Around the world, the lights went out on Saturday: Last Saturday evening, millions of people around the world switched off the lights at 8.30 pm. Traditionally, the environmental organisation WWF had called for „Earth Hour“: Many places went dark for an hour to send a signal for peace, climate and environmental protection. Landmarks in particular were shrouded in darkness, including such famous buildings as the Brandenburg Gate, Cologne Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House. According to the WWF, more than 600 places in Germany alone took part in the „Earth Hour„. This year, the campaign stood not only for climate and environmental protection, but also for solidarity with the victims of the war in Ukraine. According to the environmental organisation, an exit from fossil energies is urgently needed, as this fuels the climate crisis and finances dictatorships and violations of international law. handelsblatt.com , tagesspiegel.de , wwf.de
Fridays for Future is taking to the streets again: If the coalition is more concerned about social peace in Germany than the people in Ukraine, it should say so, demands Luisa Neubauer. The co-initiator of Fridays for Future Germany thinks: „We are seeing how people are organising themselves, how they are shaping a defensible democracy and how they want to be taken seriously. If the government instead thinks that the speed on the motorway is more important than solidarity with the people fleeing the bombs in Mariupol, it must stand by this and not defend it with a pseudo-social peace. To play peace here and Ukraine off against each other, I think is the very last thing“. According to activists, around 220,000 people took to the streets in more than 300 cities in Germany alone during a worldwide day of protest organised by the climate protection movement Fridays for Future. Incidentally, in the run-up to the demo, there was a fuss about dreadlocks. According to a decision by „Fridays for Future“, the white musician Ronja Maltzahn will not be allowed to perform at a demonstration in Hanover as initially planned because of her dreadlocks. The Hanover chapter of the climate change movement cancelled a performance by the 28-year-old in the city centre this Friday on the grounds that dreadlocks are a symbol of resistance in the civil rights movement of black people in the USA. „So when a white person wears dreadlocks, it’s a cultural appropriation, because we as white people don’t have to deal with the history or the collective trauma of oppression because of our privilege.“ taz.de , fair-economics.de , spiegel.de , wdr.de (Dreadlocks)
More than 30 degrees higher
than the long-term average since the end of last week in many places, several times. These temperature records have been reported at various measuring points in East Antarctica. With the end of the Antarctic summer approaching, temperatures around the South Pole should actually be falling drastically. The current event is „completely unprecedented“, geoscientist Jonathan Wille of the University of Grenoble told the Washington Post; „it has turned our expectations of the Antarctic climate system upside down“. „I haven’t seen anything like it before,“ said University of Colorado researcher Ted Scambos. Wille sees a connection between the current developments in Antarctica and the extraordinary heat wave that gripped Canada and parts of the USA last summer. sueddeutsche.de
Air pollution limits not met: Worldwide, air pollution does not exceed the limits recommended by the World Health Organisation. Not a single country was able to meet the international specifications for air quality last year, according to the WHO. Data from 6,475 cities were analysed for this purpose. According to the World Health Organisation’s recommendations, the concentration of small and hazardous air particles should not exceed five micrograms per cubic metre. Only 3.4 percent of the cities surveyed met this standard last year. Air pollution levels ten times the recommended maximum were measured in 93 cities. The most polluted capital city in the world remained New Delhi. zeit.de
Government relieves citizens of energy costs: Every taxpayer in gainful employment receives a one-time payment of 300 euros. For each child, the state gives a one-time payment of 100 euros. Recipients of social benefits will receive a one-time payment of 200 euros. For three months, the energy tax on diesel will be reduced by 14 cents and on petrol by 30 cents. In public transport, a monthly ticket for nine euros will be offered everywhere for 90 days. Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) expects the costs to be similar to those of the first relief package agreed on by the coalition government at the end of February. At that time he had spoken of a „clear double-digit billion amount“, most recently of 14 to 16 billion euros. sueddeutsche.de
More than 740 billion still spent on fossil energies: The world’s 30 largest listed financial groups continue to invest immense sums in oil, gas and coal, according to analysis by the British initiative Influencemap. In 2020 and 2021, the total investments of these 30 companies in fossil energy projects and services for the energy industry amounted to $740 billion. This includes, for example, the development of new oil wells and gas fields. In addition, according to Influencemap, asset management companies in the financial sector hold shares of just over 222 billion dollars in energy companies.The main source of the study is the publications of the companies themselves and publicly available information for the capital market and financial supervisory authorities. Among the top 30 global financial companies are two German companies – Allianz in 9th place and Deutsche Bank in 23rd place. fnp.de
Federal Court of Auditors takes on climate protection: The auditors criticise the lack of a clear line in the various instruments for more climate protection. Among other things, the authority criticised in a report published last week the adherence to climate-damaging subsidies. In doing so, „the federal government is even thwarting its goals“, explained Auditor General Kay Scheller. He demanded: „All climate protection measures must be put to the test immediately“. Without a course correction, the government’s ambitious climate goals for 2030 will not be achieved. To change this, however, it is not enough to simply adopt new measures; these must also be „of a piece“. The current toolbox consists of „too many measures that hardly or not at all reduce greenhouse gas emissions.“ tagesspiegel.de
Microplastics in blood: For the first time, microplastic particles have been discovered in human blood. Dutch researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam analysed blood samples from 22 anonymous donors and found plastic residues in 17 of the tests. Half of the samples examined contained PET plastic, which is commonly used in beverage bottles, according to the study published in the journal Environment International. One third contained polystyrene, which is found in food packaging. And in a quarter of the blood samples, the researchers found polyethylene, from which plastic carrier bags are made. Background information is provided by spiegel.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Weniger ist mehr – Warum der Kapitalismus den Planeten zerstört und wir ohne Wachstum glücklicher sind
Less is more – Why capitalism is destroying the planet and we are happier without growth
Jason Hickel settles accounts with capitalism: instead of freeing all people from the clutches of poverty, our way of doing business has produced a life full of artificial scarcity, social injustice and environmental destruction – driven by an elite that is getting richer and richer.
Hickel is convinced: If we want to survive the Anthropocene, we have to leave capitalism behind. The alternatives, however, are neither communism nor radical renunciation. Rather, it is a matter of transforming the real economy into a system that acts for the benefit of all people and does not destroy our livelihoods. Hickel proposes concrete steps for this transformation and, along the way, makes a remarkable contribution to the question of how the protection of our planet can be implemented in a socially just way. oekom.de
EU Commission: Renaturation law postponed. taz.de
Brazil: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wants to open up indigenous territories to mining under the pretext of the Ukraine war and because of an alleged lack of raw materials. spektrum.de
Criticism: In view of the Ukraine crises and the lack of supply security, criticism of food in tanks is growing. tagesspiegel.de
Government’s draft budget: Green transformation still in focus. n-tv.de
China: Wants to cover 45 percent of its energy from green sources. handelsblatt.com
Salzgitter AG: Will supply low-CO2 steel to Volkswagen from 2025. industrie.de
CO2 price: Accepted, climate money less. fair-economics.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:
How climate and war are connected
With Putin’s war of aggression on Ukraine, the global community is experiencing its next major crisis. While people are fleeing and dying, the war is also having a noticeable impact on Germany’s energy supply and international climate policy. „We are now paying the price of the delayed energy transition,“ says energy economist Claudia Kemfert of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW). Kemfert explains how dependent we are on fossil energy from Russia, which President Vladimir Putin is using to finance his war in violation of international law – and how we can free ourselves from it. „Any energy-saving measures that we can use immediately, as well as the massive expansion of renewables, will get us further,“ she says. How war and climate are connected is the topic of the new podcast edition „Climate and us“ rnd.de
Gigafactory opened: The new Tesla factory has been opened in Grünheide near Berlin. „Thank you for everything,“ said Musk almost a little shyly. Many VIPs have come to the factory in Grünheide in Brandenburg – including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), German Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) and Brandenburg’s Minister President Dietmar Woidke (SPD). It is not a conventional opening: for Musk it is the signal that eco-energies can defeat climate change and for Scholz that East Germany can also have industry. Docjh there is also criticism. Environmentalists protested against the megaproject on Tuesday – Water Day – mainly out of concern about too little drinking water in the region. zeit.de
Proposal for connected mobility: Our mobility is a problem. Congested city centres, parking hassles, fuel prices over two euros per litre, air pollution and massive CO2 emissions that fuel climate change. Are we still allowed to be on the road? Yes, absolutely, mobility expert Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) is convinced: „We can completely reinvent mobility if we rethink it: no longer as property, but as a networked service.“ All modes of transport are to be bundled on a mobility platform: Cars, buses, trains and micromobility such as bicycles. This creates a functioning and convenient travel chain for the user that leads to the destination quickly and precisely. This is the strength of Mobility-as-a-Service: users can use the entire range of transport modes. Ownership is no longer a prerequisite for being mobile. fr.de
Why Sweden is an innovation driver and pioneer in e-mobility: The innovative strength and technological pioneering role of Scandinavian countries is also evident in other areas and can be illustrated particularly well by the example of electromobility. Here, too, Nordic countries are ahead of the game. According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), there are 6.1 electric vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants in Europe. With 8.5 e-cars per 1,000 inhabitants, Germany is above the European average, but the global leaders are Norway (81 per 1,000 inhabitants), Iceland (36.8) and Sweden (20.6). t3n.de
Proposals against e-abuse of the environmental bonus: In order to prevent the „environmental bonus“, an electric car purchase premium financed by the federal government and industry, from being misused for profitable export business abroad, the Bundesverband eMobilität e.V. (BEM) has presented a reform proposal. (BEM) has presented a reform proposal. In its recommendation for the „further development of the environmental bonus and the promotion of electric vehicles“, the association advises a repayment obligation. ecomento.de
Green hydrogen cheaper than blue: Green hydrogen has become cheaper than grey hydrogen as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the price explosion of fossil fuels and energy sources. This is a great opportunity for the hydrogen industry, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BloombergNEF). Green hydrogen is produced using energy from sustainable and environmentally friendly sources, unlike grey hydrogen which is produced using fossil fuels. solarify.eu
The hydrogen superpowers of tomorrow: The world is facing the great challenge of saying goodbye to fossil fuels such as gas and oil and replacing them with climate-friendly alternatives. A key role in this process is played by climate-friendly produced, i.e. green hydrogen. Even if it does not replace fossil fuels one-to-one, hydrogen could ease the burden on the environment and account for around 12 percent of global energy consumption by 2050. A recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) identifies 6 countries or groups of countries that could be the hydrogen world powers of the future. efahrer.chip.de
Fast track for hydrogen – OGE and RWE present national infrastructure concept „H2 ercules“: To significantly accelerate the development of the hydrogen economy in Germany, OGE and RWE have developed the national infrastructure concept „H2 ercules“. With this concept, the two companies want to promote the development of a hydrogen infrastructure. This is to connect electrolysers as well as storage and import facilities for green hydrogen in the north with industrial end users in the west and south of Germany. Further import routes from the south and east, which are currently being developed, are to be connected by 2030. In this way, H2 ercules can become the backbone of a hydrogen infrastructure from the North Sea coast to southern Germany. The first large companies, such as thyssenkrupp, have signalled their interest in being connected to such a network. The implementation of the project is expected to require investments in the order of 3.5 billion (bn) euros. Since most of H2 ercules is based on the conversion of existing natural gas pipelines, the proposal is, in sum, cheaper and much faster to realise than a completely new construction. rwe.com
Background paper on sustainable green hydrogen: A working paper takes up the existing discussion on the sustainability of hydrogen and synthesis products or derivatives and creates a basis for a common understanding of this in the HYPAT research project, which aims to create a global hydrogen potential atlas. Possible countries of production and import of hydrogen and hydrogen-based derivatives are identified. As a result of literature research, participation in workshops, interviews and, above all, discussions among the institutions involved in HYPAT work package 3.2.1, criteria for assessing the sustainability of hydrogen and derivatives for export have emerged. die-gdi.de
Gas grid as a transporter for hydrogen: It is considered a valuable energy carrier for the success of the energy transition: However, numerous questions about the potential transport routes for hydrogen have not yet been answered. A research project at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences aims to provide urgently needed answers. The pipeline network that the German government envisages will bring hydrogen to power plants, companies and other consumers throughout Germany is currently about 511,000 kilometres long. However, one central question has not yet been answered: Is this natural gas network at all suitable for transporting hydrogen? In search of answers, the team at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences is therefore simulating how the network infrastructure will develop over the years, both nationally and locally. „We use simulations to describe the consequences of transmission in various dynamic scenarios, especially with regard to regional capacities, quality and secure supply,“ reports project leader Professor Dr Tanja Clees, who is a member of the board of directors of the Institute for Technology, Resource Efficiency and Energy Efficiency (TREE) at the H-BRS. ingenieur.de
Biohydrogen as an alternative to electrolysis: Green hydrogen is considered a central element of the energy transition. So far, the gas has been produced mainly by electrolysis, a process that consumes a lot of electricity. However, there are promising bio-based approaches to hydrogen production in which algae and bacteria play an important role. Biobased hydrogen is either obtained from biomass or produced by means of living biomass – i.e. through the metabolic performance of living organisms. biooekonomie.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG
Development aid budget to decrease: Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) is to be allowed to spend 10.85 billion euros on her department in the current year, 12.6 per cent less than planned in the previous year’s budget (12.43 billion euros). Revenues of 747.83 million euros (2021: 802.53 million euros) are budgeted. The Bundestag first debated the budget of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ, Section 23) on Wednesday, 23 March 2022, from 4.30 pm. The basis is the draft budget of the Federal Budget 2022 (20/1000). Although the BMZ budget is to decrease compared to 2021, it will remain the second largest federal investment budget after the budget of the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport, with planned investments of €7.24 billion (2021: €8.42 billion). Expenditure on investments adds up to 7.24 billion euros, allocations and grants to 3.47 billion euros (2021: 3.88 billion euros). Together with other departments, the federal government’s public expenditure on development cooperation (ODA expenditure) will amount to around 21.62 billion euros according to current planning.
The largest chapter in terms of volume is in the area of bilateral state development cooperation. Expenditures of 4.84 billion euros are planned here, compared to 5.97 billion euros last year. Bilateral financial cooperation has a share of 2.1 billion euros (2021: 2.43 billion euros). For crisis management and reconstruction as well as infrastructure, 551 million euros in investments and 425 million euros in commitment appropriations have been set aside for the years 2023 to 2026. The second largest chapter deals with European development cooperation and contributions to the United Nations and other international institutions. The Federal Government has allocated 2.22 billion euros for this (2021: 2.7 billion euros). 517.21 million euros are earmarked for contributions to the United Nations, its specialised agencies and international non-governmental organisations (2021: 654.45 million euros). 566.19 million euros are to go to the European Development Fund EDF, 300 million euros to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (2021: 350 million euros).
The Federal Government has budgeted 1.31 billion euros for the area of civil society, community and economic engagement, i.e. non-governmental development cooperation. In 2021, the target expenditure was still 1.44 billion euros. Multilateral aid for environmental protection, biodiversity and climate protection, which is important for development, is budgeted at 751.4 million euros (2021: 741.2 million euros). 465 million euros are earmarked for the fight against hunger (2021: 525 million euros), and 420 million euros (2021: 475 million euros) for the fight against the causes of flight and the reintegration of refugees.
Environment budget also decreases: The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection must expect a reduced budget according to the plans for the federal budget (20/1000). Section 16 contains planned expenditure of about 2.2 billion euros, which is about 456.1 million euros less than in the previous year (target 2021: about 2.7 billion euros). Federal Minister Steffi Lemke (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) thus has fewer funds at her disposal, although responsibility for the area of „consumer protection“, which was still part of the Federal Ministry of Justice during the last legislative period, was added to her ministry. At the same time, however, it had to hand over the area of „climate protection“ to the Ministry of Economics, led by Federal Minister Robert Habeck (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen). In terms of revenue, Lemke’s ministry expects around 822.5 million euros (2021: around 852.9 million euros). According to the draft budget, the majority of the ministry’s expenditures will be investments, amounting to about 1.2 billion euros (2021: about 1.7 billion euros). It should be possible to spend about 346.7 million euros on environmental protection (2021: about 258.3 million euros). Of this, about 61.1 million euros (2021: 74.5 million euros) are to go to research, and about 42.1 million (2021: 25.4 million) are available for investments to reduce environmental pollution. A further 17 million euros (2021: 25 million euros) have been budgeted for the export of technologies to combat marine litter.
Energy and Climate Fund receives 106 billion: The Federal Government has presented the 2nd draft of a law on the adoption of the federal budget for the financial year 2022 (20/1000). Together with this budget, the economic plan 2022 for the Energy and Climate Fund (EKF), a special fund of the federal government, was presented with planned revenues and expenditures of 106.81 billion euros each (an increase of 4.12, billion compared to 2021). Commitment appropriations of 67.435 billion euros are to be made, some of which will be due beyond 2037. The EKF will be financed from its share of the proceeds from the auctioning of greenhouse gas emission allowances within the framework of European emissions trading (8.67 billion /2021: 7.41 billion euros) and from CO2 pricing within the framework of national emissions trading (6.89 billion euros/2021: 2.75 billion euros). In addition, the EKF receives an allocation from the federal budget to balance the 2022 economic plan (5.85 billion euros/2021: 62.48 billion euros).
Committee adopts gas storage – bill: On Wednesday, the Committee for Climate Protection and Energy adopted the „draft bill amending the Energy Industry Act to introduce level requirements for gas storage facilities“ (20/1024) as amended, which had been introduced by the coalition parliamentary groups. For the special session of the committee, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP had tabled an amendment, which was adopted with votes from the coalition and the Left. The AfD voted against, the Union abstained. The amended bill was approved by the coalition factions and those of the Left, the AfD and the Union abstained. On Friday, the bill, which is intended to reduce the dependence of Germany’s energy supply on Russian imports in the face of the Russian war against Ukraine, which is against international law, is to be discussed in the Bundestag in its second and third readings.
No sustainable nuclear power: In the view of the German government, nuclear power is not sustainable and should therefore not be included in the EU taxonomy. In the answer of the federal government (20/1037) to a small question of the parliamentary group Die Linke (20/852) it is said that the inclusion of nuclear power in the taxonomy also contradicts the prevailing understanding of sustainability of many consumers in Germany and also in many other European countries. A corresponding statement of the Federal Government had been sent to the European Commission. At this point in time, it is not foreseeable to what extent the EU taxonomy will be taken into account within the framework of public EU funding programmes, the answer continues.
Metafates are decreed that override our petty realities. The power over us becomes manifest. The meta-fate suspends our rights and also our duties and leaves us with the stress of being at the mercy of it as an occupation. These are psychotic worlds into which we are being transported, and it would be the right time to withdraw from this being at the mercy of others. For example, in a climate policy that does not see the world as the property of elites, but is dedicated to the democratically conceived fundamental rights of all. This, in turn, would mean taking life seriously in that natural resources cannot be subjected to the capitalist principle of profit maximisation. Our speech must then be called „green-green-green“. The superlative must be taken out of the game.
Marlene Streeruwitz, writer, freedom was already not a matter of course. From this point of view, we have only experienced increases in our „statehood“. The process of nationalisation of the citizen and the citizen began in the 18th century as an idea and took an increasingly coercive course post-revolutionary, which has now reached a first conclusion in the digital control state. We would have to take care to fight for and shape our rights of co-determination anew. The world can only be saved by working together. But that means completely different ways of living, which aim at the vitality of the person and do not end up in the solidification of state data collections and the consequences thereof. If we are to continue, we have to reconquer the joy of life. Democracy is the task of the authorial imagination. The good life must become a beautiful life that is at peace with others and with the world as a resource. If we wanted it, everything could still become beautiful. orf.at
Algeria: Spain deports Algerian dissident: from prison to prison. An Algerian dissident who had applied for asylum in Spain is now in custody pending deportation. In Algeria, ten years in prison await him. taz.de
Ethiopia: In the Ethiopian civil war, both sides agree to a ceasefire for the first time – it could be a first step towards peace. The ceasefire is supposed to allow humanitarian aid for millions of people in need. Recently, there have been growing signs that talks might become possible. Ethiopia’s government, which has been at war with the northern province of Tigray for a year and a half, declared a unilateral ceasefire on Thursday evening. Insurgents from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the dominant political and military force in Tigray, signalled their agreement a few hours later. It is the first time in the war, which has caused one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters, that both sides of the conflict have agreed to a ceasefire. nzz.ch
Benin: Terror in the north puts Benin on alert.Islamist terror is spreading in the north of Benin. Clergymen see it as a threat to the peaceful coexistence of religions. And the threat does not only come from outside. Up to now, the country has been considered exemplary as far as the good coexistence of religions is concerned. Not only Christianity and Islam are at home here. Officially, about six percent of the population profess Voodoo, an ancient, also recognised religion. Several terrorist attacks that have recently rocked the north of the country. Between the end of November and the beginning of February, suspected terrorists carried out three attacks: in the towns of Porga and Banikoara and most recently in the area of the W National Park, which has been closed for years and is run by the South African organisation African Parks. dw.com
Kenya: Between 2020 and 2021, the number of road deaths in Kenya increased by more than 20 percent. Last year, more than 4,500 people were killed and over 16,000 injured. According to the Kenyan government, drunk driving, overloading and excessive speed are among the main causes of the deaths. But is corruption also a factor? Journalist Richard Chacha, who himself was paralysed in a road accident 10 years ago, reports for Africa Eye on unscrupulous driving school employees who, for a fee, allow novice drivers to get behind the wheel without ever having to take a driving test. bbc.com
Morocco – Water shortages threaten cities: While farmers have normally borne the brunt of repeated droughts in the North African kingdom, water supplies to cities are now under threat, Water Minister Nizar Baraka told parliament in mid-March. Since September, there has been hardly any rain in Morocco, and the authorities say that water reservoirs have received only 11 per cent of the water of an average year. Two major cities, the tourist hub of Marrakech and Oujda in the east, began tapping groundwater reserves as early as December to ensure sufficient supplies. theeastafrican.co.ke
Rising temperatures threaten beef and dairy farming in sub-Saharan Africa: According to scientists, heat stress will become an increasing challenge for livestock farming in the lower latitudes of tropical West and East Africa over the course of the century, with the exception of the highlands in central Ethiopia and southwestern Kenya. At higher temperatures, animals reduce their feed intake by three to five percent per additional degree of temperature, which reduces productivity. Heat stress increases respiration and mortality, reduces fertility, alters animal behaviour and suppresses the immune and hormonal systems, making animals more susceptible to disease.
Water poorly managed on the continent: Groundwater accounts for 99 per cent of all fresh liquid water on earth. Africa has plenty of it, but two major studies have shown that a lack of investment means it is underused or poorly managed. „Our research debunks the myth that Africa is running out of water,“ said Tim Wainwright, chief executive of the charity WaterAid UK, which produced one of the studies. „But the tragedy is that millions of people on the continent continue to not have enough clean water to drink. Yet there are huge reserves of water right under these people’s feet, many of which are replenished every year by rainfall or surface water. People just don’t have access to it because the water supply is chronically underfunded.“ freitag.de
Zambia: Hopes for a democratic new beginning in Zambia after the change of power in the August 2021 elections are visibly evaporating. The new president, Hakainde Hichilema, seems to be using the same dictatorial practices that he criticised in his ousted predecessor Edgar Lungu and his Patriotic Front (PF) party. This week, incumbent PF president Given Lubinda was arrested on five charges at the instigation of the ACC Anti-Corruption Commission. He is accused of „possession of stolen goods“: a house and bank accounts with 100,000, 80,000, 50,000 and 49,990 US dollars each, according to ACC spokesperson Queen Chibwe on Monday. In total, values of 539,000 US dollars are involved, the Anti-Corruption Commission stated. taz.de
South Africa – Aborigines vs Amazon: South Africa’s highest court has halted one of the country’s biggest construction projects, Amazon’s Africa headquarters, which supporters say is one of the Cape’s most important investments, creating thousands of jobs and proving that it is still worth investing in South Africa. Opponents accuse the investors of building on a piece of land that is sacred to them, where the Khoi and San once lived, the indigenous people of the region who were driven out by colonialists. sueddeutsche.de
Ships are still discharging oil: For decades, the discharge of oil and oily water into the sea has been banned. But this ban is still being systematically circumvented. This has fatal consequences for the environment. Analysis of satellite images shows that illegal oil discharges by merchant ships are a daily occurrence worldwide. Only a fraction of the cases are discovered and prosecuted. dw.com
Too little waste paper plunges industry into crisis: Wholesale prices for waste paper are soaring and publishers are also worried. One reason is that too many boxes and not letters or newspapers end up in the waste paper. But they are needed to produce new paper again. Once produced, paper fibres can be recycled up to twelve times. Compared to primary production, this saves large amounts of water and energy. Depending on the manufacturer and grade, about seventy percent less water is used for a kilo of recycled paper than for a kilo of primary fibre paper, and about sixty percent less energy is needed. Especially with papers that are only used once, such as toilet paper, kitchen roll and handkerchiefs, it is therefore worthwhile to reach for recycled papers. Otherwise, valuable paper fibres are flushed down the toilet or disposed of in household waste and are thus irretrievably lost to the waste paper cycle. faz.net
Peeing to generate electricity: Microbial fuel cells convert urine into electrical energy. This is useful for places without a stable power supply. Most importantly, the technology can be used worldwide for water purification. Yannis Ieropoulos and his team at the University of the West of England in Bristol have been working on generating electricity from urine since 2002. He recognised the need for self-sufficiently functioning toilets in the Global South. His project is called „Pee Power“ and provides electricity to regions that are cut off from the electricity grid. With the support of the international non-governmental organisation Oxfam and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the technology has been used since 2017 in a first field trial in a girls‘ boarding school in Uganda. „The children desperately need electricity, especially at night,“ says Ieropoulos. Using the toilet in the dark is dangerous because of sexual assault, but also because of wild animals. enorm-magazin.de
Internet data volume continues to grow rapidly – including CO₂ emissions: Internet surfers in Germany consumed almost twice as much data volume in 2021 as two years earlier. According to estimates, it was 100 billion gigabytes. Germany’s internet surfers are consuming a significantly higher volume of data than before. Last year, an estimated 100 billion gigabytes were transferred on the fixed network, 19 billion more than in 2020, according to a report by the Federal Network Agency 2019 had still been 60 billion gigabytes. The reason for the increase is the greater use of digital applications in everyday life. heise.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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