Chancellery 'shreds' Climate Action Plan / Uniper to cut jobs
Angela Merkel’s chancellery officials have "shredded" the formerly ambitious Climate Action Plan 2050 proposal by environment minister Barbara Hendricks, Der Spiegel reports. The chancellery, which was to evaluate the draft over the summer, has cut almost all concrete targets from the plan, effectively distancing itself from the outcome of the Paris climate deal, write Horand Knaup and Gerald Traufetter. It also ear-marked for further examination the “complete long-term switch to renewables in the power system”, goals to reduce meat consumption by 2050, the switch to electric mobility, and plans for a commission to devise the phase-out of coal, the article says. Plans for “carbon neutral” power production were too extensive, the chancellery said in a letter to the environment ministry seen by Der Spiegel. The cabinet will not make a decision on the Climate Action Plan 2050 before October 2016, the article says.
Read the article (behind paywall) here.
There is growing opposition within the federal government to the Energiewende and bold climate targets, writes Malte Kreutzfeldt in tageszeitung (taz). Last week, the EU Commission called for greater commitment from German ministries to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the ruling Christian Democratic Party's economics officials oppose the energy transition and Christian and Social Democrats alike are picking apart the environment ministry's Climate Action Plan 2050. Meanwhile, the government continues to paint itself as the “climate champion of the world”, writes Kreutzfeldt.
Read the article in German here.
To lower costs, E.ON’s conventional energy spin-off, Uniper, plans to sell off parts of its business and cut jobs, said the company’s CEO, Klaus Schäfer, in an interview with Rheinische Post. “What’s clear: We’ll see job cuts of a considerable magnitude. Otherwise, we are not competitive in the difficult market environment,” said Schäfer.
Read the interview in German here.
Find background see CLEW factsheet E.ON shareholders ratify energy giant's split.
With cities, municipalities, foundations and companies divesting from fossil fuels and more “green investment” possibilities, the financial sector is rethinking its approach to environmental protection and sustainability on the one hand, and to financial gains on the other, writes Dieter Nürnberger for Deutschlandfunk. Sustainability can be profitable because it is "future-proof", said Axel Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Swiss UBS Group AG at an event organised by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and others in Berlin last week.
Handelblatt Global Edition
The shipping industry is “approaching an energy transition”, writes Uwe Lauber for Handelsblatt Global, although there is still no “Green Deal” for market participants and no policy in place following the Paris climate summit. The sector “is preparing for the complete departure from heavy oil as a fuel,” Lauber writes, adding that liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a possible substitute. He warns that for an entire industry to switch to alternative fuels poses economic risks and technical challenges. Lauber calls for uniform environmental standards to be established at an international level with involvement from the German government, which is currently working on a maritime agenda up to the year 2025.
Read the article (behind paywall) in English here.
Welt am Sonntag
Growing public opposition to wind parks near residential areas is endangering the support needed for the energy transition, according to an article in Welt am Sonntag. Many Germans who live near wind parks “no longer experience the Energiewende as a necessary national project, but as a destructive force”, the newspaper says. “It’s not always clear whether the protest is against shortcomings of the Energiewende, or the result of general contempt for the state.”
Read the article in German here.
See more on the social impact of the German energy transition here.
German carmaker Daimler AG is to swiftly develop its e-vehicle portfolio in preparation for the wave of e-mobility in the coming years, said chairman of the board of directors Dieter Zetsche in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche. Zetsche said timing was key. “It’s like with an upside-down ketchup bottle. When you slap it, you know that at some point something will come out. You don’t know when, but once it comes, it really does. Then it’s bad if you’re not prepared.” Daimler division Mercedes-Benz plans to present a low-emission SUV at the Paris Motor Show in October, writes WirtschaftsWoche.
Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.
Read the CLEW dossier on The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.
Renewable Energy World
For an article on Renewable Energy World, Loukia Papadopoulos sought energy experts' opinion on the current state of Germany’s Energiewende. Mark Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere and Energy Program at Stanford University, Carl Pope, former executive director of the Sierra Club, and Damon Matthews, research chair at Concordia University, give their views.
Read the article in English here.