structure consisting of central implementation partners. The safeguard packages would be developed together with countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate risks. According to the German government, this financing structure of the protection umbrella consists of three complementary financing vehicles, which are located at the World Bank, the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management as well as the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a partnership of countries that are particularly vulnerable due to global warming, and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20), a cooperation initiative of the finance ministers of these countries. The government writes that it is not possible to make generalised statements about cost sharing, as the various programmes finance implementation differently depending on the context. Also, the protective umbrella has no fixed financial volume.
The CDU/CSU wants to move climate protection forward: The CDU/CSU parliamentary group wants to advance climate protection internationally, at the European level and in Germany. Against the background of the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), which is currently taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, the CDU and CSU parliamentarians write in a motion (20/4312) that the German government has not pursued climate protection with the necessary urgency in recent months, that the implementation and financing promises to give 100 billion dollars annually for climate protection to poorer countries have not been kept.
Green light for cost allocation of the CO2 price: With the votes of the coalition factions against the votes of the CDU/CSU and AfD, the Building Committee approved the draft law on the allocation of carbon dioxide costs (Carbon Dioxide Cost Allocation Act, 20/3172) submitted by the federal government. The Left Party abstained.
Hearing on the Guarantees of Origin for Energies: The Committee on Climate Protection and Energy held a public hearing on Wednesday 9 November 2022 on the Federal Government’s draft bill on guarantees of origin for gas, hydrogen, heating or cooling from renewable energies and on amending the District Heating or District Cooling Consumption Recording and Settlement Ordinance (20/3870). bundestag.de
The EU is working on a new law with the aim that only products that have demonstrably not contributed to forest degradation will be placed on the market. This is very good, because we have tried long enough to achieve forest protection with voluntary measures and found: A law is needed. Now it is important that the law is not weakened by the timber and agricultural lobby.
Gesche Jürgens, campaigner at Greenpeace and expert on forest protection, says that the points of contention are, for example, which products are to be regulated by the law. The EU Commission’s proposal covers beef, wood, palm oil and coffee, but rubber, maize, chicken and pork are missing. And the EU Parliament, in contrast to the Commission and the EU Council of Ministers, would also like to cover „other forested areas“, to include the financial sector, to protect human rights and to lay down stricter controls. But that is less than three per cent in Europe. They also tried to prevent forest damage caused by forestry from being taken into account. In this way, the EU would shirk its responsibility. The German government needed to speak out strongly against this. taz.de
The US will reach its emissions target by 2030
Joe Biden, US President, we are rushing ahead to do our part to avert the climate hell that the UN Secretary-General warned so passionately about earlier this week. His administration has taken „unprecedented steps“ over the past two years to address the climate crisis. In particular, Biden highlighted the so-called Inflation Control Act, which the US Congress passed in August. With it, about 370 billion dollars (358 billion euros) are to be invested in climate protection over the next ten years, for example to promote the production of solar cells and wind turbines. Financial incentives are also planned for the construction of plants for electric cars. The fight against the climate crisis must be accelerated. The past eight years have been the warmest since weather records began. He pointed to the dire consequences of global warming: droughts and forest fires in the USA, the famine crisis in East Africa and devastating floods in Egypt and Nigeria. whitehouse.gov
Compensation for Africa „We only want what is due to us“: Hardly any other continent suffers as much from the consequences of climate change as Africa – and has contributed so little in a global comparison. African politicians are therefore demanding financial compensation at the climate conference. tagesschau.de
CDU/CSU parliamentary group asks about Russia’s influence in Africa: The CDU/CSU parliamentary group asks in a small question (20/4185) about the German government’s strategy towards Russia’s growing influence in Africa. The MPs ask, among other things, about Russia’s most important strategic goals in Africa, about existing and potential dependencies of African countries on Russia and the effects on German and European interests on the ground.
Now it’s getting expensive: Who pays the bill for the CO₂ excess of the last decades? That is the key question of the COP27, but after one week of the conference little more than small change has been collected. Now it’s up to the USA and China. spiegel.de
Egypt: Activist on hunger strike is subjected to „medical treatment“ by Egyptian authorities.Whether this is force-feeding is unclear. Alaa Abd el-Fattah was one of the leading figures in the Arab Spring of 2011. derstandard.at
Congo: Congolese opposition leader Martin Madidi Fayulu calls on the world community to finally prioritise the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He sharply criticises Rwanda and Uganda. dw.com
„The industrialised nations‘ raised forefingers are unbearable“: Climate change is hitting Africa particularly hard. Biologist Wanjira Mathai explains why this is linked to energy poverty and why women in particular are important in environmental protection. zeit.de
Ancient updated – water wheel 4.0: „The mill on the rushing brook clatters…“. The water wheel has been used for thousands of years and is considered the oldest source of energy. Now a team from Braunschweig wants to revive the technology with the help of modern engineering knowledge. Construction work on the prototype began six years ago in Hornbostel, a village in the Lüneburg Heath. If the high-performance waterwheel proves itself, it could be used where there have hardly been any hydroelectric power plants so far, namely where rivers only flow down a gentle gradient. „Wherever there is water, there is potential to be gained. We have more than 240 rivers in Germany that have a flow of more than five cubic metres per second,“ explains initiator Christian Seidel. Theoretically, two to three gigawatts – the output of two to three nuclear power plants – could be tapped. deutschlandfunk.de
Greenland’s ice loss greater than assumed: In north-eastern Greenland, ice loss by the end of the century could be six times greater than previously assumed and thus contribute considerably to sea-level rise. It is possible that there are similarly underestimated ice dynamics in other areas, the scientists fear. „It is possible that what we are seeing in northeast Greenland is also happening in other areas of the ice sheet. This is because many glaciers have accelerated and thinned near the edge in recent decades,“ says Mathieu Morlighem of Dartmouth College in Hanover. „With the help of GPS data, we could now also determine how far inland this acceleration is spreading. If this is strong, the contribution of ice dynamics to Greenland’s overall mass loss will be greater than current models suggest.“ nature.com
Protein gel removes microplastics from the oceans: Researchers at Princeton University have found a way to efficiently remove microplastics from the oceans. To do this, they converted egg white into an aerogel. The gel filters not only the smallest plastic particles, but also salt from the water. As described in a study published in the journal Materials Today, seawater should be able to be freed from nano- or microplastics with an efficiency of up to 99.9 percent. After all, the efficiency is 98 percent when it comes to desalinating seawater. t3n.de
Autumn leaves: Can save emissions. fair-economics.de
Super plant: A French company has developed a „super plant“ that cleans the air 30 times better than normal plants. t3n.de
Travel: The climate footprint for travel is coming. welt.de
The building of strategic hydrogen partnerships between Africa and Europe led by first bankable green hydrogen projects in Africa
The REPowerEU communication by the European Commission sets out the objective of delivering 20mt of renewable hydrogen by 2030, including 10mt of imports which will rely heavily on the conclusion of Hydrogen Partnerships between Europe, Africa and the Gulf.
Developing hydrogen economies in Africa will reduce the economic burden of importing fossil fuels, unlock access to energy security and green fertilisers. Indeed, Africa offers great potential to produce price competitive renewable hydrogen both for domestic and export markets.
This event will showcase commercially feasible green hydrogen projects in Africa and discuss the building of strategic hydrogen partnerships between Africa and Europe. Speakers:
- Hanane El Hamraoui, VP Industry, HDF Energy
- John Andersen, Chairman of the Board, Scatec
- Priscillah Mabelane, Executive Vice President, Sasol
- Jonathan Dunn, Head of International Policy and UK Government Relations, Anglo American
Coal trader reveals: In times of need, eco-activists also heat with „climate killer“. Curiously enough, even activists who – at least outwardly – have dedicated themselves to saving the climate, take a chance with a Leipzig coal dealer named Ebert. „Sometimes I deliver coal to houses where there are posters on the walls that say ‚Ende Gelände‘. They do actions against lignite.“ Ebert is always surprised then. „On the one hand, people are calling for an exit from lignite, on the other hand they need lignite to keep from freezing.“ The entrepreneur is perplexed: „These are all contradictions. It’s impossible to comprehend.“ focus.de
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