Habeck wants to promote conversion to climate-friendly production processes: Federal Minister of Economics Habeck wants to promote German industrial companies that are willing to switch to climate-friendly production processes. He said that the state support stimulates the necessary innovations, supports the companies in the conversion and helps to push the use of hydrogen. „With the climate protection agreements, we are opening a new chapter, and Germany is thus taking on a pioneering role,“ said Habeck. Investments in climate-friendly production processes are therefore highly risky, according to the justification in the draft of the funding guideline, which is available to this editorial team. In concrete terms, Habeck therefore wants to compensate large companies with high CO2 emissions for the additional costs that arise for more climate-friendly production. In this way, new, transformative technology would become marketable much faster. waz.de
World Nature Conference – a price tag for nature: Companies should do more to protect biodiversity. A new initiative is campaigning for this ahead of the World Conference on Nature in Montreal, because the damage is in the trillions. According to the World Economic Forum, around half of the world’s gross domestic product, more than 44 trillion dollars, depends on nature, on forests, oceans and other natural habitats together with the plants and animals that – still – exist there. But every day there are about 150 species less. A new initiative therefore wants to bundle and strengthen the forces for nature-friendly management. faz.net
By eleven percent
deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has decreased, according to the latest findings. Between the beginning of August 2021 and the end of July 2022, an area of 11,568 square kilometres was deforested in the region, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) announced last week at the presentation of its annual report. This corresponds to more than twice the area of the Ruhr region. In the comparable period a year earlier, it had been 13,038 square kilometres. rnd.de
What companies should pay for plastic waste: The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has for the first time made concrete proposals on the extent to which companies should contribute to the disposal of plastic waste. As the agency announced on Wednesday, it considers a levy of 8.95 euros per kilogramme of waste to be reasonable for cigarette filters containing plastic. For disposable plastic cups, the UBA proposes 1.23 euros per kilo. Each plastic product group should have its own cost rates. handelsblatt.com , umweltbundesamt.de (original paper)
Chemical companies care too little about dangerous substances: substances from the PFAS group are practically indestructible and are found in many products. They are a risk for humans and nature. Now not only environmentalists are putting pressure on the manufacturers, but also investors. sueddeutsche.de
Less and less water in rivers: The rivers in almost all regions of the world carried less water last year than the long-term average. This is what the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports in its first report on the world’s freshwater reserves. It calls it a negative trend. Below-average river discharge was recorded in some regions in southeastern South America and the southern USA, as well as in the Niger, Volta, Nile and Congo rivers in Africa, and in regions in eastern Russia and Central Asia. More water flowed, among others, in the north of the North American continent and in China on the Amur River. In about one third of the regions studied worldwide, the runoff was at about the level of the 30-year average. spektrum.de
Why the footballers are sweating in Qatar: Although it is December, the footballers and fans in Qatar are sweating. Climate change also has a part to play in this, at least that is the conclusion of a scientific analysis by the US research group Climate Central. Attribution research is the name of the scientific branch of climate science. It calculates how much climate change is involved in a weather event, and this is now becoming increasingly successful. An international team called World Weather Attribution (WWA) has already presented a whole series of such studies. For example, a WWA analysis showed that the extreme heatwave that hit India and Pakistan this spring was about 30 times ‑more likely to have occurred due to climate change ‑than in a world without climate change. klimareporter.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Nächster Halt Wattenmeer
How a small migratory bird connects worlds
Humans and nature are linked by an exciting and eventful history of relationships: How does the natural environment influence the development of human societies? How does it shape thought and action? How do humans change their environment and with what consequences? In his search for answers, graphic artist and environmental educator Reno Lottmann follows a small, inconspicuous bird that achieves great things: Every year, the Knutt – also known as the Knutt Sandpiper – commutes between Africa and the Arctic, stopping twice in the German Wadden Sea. Wherever it lands, the Knot meets people who – like itself – are forced to adapt to very different living conditions. Because the Knutt connects very different worlds, it is an ideal travel companion to explore the diverse relationships between humans and the environment. oekom.de
Overview: Germany lags behind the traffic light targets almost everywhere. focus.de
Coal and nuclear in Germany: Using them is the wrong way forward for Germany, warns UN Special Rapporteur Marcos Orenella. zeit.de
Greenpeace dives down to Northstream 1: The environmental organisation Greenpeace used a diving robot to examine the destroyed Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. There was one conspicuous feature. heise.de
Enough signatures for earlier climate neutrality: Next year, Berlin will vote on whether the capital should be climate neutral as early as 2030. n-tv.de
Global fresh water reserves: The world is getting drier and drier, especially in Africa and South America. spiegel.de
China and Russia: Want to expand energy cooperation. merkur.de
Gregor Gysi: Assumes mandate for activists of the last generation. sueddeutsche.de
Climate protection from a single source: Philipp Schröder convinces small and medium-sized businesses to slip into his holding company in order to offer climate systems from a single source. wiwo.de
Supply chain law: EU states reach agreement. br.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:
Why we need to eat more sustainably
The world population is growing. We need more food. But in view of the climate crisis, we should actually produce less. The way out of this dilemma: more sustainable food. On the one hand, the world population is growing rapidly, recently exceeding the 8 billion mark for the first time. Therefore, we have to produce more and more food. On the other hand, there is the climate crisis: food production is already a heavy burden on the climate. If we continue to increase production, this will have drastic consequences for the planet. detektor.fm
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
Why the energy transition needs strong development cooperation
by Till Mannsmann
For the first time, we not only have to develop new energy sources that are larger than the existing ones, but we also have to shut down high-yield energy sources that are available cheaply (but only without cost internalisation!) as completely as possible within the shortest possible time. And since we do not want to worsen the lives of billions of people for this, we must make the new alternative available immediately. Let’s be clear: fossil energies will only stay in the ground if we replace them at an affordable price.
This alternative is precisely green hydrogen, which makes it possible to store and transport renewable energies and thus tap into incredibly abundant resources around the world. In West Africa alone, the potential for green hydrogen, at up to 165,000 TWh per year, is 110 times greater than Germany’s projected import demand in 2050. Let’s see this as an opportunity: we now have the chance to establish an almost inexhaustible global energy market with many more players, which will enable much fairer competition than before – and thus perhaps even greater progress for all than in the fossil age.
- Till Mansmann is the development policy spokesperson for the FDP parliamentary group in the Bundestag and the innovation officer for „Green Hydrogen“ at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Welt-sichten – the new Edition of the magazine is published
The world is moving closer together: When Indians or Chinese eat more meat and consume more oil, food and petrol become more expensive in our country. Conversely, we influence living conditions in Africa, Asia and Latin America with our consumption, our exports and our policies. Such interactions are crucial for the fight against poverty, for environmental and climate protection and for securing peace.
welt-sichten helps to better understand the interrelationships – whether in print as a magazine or online with the website www.welt-sichten.org. The spectrum of topics ranges from the global economy and development policy to climate change and environmental protection to peace issues and the role of religions. The new issue will be published on 9 December.
H2 Energy boss Patrick Huber – „We will expand our offering in the coming year“: Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility or any of its partners have no intention of ceasing their activities around the Swiss fuel cell initiative. We are determined to further execute and develop our business model for heavy-duty fuel cell transport together with the existing partner network in Switzerland. fair-economics.de
Aviation: People may have to wait longer for more sustainable flights. The aviation industry is not adapting quickly enough to more environmentally friendly technologies, warns Airbus boss Guillaume Faury. That’s up to Boeing. sueddeutsche.de
49-Euro-Ticket: Länder want to introduce it on 1 April.but transport companies think it is realistic to wait until May. tagesschau.de
German e-car market could slump: The electric boom in the German car market could be put in a severe damper. High electricity prices and declining subsidies are not the only causes. n-tv.de
Climate activists against SUVs: In a coordinated action, environmentalists let the air out of the tyres of almost 900 SUVs. t-online.de
Environment Committee of the European Parliament: Only zero-emission new cars from 2035. wiwo.de
Associations want better public transport: Every third person in Germany is dissatisfied with the accessibility of buses and trains at their place of residence. This is the result of a representative study conducted by the research institute KANTAR on behalf of the Pro-Rail Alliance, BUND and the German Road Safety Council. The majority of those surveyed would like to see much better bus and rail service. There is also dissatisfaction with the infrastructure and the safety of cycling and walking. klimareporter.de , allianz-pro-schiene.de
Hydrogen from ammonia: A team in the USA has developed a catalyst that uses light to split ammonia and obtain hydrogen. golem.de
Habeck wants hydrogen pipeline network with state participation: According to plans of the Federal Ministry of Economics, Germany wants to build a hydrogen pipeline network with state participation. spiegel.de , Fortschreibung derNatWasserstoffstrategie
Is Germany squandering its lead in green hydrogen? German engineers develop a new technology, and then the Americans come along and do the big business with the innovation: as with other technologies before, Germany is now threatened with this fate with green hydrogen. With its Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the American government has decided to support the hydrogen industry with more than 50 billion dollars. It grants the companies a guaranteed payment for a period of ten years. berliner-zeitung.de
Chinese researchers develop electrolyser for seawater: Seawater is available in large quantities. A team from China has developed an electrolyser that processes salt water without first having to desalinate it.The core of the system is a membrane that is only permeable to water vapour, but not to liquid water. On one side is seawater, on the other concentrated potash lye. Inside are electrodes that split the water in which the potassium hydroxide is dissolved. golem.de
BMW: Officially starts building hydrogen cars. pnp.de
LEAK: EU rules on renewable hydrogen expected on 15 December: The rules under which hydrogen will be considered renewable, the so-called additionality rules, are expected to be presented by the Commission on 15 December, leaving little time for consultation. One of the most important changes – proof of a quarterly overlap between renewable generation and hydrogen production will be sufficient. euractiv.de (Including the leaked paper)
Leak test on cavern in Etzel begins: As part of the H2CAST Etzel research project, Storag Etzel GmbH and its project partners have started the first gas tightness test using hydrogen at a cavern in Etzel. Extensive material tests were carried out in preparation for the test, according to a press release. A total of 280 kilograms of gaseous hydrogen from sustainable „green“ production was introduced into the project cavern. zfk.de
Pipe free: This is how hydrogen is to be transported through Germany: Existing gas networks could be used for transport, two projects now say. For a start, according to the results of the „TransHyDE“ project, a hydrogen network 10,000 kilometres long would suffice to bring the hydrogen quantities then available to large consumers such as industry. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, the German gas grid has a total length of 511,000 kilometres. According to the Association of Gas Transmission System Operators, the length of the gas transmission system is around 40,000 kilometres of this. heise.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
BMZ wanted to continue development work in Afghanistan: In the 16th session of the 1st Committee of Inquiry on the last phase of the Afghanistan mission, the panel focused on development cooperation between Afghanistan and Germany. A head of division of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) at the time was questioned about this. He stated that he had coordinated development cooperation at the embassy in Kabul from 2020 onwards. Before that time, he had also been responsible for the local forces procedure. Germany has supported various projects in Afghanistan with approximately 250 million euros annually. Part of this money went into the fund of the international donor group. In addition, there were joint projects between the BMZ and the Federal Foreign Office. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) were responsible for implementing the projects in the country. More at bundestag.de
Sustainable clothing: supply chains could be gamechangers: The textile industry is causing a „major environmental and human rights problem“ in the view of Viola Wohlgemuth, consumer expert at Greenpeace Germany. Ten per cent of global greenhouse gases and 35 per cent of microplastics in the oceans can be traced back to the production of the textile industry, she said during a public expert discussion in the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development on Wednesday evening on the topic of „Sustainable Clothing“. 25 per cent of textiles are not even sold and only one per cent are recycled worldwide, Wohlgemuth said. She called for a revision of the European chemicals regulation REACH as well as sanctionable climate-related due diligence obligations in the new EU supply chain law. More at bundestag.de
Experts want to focus on diversity in global nutrition: In the view of experts, the concept of diversity plays a major role in securing the global food supply through innovative methods, for example in the cultivation and breeding of crops. This became clear on Wednesday at the hearing of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development on this topic. In the view of Matin Qaim, Director of the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn, a world without hunger is a great challenge, but possible. This requires a comprehensive transformation of agricultural and food systems. Agriculture must become more productive, more diverse and more climate-adapted. Too little increase in yields leads to even more deforestation. According to Qaim, the production increases must take place in the global South, and this requires a „double whammy“. Increased production and new technologies are important, but they are not enough. „We need to become more sustainable in our consumption,“ Qaim said, for example by consuming less meat and less biofuel. More at bundestag.de
Coalition presents draft law for electricity price brake: Even though wholesale prices for electricity have fallen recently, electricity prices in Germany and Europe remain at a significantly higher level than before the energy crisis in the wake of the Russian attack on Ukraine. For this reason, the coalition factions of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP are now presenting a draft bill (20/4685) for the „introduction of an electricity price brake and for the amendment of further energy law provisions“. The law is intended to provide relief for electricity consumers until 30 April 2024.
Yes to bill to expand renewable energies: With the votes of the SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, FDP and Die Linke parliamentary groups, the Building Committee on Wednesday approved the federal government’s bill to immediately improve the framework conditions for renewable energies in urban planning law (20/4227) as amended by the committee. The CDU/CSU and the AfD voted against the bill, which aims to accelerate the expansion of wind energy and photovoltaic plants and the production of hydrogen from renewable energies, and to lower the hurdles for gas, electricity and heat production by bioenergy plants. Among other things, the existing capacity limit for biogas plants in outdoor areas is to be suspended until the end of 2024. Surplus electricity from wind energy plants is to be able to be used for the production of hydrogen. In addition, the Länder will be authorised to open up post-mining areas for the use of renewable energy plants.
Energy and climate-relevant technology funding: Neither the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) nor the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) have so far rejected funding applications as an important transnational project of common European interest (IPCEI). This is the result of the federal government’s answer (20/4522) to the small question of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group (20/4273) on the topic „Energy and climate-relevant technology funding of the federal government within the framework of the IPCEI“. Only one project each in the area of responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs had withdrawn the IPCEI hydrogen funding application on their own initiative. At the request of the EU Commission, some of the projects selected under IPCEI are also to be funded under other legal bases (under the EU Guidelines on Climate, Environmental and Energy Aid KUEBLL, or the General Block Exemption Regulation AGVO). As things stand, these are 21 of the original 62 projects.
Ecological footprint in the ICT sector: Currently, digitisation leads to an increase in the consumption of natural resources rather than to their saving. More at bundestag.de
Much of the greenhouse gas emissions come from the use of toxic chemicals in food and agriculture and this is not discussed enough in the climate debate.Industrial agriculture is responsible for 75 per cent of soil degradation and water scarcity – because the toxins used in agriculture need a lot of water. A study has recently been published showing that the ecological footprint of chemical fertilisers in agriculture is significantly larger than that of commercial flying. Of course, flying is not good either, but chemical fertilisers are a much bigger problem.
Vandana Shiva, winner of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize, said we need a system in which everyone has a right to food without chemicals, otherwise we would have to admit that we are slaves to the poison cartel. Governments also have a responsibility to do the right thing for their citizens – after all, that is what they were elected to do. Western nations could learn a lot from India in this regard, as their homeland has long relied on traditional organic farming without poisons. It is important that something changes now: We have to hold the seeds in our hands again in order to hold democracy in our hands. Her hope is that we will once again become citizens of the earth. focus.de
Environmental protection in Uganda: Alternative Nobel Prize for commitment against oil multinationals: Expropriation, deforestation, displacement: The environmental organisation African Institute for Energy and Governance (Afiego) does not want to accept this and takes the side of communities affected by the oil project in the East African country and fights against the longest oil pipeline in the world.For their „courageous commitment to climate justice and the rights of affected communities“ they will be honoured last Wednesday with the Right Livelihood Award, also called the alternative Nobel Prize, in Stockholm. tagesspiegel.de
How Ethiopian Airlines wants to dominate Africa even more: Africa’s largest airline wants to become much bigger. In addition, Ethiopian Airlines is counting on influence through shareholdings. This is also made possible by the weakness of the competition. aerotelegraph.com
Green hydrogen: hopes and fears in Namibia: Namibia wants to become a leading global producer of green hydrogen. Germany is also very interested in this. That is why Economics Minister Habeck was in Windhoek at the weekend. Green hydrogen is supposed to bring development and jobs to the township. At the same time, the country needs plenty of money from foreign investors. There is talk of up to 190 billion US dollars needed by 2040 to set up a hydrogen industry in Namibia. Conversely, the Namibian government hopes that this will create development opportunities for the country. dw.com
Russia’s influence in Africa remains limited: Russia has strengthened and expanded its activities in Africa, but Russian influence in Africa remains limited, as the Federal Government writes in its answer (20/4616) to a minor question (20/4185) from the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. Africa is not a priority region for Russian foreign policy. Russian investments on the continent amount to less than 0.003 per cent of those of the European Union in Africa. Russia does not engage in development cooperation with African states in a way that is qualitatively or quantitatively comparable to the engagement of Western states. The new Russia-Africa summit planned for autumn 2022 after the first summit in Sochi in 2019 had to be postponed until summer 2023 due to a lack of response from the African Union. Intensified Russian efforts to find African trading partners since February 2022 had hardly led to any concrete results so far.
Cassava and traditional millet are experiencing a renaissance in Africa: only six percent of agricultural land is irrigated. 33 of the continent’s 55 countries are dependent on aid supplies. The climate crisis and rising prices for food imports are making the cultivation of crops and old, drought-resistant varieties of grain increasingly important in Africa. enorm-magazin.de
Mali: Co-owner of lithium in Goulamina registers on Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Germany. agenceecofin.com
South Africa: Imminent impeachment. South Africa’s president refuses to resign. South Africa’s head of state, who has come under criticism for money laundering and bribery, is fighting back: Cyril Ramaphosa declares that he will not resign – and threatens legal action. spiegel.de
How the climate debate affects the Christmas market: When visiting a Christmas market, the question arises P which Christmas drink is the most sustainable. „When you buy ready-made mulled wine, whether at the Christmas market or in the shop, the origin of the ingredients unfortunately often remains in the dark,“ says Katja Tölle, deputy editor-in-chief of the magazine Öko-Test. She sees a positive development in regional wine mulled wine. The best, however, is homemade mulled wine, which has „a relatively good eco-balance“, says Tölle. The eco-balance of egg liqueur is also not particularly good. This is due to the ingredients eggs, cream and sugar. Eggnog also has a poor eco-balance. taz.de
The comeback of the Union Island gecko: Hardly discovered, the small reptile was already threatened. In 2005, scientists discovered the small Union Island gecko (Gonatodes daudini) for the first time. The species lives only in an approximately 50-hectare patch of forest. Unfortunately, the reptiles were also immediately discovered for the pet trade – because of a special feature: in the gloomy interior of the forest they are inconspicuous brown, but in the light they slowly transform into a psychedelic-looking creature in the brightest colours. By 2017, the gecko had become one of the most traded reptile species in the world. spektrum.de
How the EU wants to make smartphones and tablets more sustainable: In times when smartphones are no longer shining with innovations, the EU is taking on the role of a great innovator – with repercussions for manufacturers and users. Slightly faster processors, better cameras and faster-charging batteries: for years, smartphone manufacturers have been improving their devices primarily in the details. Big leaps between individual generations are a thing of the past, but now the EU is preparing to turn the industry upside down. It wants to add an ingredient to smartphones that hardly any manufacturer has had in its recipe so far: Sustainability. heise.de
Whistleblower report in Australia: Label cheating with coal. rnd.de
Sustainable tourism in Germany: concepts for a good climate, a „green“ city tax, free wifi. deutschlandfunkkultur.de
How green are cruise ships really? Environmentalists accuse the industry of not doing enough to combat climate change. The shipping companies reject the criticism. dw.com
5.12. 2022 Award ceremony Federal Ecodesign Prize 2022
Federal Minister Steffi Lemke presents the highest state award for ecological design. The design and layout of products determine around 80 percent of their environmental impact over their entire life cycle. Since 2012, the Federal Ecodesign Award has honoured outstandingly designed products, concepts and services that combine aesthetics and environmental protection.
07.12.2022-19.12.2022 World Conference on Nature (CBD COP 15)
The second part of the World Conference on Nature (CBD COP 15) will take place in Montréal (Canada) from 7 to 19 December 2022 under the Chinese COP Presidency. The 15th Conference of the Parties, at which the new global framework for biodiversity will be adopted, is planned as a face-to-face event. On the day before, 6 December, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke will hold a press conference on the topic „World Conference on Nature in Montreal“.
Drones and air taxis are to become part of everyday life in Europe: The EU Commission aims to make air taxis and some services using remote-controlled drones part of everyday life in Europe by 2030. It has now presented a strategy for this. It is intended to show how commercial drone operations can be „pursued on a large scale while opening up new opportunities for the sector“, as it says in a communication from the EU Commission. The aim is to ensure that people accept and support drones. heise.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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