to the German edition

World Species Conference has come to an end: Even critics are more or less satisfied. Unlike COP27, the World Species Conference has decided on better protection for 54 more shark species. The initiative was adopted by the delegates of the Parties at the conference in Panama on Friday. It could drastically restrict the lucrative trade in shark fins. Numerous reptiles and tropical tree species are also to be better protected from now on. „This will go down in history as the day we turned the tide to prevent the extinction of the world’s sharks and rays,“ said Luke Warwick of the non-governmental organisation Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). What is crucial now is implementation.  Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) spoke of a „historic decision for the protection of species“. The international community has „sent a strong signal and clearly spoken out in favour of stronger controls on the international trade in species. The bans on the international ivory and rhino trade also remain“.,


State guarantees for the expansion of renewable energies? Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck wants to examine state guarantees for the expansion of production capacities in Germany in the course of the energy turnaround. Following consultations with industry representatives, the Green politician said on Monday in Berlin that he was considering production or purchase guarantees. He made it clear that in addition to the expansion of green electricity, the goal was also to rebuild the industrial production of plants in Germany.

238,000 people

died in the 27 EU countries in 2020 as a result of particulate matter pollution, according to a report by the EU Environment Agency (EEA). In Germany, the estimated number of deaths was 28,900. People living in cities are particularly at risk: Almost all city dwellers (96 per cent) are exposed to levels of particulate matter above the World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline values of five microgrammes per cubic metre, it said. Although air quality in the EU states has improved in recent years, pollutants in the air still pose the greatest health risk from the environment.

Scholz condemns climate activists: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has criticised the recent blockade of the capital’s airport by climate activists. „I cannot understand this action. It is not only incomprehensible, but also highly dangerous, as could be seen clearly from the activities at BER,“ Scholz said on Saturday on the sidelines of a Brandenburg SPD state party conference in Cottbus. „I also didn’t understand what good it does for the climate if you smear works of art.“ Almost no one in Germany accepts such actions, he said.

Habeck speaks out against fracking in Germany: The Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection sees „no sensible answer“ in the controversial gas extraction technique – and thus contradicts Finance Minister Christian Lindner. With this extraction technique, one buys into a lot of problems. Robert Habeck (Greens) referred to experiences in Great Britain, where fracking has been started. In this process, gas reserves are extracted from deep layers of rock at high pressure and with the help of chemicals. In the affected region in the south of England, this has led to earthquakes and the sinking of the ground, the minister said.

Gas and electricity price brake to apply retroactively: Citizens and companies are to receive retroactive relief from the gas price brake for January and February 2023. Up to now, it was clear that relief would be granted from March 2023 until spring 2024. Accordingly, the relief amount calculated for the month of March is to be extended to the months of January and February „retroactively“, as it were. This is stated in the corresponding draft bill. The electricity price brake planned for March is also to apply retroactively to January and February. For industry, the electricity price brake is to apply directly from January, as previously planned.  Those with a high income will have to pay tax on the savings from the gas price brake. The same limits as for the solidarity surcharge are to apply to determine who has to pay taxes and who does not. , (Taxes)

UN efforts against global plastic pollution not sufficient: The UN is currently developing an international, legally binding instrument against plastic pollution. Scientists fear, however, that the opportunity to actually curb plastic pollution could be lost. For example, Zhanyun Wang from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology and Antonia Praetorius from the University of Amsterdam fear that the highly diverse chemical composition of plastics might not be given enough attention in the negotiations. Currently, plastics can contain more than 10,000 different chemicals, which has a negative impact on their recycling.


Europäischer Klimaplan

Back into balance with concrete solutions

Species extinction and climate change are the biggest and most pressing problems of our time. Both phenomena will fundamentally change the lives of humanity and massively affect the prosperity, health and opportunities of future generations – unless we manage to break out of the spiral of ever increasing CO2 emissions and the decline of biodiversity.

This book aims to show ways to counteract climate change and species extinction. The author presents a stable pricing system he developed for emissions trading that takes into account the consequences of climate change and species extinction. Other huge opportunities are offered by the use of stem cells, vertical farming and insect farming. They show: The solutions for humanity have been ready for a long time, it just needs a rethink in certain areas and consistent implementation. Jonas Beer presents the key building blocks for solving climate change and species extinction, shows how a path to a sustainable future can succeed, and presents concrete ideas on what each and every one of us can change to make the world more sustainable.

Beijing: Blames the West for the meagre outcome of the world climate conference.
Paper instead of aluminium: Nespresso changes the design of its coffee capsules.
German criticism of construction of coal-fired power plants: The construction of new coal-fired power plants in China has met with criticism from the German government’s special representative for international climate policy, Jennifer Morgan.
Poverty in Germany: Sharp rise.
Rising milk prices: Organic is losing out.
Deglobalisation: Could intensify the climate crisis.

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.


Raw materials for the energy transition are becoming scarce – and what can help

Germany wants to become climate-neutral in 2045, and 80 percent of its electricity is to come from renewable energies by 2030. In order to achieve these very ambitious goals, a lot more wind turbines, solar parks or e-cars are needed very quickly. And we need huge quantities of raw materials such as lithium, rare earths, silicon and others, most of which are currently imported from China. Nickel, lithium, rare earths: They are essential for wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars. Demand is growing, as is dependence on China. So now we have to rethink.


You with your morals

from Bernd Ulrich

Three times recently, one of the biggest and most annoying questions of our time was dragged onto the world stage. This question is: After all they have done to the world for centuries, do Western societies still have the right to criticise others, even to demand something from them – or should they just shut up? The three global stages, that was the G20 summit in Indonesia and the UN climate conference in Egypt, and this is the „One Love“ World Cup in Qatar.

Two, well, tasks of the century remain: The West must prove in practical terms that it is capable of democracy and human rights without exploiting other peoples, nature and the future, which has never happened before. Secondly, the rest of the world cannot insist on putting the past in order before saving the future together; when historical justice finally prevails, it is already three degrees too warm. It will hardly work without a little conscious forgetting. The ecological limits of the planet probably force us all into a certain humanisation. Who knows what it’s good for.


Association of cities does not expect the 49-Euro-Ticket to be launched soon: According to the municipal umbrella organisations, the sum earmarked for financing the 49-Euro-Ticket is not sufficient. They fear that they will be stuck with the costs.

„If the OEMs don’t wake up, Uber will end up cooperating with public transport“: A current study by MHP shows the opportunities and hurdles of autonomous mobility concepts. The authors of the study see a worrying speed of the Chinese automotive and tech industry.

When in doubt, go for the car: cities and many of their residents want to push back cars, but often fail. The problem: the legal situation blocks anything that restricts cars – yet. The problem is not the objections of the plaintiffs, but the legal situation, says Miriam Dross, lawyer and head of the Sustainable Urban and Rural Mobility Division at the Federal Environment Agency. The road traffic law and the road traffic regulations are unsuitable for doing what is now necessary: redesigning and changing the public road space in the sense of the mobility revolution. The aim of the laws is to keep car traffic flowing, said the lawyer. Calming traffic on a large scale or giving priority to bus, bicycle or pedestrian traffic on the roads is therefore difficult, she said. It is likely, she said, that critics will find weak points and file lawsuits against them.

Mobility in the countryside: an e-car for the village. In the village of Ascheffel in Schleswig-Holstein, 15 people share an electric car. The so-called „Dorpsmobil“ gives the villagers more mobility in the countryside.

Rental car initiative wants to promote green mobility: A general contractor of Uber is behind the initiative, which is also apparent from its demands.

Power grid fit for millions of private charging points thanks to load control: To prevent the load of millions of e-cars from bringing parts of the power grid to its knees, grid operators and experts advise load control on the grid side.


Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, photo: Hydrogen Europe

„Glad that Herbert Diess was fired at VW“: For Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, hydrogen is the energy carrier of the future. „Focusing on batteries“ will not work and that is why he is „glad that Herbert Diess was fired from Volkswagen“, says the founder of the hydrogen association Hydrogen Europe. Up to now, fossil fuels have been extracted from the earth, burned and CO2 emitted. With hydrogen it would be different, because at the end of the process water would be produced again, says Chatzimarkakis. But is it really that simple? To produce hydrogen, enormous amounts of energy and, above all, water are needed. Nine kilogrammes of water are needed to produce one kilogramme of hydrogen. If salt water is used, the demand is even higher.

White hydrogen: As part of a current project, the European and African Union are investigating the extent to which naturally occurring hydrogen can be used. The so-called white hydrogen could make a significant contribution to the energy transition. The energy transition is in full swing. Even if the expansion in this country is still a little slow, we are increasingly saying goodbye to dirty sources such as gas and coal. Hydrogen is one energy carrier that is seen as a beacon of hope. After combustion, it only releases water into the environment.

More green hydrogen needed in Germany: Even the expansion targets raised by the German government for the production of green hydrogen are still too low, says a recent study. Even before 2030, more green hydrogen will be needed in Germany than previously assumed, also because of the partial loss of natural gas as a bridging technology. This is the central finding of a study funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation, which in turn belongs to the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB). The study recommends that significantly larger electrolysis capacities for „green“ hydrogen be built in Germany in the coming years. Currently, the expansion target according to the coalition agreement is an electrolysis capacity of 10 GW in 2030.

Rüdersdorf near Berlin: EWE begins construction of Germany’s first underground hydrogen storage facility.

Germany’s first hydrogen truck is on the road: it does not come from Mercedes or MAN. A hydrogen truck from series production has been registered in Germany for the first time. The „XCIENT Fuel Cell“ comes from Hyundai and can now be rented from a Cologne-based start-up.

IEA Director Birol advises more support for clean energies: The International Energy Agency (IEA) sees huge growth in climate-friendly forms of energy generation, but believes government support is needed to compete internationally. Even with the current policy framework, investments in „clean“ energy would increase by another half by 2030, IEA Director Fatih Birol said in Berlin on Thursday. „We see a huge appetite for clean energy.“ The current energy crisis is accelerating the change, he added. But that will „definitely not“ be enough for the internationally agreed goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times, he said. Investments would have to accelerate fivefold compared to today. The IEA understands „clean“ energy to include not only renewable energies such as wind and solar power, but also biofuels, for example.


Germany largest sulphur hexafluoride emitter in the EU: Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) is a very climate-impacting gas. According to the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report, its greenhouse gas potential is 25,200 CO2 equivalents. This is stated in the answer of the federal government (20/4410) to the small question of the AfD parliamentary group (20/4173) on the „harmfulness of the gas sulphur hexafluoride used in wind power plants“. The effect of SF6 on the climate has been known for a long time. Therefore, since 2005, various industries have made voluntary commitments to reduce SF6 emissions. There is also a voluntary commitment for SF6 in switchgear, which has led to a significant reduction in emissions. The associations (manufacturers and operators) report the quantities of SF6 used and disposed of, as well as the emissions from switchgear at various voltage levels during operation and disposal, to the Federal Environment Agency. A distinction is not made according to their previous use, but according to voltage levels. Therefore, there is no information available that refers exclusively to photovoltaic or wind energy plants.

Action against food waste is supported: The Petitions Committee supports action against food waste. At the meeting on Wednesday, the MPs passed the resolution recommending to the Bundestag, with the votes of the parliamentary groups of SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, FDP and Die Linke, to transfer a corresponding petition to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) as material and to give it to the parliamentary groups for their attention. The public petition (ID 76034) calls for a legal ban on throwing away food. In the petitioner’s view, this is necessary „because about 500,000 children in Germany suffer from hunger again and again, which could thus be avoided to a large extent“. In his petition, he refers to a regulation in France according to which traders have to donate, process, use as animal feed or compost unsold food according to a law passed at the beginning of February 2016. However, he criticises, the Federal Government is not planning such a throwaway ban.

Government presents peatland protection strategy: Protection, restoration and sustainable management of peatlands – this is the goal of the Federal Government’s national peatland protection strategy. It is part of the Action Programme Natural Climate Protection and is now available as a report (20/4427). According to the Federal Government, peatlands are unique habitats for highly specialised animal and plant species. They also play an important role in climate protection: as long-term carbon reservoirs, they are a „central component of natural climate protection“. Peatlands that are in an intact state should therefore be permanently protected. To this end, the German government wants to establish by law that peatland protection is in the public interest. „The use of these areas for economic purposes is excluded,“ the strategy states. However, according to the Federal Government, more than 90 per cent of the moorland soils in Germany are drained and are mainly used for agriculture and forestry as well as for settlement and transport areas.


This is relevant for everyone, if only for that reason: If a crisis breaks out in one corner of the world, it affects us all via value chains, via migration, and simply ethically, humanely, when we see other problems. But we have the same difficulties in the rich countries, in Germany, in Switzerland and in the OECD countries in general.

Bruno Oberle, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), We are experiencing a loss of biodiversity at a rate 100 to 1,000 times faster than the natural rate of change in nature. We don’t notice it because nature is like a huge web. You can cut one wire, you can cut a second wire, and the web continues to function, and suddenly, when you cut the umpteenth wire, it stops functioning, and then we have problems. We should remember that everything we eat is biodiversity. The water we drink is treated by biodiversity, and the air we breathe is produced by biodiversity. If these services ceased, even partially, we would have a huge problem.

The outcome of the climate conference did not surprise me. To date, the rich West has not always behaved as if it had caused the majority of climate change to date. One can roughly say that the USA has contributed 24 percent to today’s climate change, the EU 17 and all industrialised countries together about 55 percent. In contrast, China’s share is four times smaller at 14 per cent. Since the cumulative CO₂ over centuries is decisive for climate change, the major part of the warming still comes from the industrialised countries, even though China is the number one in terms of greenhouse gas emissions today.

Andreas Fischlin, Head of the Terrestrial Systems Ecology Group at ETH Zurich, Yes, China would certainly have to make a much greater contribution than it has so far. He has been negotiating with the Chinese for years and thinks that the Chinese leadership takes climate change very seriously, even fears it. But the country also knows very well that this problem can only be solved globally. China is also secretly pursuing a continuous and targeted climate policy, but demands that the industrialised countries participate in a sufficient and fair manner. We could only force China to move if we industrialised countries set a good example in climate protection. But of course it is true that the original division into industrialised and developing countries is an old one. Since 1992, when the Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted, the world has changed. Today, fairness means that all countries share responsibility. However, all countries must jointly define who bears what responsibility. In doing so, one cannot only look at the current territorial emissions, as the USA, for example, has done under Trump.



Withdrawal from Mali: Green Party politician Brugger criticises Bundeswehr withdrawal as a policy failure: After France and Great Britain, Germany is also withdrawing from Mali. Foreign Minister Baerbock pledges further support for the beleaguered country – but her party colleague calls it a mistake.

Uganda’s success story with the mountain gorillas: 459 mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) live in the Bwindi Forest. Worldwide, the number of the largest primate species has thus risen to 1063 individuals.  As recently as 1997, the global population size was only 300 animals. Sonit is a success story in Uganda. NGOs as well as government agencies have invested in protection for decades. The forest area was declared a national park, the inhabitants of neighbouring communities were informed about the conservation efforts, trained and partly employed as rangers. This developed the understanding that primates contribute to development locally and nationally.

Kenya’s drought and hunger crisis: Kenya has been struggling with a life-threatening drought for years. For months, not a drop of rain falls, rivers and lakes dry up, livestock die, fields wither and people starve. In the East African country, we can already see what many regions will face in the future, says Alina Schadwinkel. She travelled to Kenya to talk to those affected. The Maasai are desperate, the Samburu elders are angry, the animals are dying of thirst and politics is failing. And this, moreover, is set in a global context.

Southern Africa and the climate crisis: cyclones, droughts, floods: Southern Africa is severely affected by the consequences of climate change. At the same time, governments in countries like Mozambique are relying heavily on natural gas production, which is likely to further fuel greenhouse gas emissions.

Large fires on Kilimanjaro destroy two percent of the nature park: The large fires on Kilimanjaro in the East African country of Tanzania a few weeks ago destroyed almost two percent of the area of the nature park. Plants and mammals lost their habitat on almost 34 square kilometres (equivalent to 3400 hectares), according to a statement by the Tanapa National Park Authority.

Surveying the rainforest in Congo: Belgian researcher Wannes Hubau is on the road in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo to continue his mammoth project. Two young Congolese botanists are helping him. Their goal is to measure as many trees as possible in the Congo basin. They make up about a quarter of the world’s rainforests. „Based on the circumference, we can estimate the biomass of a tree. For that, we also need the height of the trees. Our models use the circumference, height and density of the wood. We already have over a thousand wood samples to measure density. And with that we can give an estimate.“


Hunger and women: World food is suffering from a whole series of setbacks, starting with the food price crisis in 2007 and 2008, followed by the Covid 19 pandemic and most recently the current war in Ukraine – not to mention many regional conflicts and the long-term consequences of climate change. Half of those affected are women and girls. In fact, they are the first to go hungry. When the household budget is no longer sufficient in the face of rising prices, it is often the women who restrict their food consumption so that the rest of the family has enough to eat. Even before the pandemic, the female share of undernourished people was estimated at 60 percent.

Because of climate change – Fiji villages are being relocated: The Fiji Islands in the South Pacific are located about 1,800 miles east of Australia. They consist of about 300 islands and about one million people live on them. Climate change has led to the first villages being under water, and 40 more are threatened with this fate. Now a government working group has presented the first in-depth resettlement plan – a complex task. It involves schools, health centres, roads, electricity, water, infrastructure – and the village church. Yet no other country is as far along in planning as Fiji, says Erica Bower, a resettlement expert who works with the UN and the Fijian government. And many countries will face this feat in the future.

Agrofuel to combat world food shortages: Germany’s fields with agrofuel crops can produce enough calories for up to 35 million people. That corresponds to 71 percent of the people who are currently acutely threatened by famine, according to the World Food Programme. This calculation was published by Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Foodwatch, Greenpeace, Naturschutzbund, Robin Wood and Transport & Environment in the middle of last week. The calculations are based on the assumption that wheat could grow on the 1.88 million hectares worldwide for German biofuel consumption. However, the agricultural representatives object that the cultivation of this grain is not sensible or possible on all areas. The NHOs‘ counter-argument that in these places even more calories could be harvested with other crops such as maize or rice.

Plant diversity: First AI-supported world map published.
Australia: Mining billionaire stands for more climate protection.
Spain: Almost half of the country is affected by persistent drought.


Mini-climate conference on the Wadden Sea in Wilhelmshaven: Around 250 participants from Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark will discuss the future of the ecosystem at the Wadden Sea Conference starting on Monday. It is considered a kind of mini world climate conference.

Experts give their views on global food supply: Securing the global food supply through innovative methods, for example in the cultivation and breeding of crops, is the topic of a public hearing of the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development on Wednesday, 30 November. The hearing with five invited experts will start at 10.30 a.m. in meeting room 1.302 of the Jakob-Kaiser-Haus in Berlin and is expected to last two and a half hours. It will be broadcast live on parliamentary television and on


Dry pet food is significantly more environmentally friendly than wet food. A study on the ecological footprint of food for dogs and cats in Brazil produced this result. According to the study, the dry food of a ten-kilogram dog causes an average of 828 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per year – based on the Brazilian food supply. If the same dog is fed wet food, its footprint is 6,541 kilograms of CO₂ equivalents – almost eight times as much.

to the German edition

All images, unless otherwise stated:

You are receiving this newsletter because you are interested in environmental and sustainable issues.