Already a spat in the traffic lights in the transport sector? In order to compensate for higher diesel prices, the designated Transport Minister Wissing announces that he wants to lower the motor vehicle tax. This is causing irritation within the traffic lights. „The coalition agreement does not provide for this,“ said Green transport expert Stefan Gelbhaar about Wissing’s announcement that he wants to lower the motor vehicle tax in order to compensate for higher diesel prices. „The coalition agreement provides for an alignment of diesel and petrol costs,“ Gelbhaar stressed. n-tv.de, tagesspiegel.de
The most important climate resolutions of the traffic light coalition: coal phase-out, e-mobility, hydrogen: the most important energy and climate resolutions of the traffic light coalition. On Wednesday, the SPD, Greens and FDP presented their coalition agreement in Berlin. Among other things, the coal phase-out should ideally be brought forward to 2030, and renewable energies should be expanded. The share of renewables in electricity consumption is to increase to 80 per cent by 2030 to make the earlier coal phase-out possible. However, the traffic light coalition now assumes that up to 750 terawatt hours will be needed in 2030. The partners want to more than triple the installed solar capacity to 200 gigawatts by then, among other things with a photovoltaic obligation on commercial roofs. Accordingly, the expansion of wind energy on the high seas will also be accelerated, which is to climb to 30 gigawatts in 2030 (previously 20 GW). For onshore wind energy, 2 percent of the federal territory is to be reserved. In addition, the coalition wants to give priority to the expansion of wind energy in the planning process, taking into account other interests such as nature conservation. The „climate veto“ demanded by the Greens up to the end is also not to be found, but has been replaced by a more vague „climate check“ rnd.de , Koalitionsvertrag_2021-2025
Only 0.003 per cent of man-made emissions, or 40 megatonnes of CO2 per year, are stored in carbon storage factories
Only about half of the gas remains in the atmosphere. Nature binds the rest through so-called CO2 sinks: plants, soils and oceans. They slow down climate change far more effectively than any human technology. dw.com
France wants regional mini-nuclear power plants: In contrast to Germany, nuclear energy does not have a bad image in France. Politicians advertise that it emits little CO2, is cheap and creates jobs. Safety concerns receive little public attention. In addition to powerful reactors in the country, French President Macron is now promoting so-called small modular reactors. France could export these and catch up with the USA, China and Russia in this technology. deutschlandfunk.de
European Parliament agrees on common agricultural policy: The reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has now been adopted by the European Parliament. Agriculture in Europe is to become more environmentally compatible and fairer. In future, subsidies will be more closely linked to the fulfilment of environmental requirements. This is „more than just a step in the right direction for a performance-oriented, transparent and more effective agricultural policy in Europe“, said Ulrike Müller of the Free Voters, who was involved in the CAP negotiations. EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski said: „This was a difficult compromise, but I think it is the best compromise that could be reached.“ He spoke of a „good result“ that could ensure „the transition to a more sustainable agriculture“. tagesspiegel.de
The end of ex and hopp: Circular economy instead of „ex and hopp“ – this is the keyword for a more sustainable economy. This is not only about better recycling to reuse the raw materials that accumulate when disposing of old products – whether clothes, mobile phones or cars. It is also about optimised product design that improves recycling, durability, repairability, sharing and multiple use. A new study now shows: citizens are open to change here – especially when it comes to the use of second-hand goods. klimareporter.de
EU Commission plans mandatory reporting of methane emissions: The EU Commission is planning concrete measures against climate-damaging methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. This is the result of a draft EU law. According to the draft, operators of oil and gas power plants in the EU would have to report methane emissions. In addition, the Commission wants to exert pressure so that less methane is emitted by imported goods. The draft law is expected to be presented on 14 December and can still be amended until then. aerzteblatt.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Unsere Welt neu denken – Eine Einladung
Our world is at a tipping point and we feel it. On the one hand, we are doing better than ever, but on the other hand, dislocation, destruction and crisis are showing up everywhere we look. Whether environment or society – seemingly at the same time, our systems are under stress. We suspect that things will not and cannot stay the way they are. How do we find a way of life that reconciles the well-being of the planet with that of humanity? Where is the path between prohibition regimes and questions of guilt on the one hand and growth mania and promises of technology on the other? Maja Göpel’s invitation is to take a new and very different look at this future.ullstein-buchverlag.de
Energy demand: 2/3 to be covered by renewable energies by 2050. nature.com
Brandenburg: Develops heat action plan. zeit.de
Trees: Cool cities better than green spaces. spiegel.de
Youth survey: Climate change the biggest concern of young people – but many don’t want to live green for it. stern.de
Traffic light parties: Want to set up coal foundation and free RWE from lignite. handelsblatt.com
Housing: Which green energy should be used instead of gas. derstandard.at
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:
This is how a sustainable beach holiday could work
In tourism, a consistent orientation towards sustainability criteria is most likely to be seen among tour operators of round trips, hiking, trekking, cycling or study and adventure tours. Reise vor9 talks to travel agency owner Ralf Hieke who, with Fairweg.de, is trying to get the topic off the ground for classic recreational and beach holidays as well. reisevor9.de
Combustion engine phase-out: Announced sales bans would more than halve the world market. The new German government announces that it will only allow climate-neutral cars sooner than expected. A new study shows how drastically sales and registration bans will change the global car business. However, the debate about the final declaration at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow shows that there is still political room for manoeuvre for the industry. The Glasgow Declaration provides for a de facto ban on combustion cars from 2040. But the big car nations such as Germany, Japan, the USA and China had refused to agree. In China in particular, there will probably be long transitional arrangements. In the world’s largest car market, a strict sales ban will not apply until 2060. manager-magazin.de
Battery recycling: The industry has achieved a decisive breakthrough in battery recycling. The recycling company Northvolt has been able to completely recycle a battery cell for the first time. This could make e-cars more sustainable and cheaper. basicthinking.de
Ship: Starting next year, the all-electric container ship „Yara Birkeland“ will sail the Nordic waters, saving 1,000 tonnes of CO2 and replacing 40,000 trips by diesel-powered trucks. business-punk.com
Hydrogen storage: The largest underground storage facility for green hydrogen produced from wind power is currently being built in the middle of Germany. It will then supply the neighbouring chemical industry via a pipeline, but also possibly provide mobility. How exactly this will look, however, is not yet known. So-called green hydrogen is an important basis for the successful implementation of the coming energy transition. Green because it is produced by electrolysis using only energy from renewable sources. In this process, water is converted into hydrogen with the help of very large amounts of energy. efahrer.chip.de
Hydrogen index: Deutsche Börse wants to launch a hydrogen index with its Leipzig energy subsidiary EEX next year and thus profit from the boom around the climate-friendly substance. finanzen.net
Gas network operators. Arming themselves for the hydrogen boom: more than 20 gas transport companies in Europe are exploring ways in which the existing natural gas pipelines could form the backbone for the transport of hydrogen. Among others, the Italian Snam SpA, Enagas S.A. from Spain and the Essen-based gas grid operator Open Grid Europe (OGE) are joining forces. The initiative for a European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) aims at a hydrogen network of almost 40,000 kilometres, which should be in place by 2040 and would consist of more than two thirds of converted natural gas pipelines. One third of new pipelines could connect new regions. Even after that, it should be possible to expand the network further. Open Grid Europe (OGE) and its partner companies are already exploring the possibility of producing hydrogen in regions as far away as the Sahara and feeding it into the European gas grid. With a current length of 198,500 kilometres, this is more than four times the circumference of the earth. Snam CEO Marco Alvera sees the plans as a project of historic importance. When the Sahara sun shines in the factories of Germany, it is like the roads the Romans built. „This is for eternity.“ boerse-online.de
On the way to Hydrogen Valley: Germany’s windy northwest is ideal for producing green hydrogen with electricity from renewable energies. Several projects are to pave the way to the hydrogen world here within the next few years. Four players are now pooling their projects: The energy company EWE, the electricity grid operator Tennet and the gas grid operators Gasunie and Thyssengas are signing a cooperation agreement, thus bringing together the „Clean Hydrogen Coastline“ and „Element eins“ projects. handelsblatt.com
We will very likely see a threefold radicalisation. A radicalisation of the climate crisis. A radicalisation of ignorance to deal with the cognitive dissonance. And then, in response, a radicalisation of the climate protests.
Tadzio Müller Political scientist, author and activist for two decades, among others in the anti-globalisation movement, … smashed car showrooms, destroyed cars, sabotage in gas power plants or on pipelines. That will definitely happen next summer. He hears this from the movement, even from more moderate actors. „Ende Gelände“ already has plans for sabotage this year. Of course, everyone would make sure that no one would come to harm. The crucial question is: What happens after the first acts of sabotage? How would society react if motorway construction sites were regularly vandalised at night?
Omicron variant: The COVID variant Omicron discovered in South Africa worries the whole world. Several countries imposed travel restrictions. But in South Africa, fear of the measures is greater than fear of the mutant. dw.com , theguardian.com
Sudan: After military coup in Sudan – Prime Minister Hamdok back in office: After the military in Sudan staged a coup on 25 October and Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok as well as leading party politicians and cabinet members were arrested by soldiers, Hamdok was released from house arrest last Sunday and reinstated in office a few hours later.
Ethiopia: Nobel laureate fights himself. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is said to have left the capital and travelled to the war front against the Tigray rebels. taz.de
Kenya: Government bars unvaccinated Kenyans from public transport, hotels and NTSA services. allafrica.com
SAP’s water deal in South Africa: State contracts worth millions without recognisable consideration: South Africa’s corruption prosecution wants to charge SAP. The company reacts remarkably to the accusations. sueddeutsche.de
Economy in Africa: Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia: Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economies are in deep crisis. Yet the continent urgently needs a country that is a beacon and locomotive for the others. nzz.ch
Pathogen reservoirs in Europe: Global transport routes not only ensure the rapid spread of pathogens, for example in the course of the Covid 19 pandemic. They generally bring species to places where they have never been before. Depending on how the ecosystems there are and what conditions the creatures bring with them, the new settlers can make themselves at home. However, this can also expose the established species to considerable stress – thanks to super-invasive plants such as black locust, which are strongly pushing back local species in Europe. In terms of animals, the future on this continent is likely to be dominated by neobiota (i.e. newly immigrated species), which fall into the categories of insects, crustaceans and molluscs, as a study found last year. They are distributed across the globe mainly by ships, but also by truck and air traffic. derstandard.de
When the albatross marriage breaks up due to climate change: The actually monogamous animals separate more often when they feel global warming, according to a study. The results could also be relevant for other animal species. In years with warm sea surface temperatures, as are to be expected increasingly in the course of climate change, the bird pairs separated more frequently than under more favourable conditions. spiegel.de
Destruction is cheaper than donation: Returns are part of the retail business and vary greatly depending on the product, explained Germany’s Amazon boss Ralf Kleber: „Of course, we try to put as much of the returned goods as possible back on sale as new goods“ and get rid of the rest as „B goods at bargain prices“. In general, „nobody has an interest in returns – neither the customer, nor the environment, and neither do we“. According to the long-standing country manager, sales partners on Amazon Marketplace with less of a financial cushion, on the other hand, often feel compelled to destroy goods out of economic necessity. „The legal regulations in Germany still stipulate that VAT must be paid on products that are donated,“ Kleber complains. „This makes it more expensive in many cases to donate than to dispose of.“ Many small traders who store goods in Amazon logistics centres „simply cannot afford this“. heise.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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