Call for a CO2 price reform / Charging infrastructure gets going

Group of scientists, economists and civil society actors

Energiewende experts call on new government to prioritise CO2 pricing

The next federal government should put a high priority on introducing a higher price on CO₂ across all economic sectors and a fundamental reform of energy-related taxes and levies in Germany, if climate targets are to be taken seriously, according to a position paper by a group of scientists, economists and civil society actors. “Germany’s complicated mix of instruments and decisions contradicts itself and does not suffice to reach our climate targets,” the paper says. The group, which includes the heads of the German Energy Agency (dena) and think tank Agora Energiewende*, proposes general reform guidelines, such as a fairer distribution of costs, to prevent carbon leakage, and to ensure reforms are compatible with EU regulations. The next coalition agreement should include a clear commitment to CO₂ pricing based on these guidelines, and necessary measures must be implemented from 2018/2019 on, so to ensure Germany reaches its 2030 and 2050 climate targets, the paper says.

Find the paper in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheets Germany ponders how to finance renewables expansion in the future and What energy & climate stakeholders want from Germany's next government.

*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

 

Deutsche Bundesbank (central bank of Germany)

Central bank executive board member warns finance sector of climate risks

The finance sector “certainly underestimates” risks associated with climate change and the transition to a green economy, Andreas Dombret, executive board member of the Deutsche Bundesbank (German central bank) said at an event at the National University of Singapore. “It’s not new to us that climate change affects each and everything. Our standards of living. Migration flows. Technological developments. The economy,” Dombret said. Data on climate-related risks was “scarce and often chaotic”, because there was “no framework that standardises their disclosure,” he said, explaining that in its capacity as a supervisory body, the central bank could “foster awareness of physical and especially transition risks, and make sure that they are taken seriously. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate climate-related risks into our supervisory risk analyses.” The bank will hold its annual symposium next year with an emphasis on Green Finance.

Find the full speech in English here.

 

Handelsblatt

Power grid: Legal concerns could stand in the way of farmers’ compensation demands – law firm report

“Considerable legal concerns” could stand in the way of German farmers’ demand for recurring compensation payments if power lines are built on their land, according to a law firm report commissioned by energy industry association the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), seen by Handelsblatt. Landowners already receive substantial compensation payments and the land could still be used after power lines are installed, BDEW head Stefan Kapferer told Handelsblatt. Demands for further compensation were “completely unreasonable”, Kapferer said, and would lead to “over compensation” in conflict with public interest, according to the report.

Find the article (behind paywall) in German here.

For more information, see the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.

 

Handelsblatt

Industrial companies explore “billion-euro market” for e-car charging stations

An announcement by Germany’s largest carmakers that they will substantially increase the share of electric vehicles in their product portfolios has turned the tide in the market for e-car charging stations, Axel Höpner writes for Handelsblatt. Large industrial players like Siemens or Swiss electrical equipment company ABB are now interested in what ABB manager Frank Mühlon says will be “a billion-euro market”. Germany still lacks a comprehensive network of fast charging stations able to cope with the looming e-car boom, Höpner writes. According to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), at least 70,000 charging points would be needed to service one million e-cars, compared to the country's current 10,700, the author writes. 

Read the article in German here (behind paywall).  

See the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers for background on the development of e-cars in the combustion engine’s birth country.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

German petrol station operators look for new business models as e-cars loom

German petrol stations are struggling for new business models as a breakthrough for electric vehicles appears just around the corner, Michael Ashelm and Bernd Freytag write for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Instead of marching ahead, an entire industry remains practically paralysed,” the article says. Esso and Total currently offer e-cars charging points at only about 2 percent of their over 1,000 locations in Germany, the article says. “There is no economically viable business concept for country-wide charging stations,” BP’s German subsidiary Aral told the newspaper. According to Dirk Claussen, head of the German Petroleum Industry Association (MWV), it is not yet clear that fossil fuels will be entirely replaced by electricity, and synthetic fuels could also play an important role in the future of mobility. “Basically, Aral, Shell and the others are in the dark as far as the future of petrol stations is concerned,” the authors write.

See the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers for background on the development of e-cars in the combustion engine’s birth country.

 

Tagesspiegel Background

Appointment of energy & climate committees in next government likely to take months

The Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, is currently in a transition phase that is likely to take some time and which will delay the appointment of the parliamentary committees for climate and energy, Jakob Schlandt writes for the Tagesspiegel Background Energie & Klima. “The Bundestag’s first constituent session has to take place 30 days after the election, hence on 24 October,” Schlandt writes. But while the parliament will be formally operative from that date, the committees, the most important legislative organs, are unlikely to be ready before months of negotiation, he says.

See the CLEW factsheet The long road to a new government coalition in Germany for background.

 

General-Anzeiger Bonn

Mining trade union head warns of sacrificing coal to save diesel engines

The incoming German government must not agree to phase out coal-fired power production in exchange for concessions to diesel cars, Michael Vassiliadis, head of Germany’s largest mining trade union, IG BCE, said in an interview with the General-Anzeiger Bonn. Vassiliadis argued that a possible new German government coalition of the conservative CDU/CSU alliance, the economically liberal FDP and the environmentalist Green Party might broker a deal in which the Greens’ demand for coal plants to be shut down is accepted by the other parties in return for Green restraint over car emissions. “I can only warn against making deals of this kind,” Vassiliadis said. Shutting down a large fraction of Germany’s coal plants would instantly make mining economically unviable, raise costs for energy-intensive industries, and put a strain on the electricity grid, he argued.

Read the interview in German here.

For more information, see the CLEW factsheet Climate & energy stumbling blocks for Jamaica-coalition talks and the CLEW article Coalition watch – The road to a new German government.

 

Stuttgarter Nachrichten

State government appeals to diesel driving ban ruling

The Baden Wuerttemberg Green-Christian Democrats (CDU) state government has lodged a federal appeal against a city court ruling that found inner-city driving restrictions to cut air pollution permissible, Stuttgarter Nachrichten reports. The Stuttgart case could now be decided together with a similar case from the city of Düsseldorf. The plaintiff, the Environmental Action Germany (DUH), welcomed the appeal saying it would accelerate the process of reaching a final decision, Stuttgarter Nachrichten reports.

Read the article in German here.

Find background in the CLEW article Merkel at second diesel summit: must avoid driving bans "by all means".

 

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