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World Biodiversity Conference – anything is possible between breakthrough and failure: Since Wednesday, the Parties to the international environmental agreement CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) have been meeting in Montréal, Canada, for their Conference of the Parties (COP). Hopes are high for a „Paris moment“, as Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, head of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, explained beforehand. In Paris in 2015, the participants of the UN Climate Change Conference agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times. One of the goals of the World Biodiversity Conference is that 30 per cent of land and marine areas should be under protection by 2030; this requires the most clearly defined species protection targets possible for the signatory states. While UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a „peace treaty with nature“ at the start of the World Conference on Nature in Montréal, the negotiators from 200 states were unable to agree on a clear draft text for a global nature conservation treaty despite extra negotiations. The draft for the final declaration on Thursday still contained more than 950 passages in square brackets, i.e. formulations on which the states are not yet in agreement. And so, according to participants, progress seems to be slow at the moment and an agreement is still a long way off. Anything is possible between breakthrough and failure. In addition, the event will be accompanied by workshops and side events. , ,

Habeck opens the door to greenhouse gas storage: Without the controversial CCS technology, climate neutrality cannot be achieved, according to the conviction of the Ministry of Economics. Therefore, the ministry wants to pave the way for CO2 storage. The German government wants to accelerate and expand the use of the controversial technology of underground injection of CO2 in order to achieve the climate goals. As early as 2030, the use, capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CCS) would have to be used „on a megaton scale“, especially for industry, according to the ministry’s „Evaluation Report on the Carbon Dioxide Storage Act“.

2.9 degrees Celsius

that is the average temperature increase in Frankfurt am Main above the long-term annual average. In Stuttgart it is 2.7 degrees Celsius, in Munich the average temperature deviated the least from the long-term annual average with a plus of 2.2 degrees Celsius. In Germany, the year 2022 was generally very warm. Temperatures deviated by 1.2 to 3.2 degrees Celsius from the long-term annual average of 10.2 degrees Celsius – a huge increase.

Demand for social security and climate protection: The Climate Alliance demands a turnaround for climate protection from the German government. A package of measures worth billions would be necessary to invest in energy transition, long-term climate protection and social justice. There must be an end to climate-damaging subsidies. The government should ensure that society is crisis-proof in the long term, said the joint statement published last week. This includes a fair distribution of burdens and a taxation of large fortunes to finance future tasks. „The traffic lights have not yet succeeded in turning the tide for climate protection,“ says Christiane Averbeck, Executive Director of Climate Alliance Germany. „The initial momentum in climate policy was thwarted by the FDP with its blockade of the immediate action programme. The government with the traffic light must now keep its promises on climate protection and start not only to fight the symptoms of the current crisis, but to tackle the problems at their fossil roots. That is why we are calling for a package of investments and measures of at least 100 billion euros to consistently reduce fossil dependency now, implement climate protection measures in all sectors and strengthen social security.“,

Supply Chain Act comes into force in three weeks: The German Supply Chain Act comes into force in January. From then on, companies with more than 3,000 employees will have to ensure that human rights and certain environmental measures and social standards are also respected at suppliers and also at suppliers‘ suppliers. Many companies complain that the burdens are too high. Others, however, like the family-owned company Uvex, have already done their homework. That is why the family-run medium-sized company does not have to make any major adjustments now, says Susann Schubert, who is responsible for sustainability in the company. Because Uvex has already adhered to the National Action Plan for the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles, there have been established processes for years.

Criteria for sustainable finance are still lacking: Sustainable finance is becoming increasingly important. But private investors are holding back on green financial products because data and criteria for „green“ financial products are lacking. Standards in sustainability reporting, for example, are not comparable. According to critics, this would open the door to dubious greenwashing. Experts, business representatives and government regulators are now working on green rules and standards for the EU, such as those that apply to conventional balance sheets and annual financial statements, nationally and internationally. These standards would then have to be complied with by companies in their sustainability reports.

Import bans on raw materials that threaten the climate: The EU has agreed on an import ban for raw materials whose production drives deforestation. The 27 EU member states and the EU Parliament agreed last week that palm oil, coffee, cocoa and soy, among others, may only be imported if they are not produced on forest areas that have been deforested after December 2020, as the EU Commission announced. In future, companies will have to provide „precise geographical information on the areas under cultivation“. The new law is intended to ensure that certain key products intended for the EU market no longer contribute to deforestation and forest destruction in the EU and elsewhere in the world. zeit .de


EU makes battery replacement possible for everyone: In future, batteries in devices such as mobile phones and laptops in the EU must be able to be replaced and exchanged by private individuals themselves. This is part of new EU rules that negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states agreed on Friday evening. It will take three and a half years for the rules on battery replacements to apply from the date the new EU law comes into force, according to the EU Parliament. This comes after the Parliament and EU countries have formally confirmed the compromise, which is considered a formality and usually takes a few weeks.



How we observe animals from space and protect life on Earth together

ICARUS researchers observe animals from space and decode their secret knowledge: Billions of animals migrate across our planet every day. Their migration routes are still a mystery. Micro-transmitters and satellite observation from space make it possible for the first time to follow thousands of animals simultaneously to every corner of the earth. Because: animals warn us of catastrophes, predict pandemics and make climate change visible. A fascinating illustrated book that shows the world from above and reports on a groundbreaking project that is about nothing less than a better future for humans and animals.

  • The book on a global research project to protect the Earth
  • Illustrated book National Geographic: Experience Science Up Close
  • The view from above: With fascinating photographs, maps and graphics
  • ICARUS is a project of the Max Planck Institutes for Behavioural Biology
  • Supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR)


Munich Airport: Climate activists disrupt operations.
Christmas tree: What is the most sustainable – artificial tree, real fir, organic or in a pot?
Coalition quarrel: Expansion of trunk roads divides traffic light coalition .
Solar Energy: Will Soon Overtake Coal as the Most Important Energy.
High imports of LNG from Russia: Europe has already imported 13 million tonnes of LNG, which is already 700,000 tonnes more than in the whole of last year.
Tense situation: Baden-Württemberg residents should reduce electricity consumption.
Habeck’s South Africa visit: Balancing act between climate protection and coal.
Federal Constitutional Court: Union fails with emergency motion against climate reserve.
Fifty NGOs: Demand resource turnaround from the Federal Government.

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.


The evolution towards sustainable transformation banks

In this episode, Tatjana Kausemann and Jens Teubler from the Wuppertal Institute talk to Prof. Dr Marcus Sidki, Professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Ludwigshafen and Director of the INAB – Institute for Sustainable Banking, about the sustainable transformation of banks and the transformative potential of development banks.

#28: The evolution towards sustainable transformation banks


by Nikola Endlich

Transport is one of the decisive factors in the transformation. Expanding motorways and trunk roads now instead of investing in public transport is absurd. In order to expand renewable energies, planning and approval procedures are to be simplified and accelerated. This is what [Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing of the FDP] also wants to implement for his ministry in order to have new motorways and trunk roads built more quickly. In doing so, Wissing is continuing a decades-long misguided practice of the Federal Ministry of Transport: more asphalt for everything that goes fast on four wheels“ Of course, Wissing cannot make up for all the mistakes of his predecessors from one day to the next. And yes, even after a successful turn towards electric cars and the trucks much touted by Wissing, which are to be able to run on hydrogen in the future, there is still a need for routes and paths for these. Wissing has stated bluntly that he does not think much of the idea that goods will soon no longer be transported by trucks weighing tons on the roads, but by rail. Even though the FDP, together with its coalition partners, agreed on this in last year’s coalition agreement – and this shift in transport is urgently needed. For years, transport experts have been repeating the argument that a pure change in propulsion is by no means sufficient to achieve a truly sustainable change in transport. In order to achieve better climate goals, the overall volume of traffic must decrease. The last thing we need is more motorways and trunk roads.


German climate targets further away than at the beginning of the coalition: the Agora advisory body accuses the government of twelve months of „frantic standstill“ in climate protection. There is also unease in other fields in the transport sector. „For climate protection in transport, the first twelve months of the traffic light government were a lost year, a year of frenzied standstill,“ says Christian Hochfeld, director of Agora Verkehrswende. „Congestion and standstill in climate policy for transport means that greenhouse gas emissions and the heating of the earth’s atmosphere continue unchecked. In this context, the coalition parties unite the basic values that are needed for transformation: climate protection, social justice, economic efficiency and freedom. But better late than never, the German government should live up to the title of the coalition agreement – Mehr Fortschritt wagen – (Dare more progress) in the transport sector and move from frenzied standstill to the promised progress.“ ,

Industrial groups are calling for stricter EU emissions rules for trucks: in a letter published on Thursday, more than 40 signatories, including British consumer goods giant Unilever, demand that the European Commission ensure that only zero-emission trucks are allowed from 2035. A five-year transition period should apply to trucks used on construction sites, in mining and in forestry. The move away from fossil fuels would be a decisive factor in determining whether the EU leads or lags behind in the transformation.
Carsharing: Share Now prepares staff for redundancies. Between 50 and 150 employees are said to be affected by the mass layoffs. The car sharing provider changed hands this year.
Owning your own car remains important: Using instead of owning – that’s how many experts see the future relationship with cars. But for the moment, Germans still attach great importance to having their own car.

49 Euro ticket: The way is paved for the introduction of the 49 Euro ticket for millions of local bus and train passengers. After long wrangling between the federal and state governments, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the minister presidents clarified final financial issues on Thursday. „The Deutschlandticket will now come, and very quickly too,“ Scholz said. He left it open when exactly it would start in the new year. So far, the Länder are aiming for 1 April. In their last summit meeting in 2022, the federal and state governments also agreed on details of a hardship fund for companies in the energy crisis.

Verkehrte Verkehrsplanung: This unwieldy word is the hub of the German transport turnaround. Now the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan is being reviewed. Billions of euros and millions of tonnes of CO2 are at stake. The Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan is the master plan for Germany’s future transport infrastructure. In it, the Ministry of Transport regulates which federal trunk roads, waterways and railways are to be built over the next 15 years. Because the Ministry of Transport traditionally manages the largest investment budget of the federal government, many billions are at stake. Above all, however, it is about the opportunity to design a mobility in which people, nature and the climate no longer fall by the wayside.


Criticism of the state hydrogen grid – construction by the federal government? The federal government is right to get involved with gas traders like Uniper. But its plans to even have a hydrogen grid built by the state go too far. „More government“ currently seems to be the only means by which the federal government responds to the crisis. Certainly, there are good reasons for it, for example when the energy company Uniper faltered and the state took it over completely. A bankruptcy would have paralysed Germany’s gas supply overnight. The situation is similar with the gas importer Sefe, formerly Gazprom-Germania, which is now under the supervision of the Federal Network Agency. Unusual times justify unusual measures. When it comes to the development of hydrogen networks, on the other hand, it is difficult to understand the state’s zeal. There are already numerous private initiatives that want to invest in a network infrastructure for the transport of hydrogen. Two years ago, the gas grid operators presented a plan for a network almost 6,000 kilometres long to transport climate-friendly hydrogen from northern Germany to the major consumers in the west and south. The trick: they want to use the existing gas grid. Studies show that this is possible – and even makes sense. The construction will certainly cost billions and must be carried out according to state specifications, but start-up financing with public funds should suffice. No state company is needed for this, as the German Energy Agency recently pointed out. ,

Dozens of EU definitions related to hydrogen: Building the hydrogen economy is complicated by the multitude of different definitions of terms.

The battle for hydrogen leadership is on: Although hydrogen was not the subject of the recent global climate negotiations in Egypt, it was an important topic for many state and company representatives at COP 27, where several hydrogen partnerships were also announced. Conflicts and open questions emerged.

Bundesnetzagentur: Germany’s future lies in hydrogen: The head of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, has defended the planned construction of liquefied natural gas terminals on the North and Baltic Seas. Germany also has a responsibility for countries without coasts such as Austria or the Czech Republic, the agency president said on Friday on ARD’s „Morgenmagazin“. It is true that renewable energies have priority. But the alternative to liquefied gas would have been gas from Russia or more coal. In addition, according to Müller, there are conditions that the planned terminals can be converted to hydrogen. „Germany’s future lies in renewable hydrogen.“ Environmental organisations criticise that the capacity of the planned terminals is too large.

Investment environment decisive for importing hydrogen and synfuels: Where will green electricity and synthetic fuels (synfuels) be produced in the future? At what cost can they be produced? And what part of the demand can be generated domestically and how much must be imported? The Wuppertal Institute, the German Aerospace Centre and the Institute for Future Energy and Material Flow Systems have investigated these questions in a comprehensive study using the Middle East and North Africa as examples. The results show that in the long term there is very large cost-effective (export) potential for green electricity, hydrogen and synfuels in this region. However, the consideration of investment risks has a significant influence on their costs and thus on the choice of potential export countries.

Starting signal for hydrogen pipeline: The governments of Spain, Portugal and France have agreed on the expansion of energy pipelines. This includes the first hydrogen pipeline for Europe. Half of the costs of 2.5 billion euros are to come from the EU. The application for the necessary inclusion of the project in the list of so-called Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) is to be submitted to Brussels by the deadline of 15 December. From the beginning, only hydrogen will be transported through the tube, about two million tonnes per year, said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.


Operator provisions for the dismantling of nuclear power plants: The provisions of nuclear power plant (NPP) operators for dismantling obligations, as shown in statements pursuant to section 2(1) of the Transparency Act, totalled about €20.2 billion as of 31 December 2021 (2020: €21.6 billion), based on the annual financial statements under commercial law. This is shown in the „Report in accordance with section 7 of the Transparency Act – dismantling of nuclear power plants“, which is available as information from the Federal Government (20/4558). The costs of post-dismantling and residual operation are estimated at eight billion euros (2020: 8.5 billion euros) for the dismantling process, and 6.7 billion euros (2020: 7.6 billion euros) for residual material processing and packaging. As in the previous year, the actual dismantling work is estimated at 5.5 billion euros. At the beginning of 2022, four of the 23 plants would have been in post-operation and 16 in the decommissioning and dismantling phase, the report says. The dismantling is progressing „noticeably“. The reserves held in reserve are thus expected to decrease further.

Experts criticise planned electricity price brake: The energy industry has clearly criticised the planned electricity price brake. During a public hearing of the Committee on Climate Protection and Energy on Tuesday afternoon, especially the planned regulation on the skimming of „windfall profits“ in electricity generation met with opposition. According to the draft bill of the coalition factions (20/4685), war- and crisis-related surplus revenues „shall be skimmed off to an appropriate extent and used to finance the relief measures via a rolling mechanism“. Above a technology-specific cap, 90 percent of the revenues are to be skimmed off. The aim of the regulation is to relieve electricity consumers of electricity prices by 30 April 2024.

Basic Decision on the German Sustainability Strategy: The Federal Government attaches great importance to sustainable development. This is reaffirmed in the Basic Decision 2022 on the German Sustainability Strategy (20/4810). The government takes up the German Sustainability Strategy (DNS) adopted by the Federal Cabinet on 10 March 2021, the submission states. It sees the resolution of the Committee of State Secretaries for Sustainable Development of 14 June 2021 „Achieving Transformation – Perspectives for German Sustainability Policy“ (Perspectives Resolution) as a „valuable basis for the implementation and ambitious further development of sustainability policy“. The DNS forms the central framework for German sustainability policy and the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. „The Federal Government acknowledges its responsibility for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at three levels: in Germany, with international partners and in international organisations and bodies,“ the policy resolution states.


In principle, biodiversity is protected by both European environmental law and national environmental law. In addition, biodiversity in Germany is primarily guaranteed by building planning law, as many areas with high biodiversity are located in cities. In constitutional law, environmental protection is guaranteed as a state objective by Article 20a of the Basic Law. This provision states that the state should also protect the natural foundations of life and animals in responsibility for future generations. In other words, our entire environment, including not only air, water and soil, but also biodiversity. However, this is a purely objective claim for protection by the state. Since the provision was introduced in 1994 and supplemented by animal protection in 2002, however, it has remained virtually completely ineffective – with the exception of the Federal Constitutional Court’s decision on the Climate Protection Act of 24 March 2021.

Prof. Dr Jens Kersten is a legal scholar and university professor at the Chair of Public Law and Administrative Sciences at Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. In principle, we would need an ecological transformation of the Basic Law. The possibilities mentioned for adapting the constitution would be first steps. In general, new ecological basic rights would have to be created, but also explicit ecological limits for existing basic rights, such as above all freedom of property and economic freedom. In addition, ecology should be recognised as a principle of the state, so that state organs also develop a much greater ecological sensitivity. Furthermore, we needed an ecological code in which all environmental law is summarised. Just like private law in the Civil Code or social law in the Social Code. Up to now, environmental law has been scattered and unsystematic, which often leads to legal disputes being decided in favour of individual, social or economic interests. All in all, we need an ecological revolution in our constitutional order. Our current legal system is too static in the area of ecology. It simply no longer does justice to the ecological changes we experience every day and which already influence our society and economy. Nature will not negotiate with us. Either we adapt or climate change and the loss of biodiversity will take care of it. And that is not a task for the future. We have to take responsibility now and bring about legal changes.


Morocco’s football victory against Portugal: Morocco is the first African team in history to reach the semi-finals of a football World Cup. The team managed a victory against Portugal in regulation time.

Africa’s free trade area is starting to roll: A handful of African companies have started shipping goods under the long-delayed AfCFTA free trade agreement. They are part of a new initiative to boost intra-African trade.

Trouble with low-income loan programme in Kenya: A simple mobile phone loan programme that catapulted President William Ruto to power in Kenya a few months ago has quickly turned into a fierce privacy problem. The Hustler Fund is Ruto’s $410 million loan project to lift millions of Kenyans out of poverty through his bottom-up economic model. In a country where only 9 per cent of the workforce has a stable income and 39 per cent of Kenyan youth are out of work, such a proposition holds enormous potential, but citizens and privacy experts alike are concerned about the multi-layered data collection and processing involved in securing the funds. However, citizens and data protection experts alike are concerned about the many layers of data collection and processing involved in securing funds. A key promise, made by the president during the election campaign, was an interest-free loan. The Hustler Fund was therefore launched on 30 November and is primarily targeted at Kenya’s „low-income earners“, whom Ruto, who worked as a chicken seller in his youth, described as „hustlers“. Kenyans can register for the programme by simply dialling *254# on their mobile phones. About two hours after registering, they will be told the amount they can receive. This amount can range from $4 to $41. As of 2 December, at least 3.5 million Kenyans had applied for loans under this programme. According to Ruto, the fund’s platform receives 600 loan applications every second. The funds are provided by commercial lenders KCB Bank and Family Bank and distributed through Kenya’s three mobile money platforms, M-Pesa, Airtel Money and T-Kash. now there are massive data breaches, critics allege.

Robert Habeck in southern Africa: Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Robert Habeck is promoting climate change in southern Africa. This is good for him, but it is not always easy when the coal-fired power plants are being ramped up at home. In Namibia, the focus is on the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy. Minister Habeck hopes that the green hydrogen produced in this way will then be delivered to Germany. But the man would not be a Green if he did not also emphasise: This is not about the exploitation of the South. Namibia will also benefit from the project in the future, with permanent jobs and cheap, clean electricity. ,

Kenya: Outcry over government plan to abolish boarding schools.

Omnicron was overlooked: The original coronavirus was followed by alpha, beta, gamma and delta as variants with high transmissibility. Every few months, a new variant emerged, some of which soon became dominant. Until Omikron appeared at the end of 2021 – and stayed. According to a study published in the journal „Science“ by the Charité Berlin, Omikron precursors existed on the African continent well before the first evidence in November 2021. Contrary to widespread hypotheses on the origin, the variant emerged gradually over several months in various African countries. This development was simply overlooked due to a lack of analysis.


Climate-friendly Christmas chocolate: Tropical rainforest may be destroyed for our delicious Christmas chocolate and the planting of cocoa plantations. An alternative can be so-called agroforestry. In this cultivation method, crops grow in the shade of trees and shrubs. Similar to the natural forest, agroforests are supposed to store rainwater better than monocultures and thus also get the nutrient cycle going again. Moreover, the cultivation method is not only considered environmentally friendly, it is also said to strengthen the resilience of the entire system. However, agroforestry does not have the ecological complexity of a natural forest. How environmentally friendly it actually is depends on whether it has evolved from open landscape or natural forest.

Sustainable silk fashion from Switzerland: Farmers have revived the old silk tradition in Switzerland. They had to reacquire the knowledge about raising the caterpillars and about the reproduction of the fodder plant, the mulberry tree. Ueli Ramseier, co-founder of the „Swiss Silk“ association, raises silkworms in order to have silk produced again in Switzerland. In the meantime, he has moved the rearing from the bathroom to the garage. The mulberry moth cannot live in the wild; it needs the care of humans 12,000 silk moths live here. With his silk thread, Ueli Ramseier supplies not only fashion companies but also medical companies. Fashion designer Rafael Kouto won the 2019 Swiss Design Award for his collection, which he designed using sustainable Swiss silk. For silk farmer Ueli Ramseier, it was of course a business idea, but he also wanted to show by example that it is not necessary to import silk thousands of kilometres from China with a fat CO2 footprint. His goal:He wants to convince even more people to raise caterpillars in the middle of Switzerland and thus produce locally produced, sustainable fashion.

Supply Chain Act comes into force in three weeks, best practice at SMEs: The German Supply Chain Act comes into force in January. From then on, companies with more than 3,000 employees will have to ensure that human rights and certain environmental measures and social standards are also respected by their suppliers and by suppliers of suppliers. Many companies complain that the burdens are too high. Others, however, like the family-owned company Uvex, have already done their homework. That is why the family-run medium-sized company does not have to make any major adjustments now, says Susann Schubert, who is responsible for sustainability in the company. Because Uvex has already adhered to the National Action Plan for the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles, there have been established processes for years.

Asian hornet: Spreading in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Germany: Has only one rewilding project.
Ski jumping and climate change: Is yesterday’s snow the future?


15, 16 and 17 December 2022, Berlin

DIE KLIMA MONOLOGE – Documentary Theatre by Michael Ruf

Droughts, floods, storms. Uninhabitable zones and distribution struggles are spreading. The window of opportunity to act is getting smaller and smaller. The Climate Monologues tell of the worldwide struggles of various people against climate change. The Climate Monologues tell how people in different regions of the world feel the consequences of climate change in their own biographies.
The actors in Climate Monologues have to make existential decisions again and again: between staying at home or leaving, between crop failures in the countryside or life as a day labourer in the city, between security and identity, between hunger and risk.
The play is based on long interviews that have been shortened to monologues without changing the way the interviewees expressed themselves. Touching human stories make climate change tangible, visible and audible. Full of images and details.

With: Meri Koivisto, Gülcan Maksude Cerdik, Sara-Hiruth Zoude, Damon Zolfaghari, written and directed by Michael Ruf, piano by Peer Kleinschmidt. Cello: Isabelle Klemt



Space tourism: Billionaire Maezawa takes DJ and K-Pop musician to the moon: Yusaku Maezawa, Japanese billionaire and founder of the fashion site Zozo, is flying to the moon with SpaceX. He chose his companions from 1 million applications. The 47-year-old Maezawa, who flew to the International Space Station (ISS) last year as a space tourist, announced the names of his crew members on Friday, including DJ and producer Steve Aoki and Korean K-pop musician T.O.P. Maezawa, founder of online fashion site Zozo, had announced his „dearMoon“ (dear moon) project in 2018, in which he plans to fly around the moon for a week in 2023 aboard a spacecraft from Elon Musk’s rocket and satellite company SpaceX. The wealthy entrepreneur invited people who „see themselves as artists“ to join him on the space journey in March last year.

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