Coalition climate agreement criticised / EU approves capacity reserve

Tagesspiegel

Germany’s climate policy hurts the Philippines – Philippine Senator

The announcement by Germany’s would-be grand coalition partners CDU/CSU and SPD to water down the country’s national 2020 climate target “has shocked many climate activists in the Philippines”, Philippine Senator Loren Legarda writes in a guest article for the Tagesspiegel. The coalition agreement states the target is to be reached as fast as possible "without setting a new deadline or proposing concrete measures,” Legarda says, adding that Germany would be wise to reconsider “what kind of signal this sends out to the world”. It puts the progress made in the fight against climate change in jeopardy and threatens the livelihood of many people, she argues. Germany’s insistence on putting the tight 1.5-degrees target into the Paris Agreement “was one of the rare occasions that sparked hope”, but this hope will turn into desperation “if the most affluent countries, which are also the greatest climate polluters, don’t live up their promises,” Legarda says. The Philippines, she argues, “is determined to implement” the Paris Agreement, “but we do so in the conviction that other signatories also do their part.”

Find the article in German here.

Find background in the CLEW articles Germany's coalition negotiators agree treaty, promise coal exit date and Reactions to Germany's coalition agreement, and the factsheet Climate, energy and transport in Germany's coalition agreement.

 

klimaretter.info

Coalition treaty: “New promises for the fourth time in a row” - opinion

The coalition treaty agreed by Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) is filled with promises and vaguely worded provisions on climate, energy and transport and it remains to be seen if 2030 climate targets will actually be reached, writes Susanne Götze in an opinion piece for klimaretter.info. “Climate change is difficult to grasp, and suitable for drivelling speeches and symbolic policy,” writes Götze. In 2030, when we will know whether or not Germany has adhered to its climate protection plan and how binding the new binding nature really was, Angela Merkel will celebrate her 75th birthday and Martin Schulz his 74th. Maybe we’ll be able to ask them about the coalition treaty from 2018 then.”

Find the opinion piece in German here.

Find background in the CLEW articles Germany's coalition negotiators agree treaty, promise coal exit date and Reactions to Germany's coalition agreement, and the factsheet Climate, energy and transport in Germany's coalition agreement.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

CDU’s new economy ministry is “the wooden spoon” – opinion

The German economy ministry (BMWi) has visibly lost influence under three consecutive coalition governments led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Heike Goebel writes in a commentary for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. But Merkel's CDU party now claims that retaking the ministry, which is also responsible for Germany’s energy system, from the SPD counts as a victory in the coalition negotiations. The ministry’s former occupants “didn’t live up to their role as the guardian of a market economy within the government”, Goebel argues. Merkel’s close associate Peter Altmaier will now become the CDU’s first economy minister in several decades, “but it’s unclear whether the party still knows what this means."

Find the opinion piece in German here.

Find background in the CLEW articles Germany's coalition negotiators agree treaty, promise coal exit date and Reactions to Germany's coalition agreement, and the factsheet Climate, energy and transport in Germany's coalition agreement.

 

pv magazine

The grand coalition continues its “active policy against climate protection” – opinion

Germany’s new and old coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) have “made a shambles of the successful pro-climate and pro-renewables policy of the SPD-Greens coalition” in the early 2000s, Green politician Hans-Josef Fell writes in an op-ed for pv magazine. The new coalition agreement by the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the SPD “lacks any will to actively address humanity’s big challenges with big concepts,” the co-author of Germany’s first Renewables Act (EEG) says. Together with the pro-business FDP, the parties have caused a dramatic drop in investments in renewables, from 40.3 billion dollars in 2010 to 14.6 billion dollars in 2017, Fell argues. “Germany’s annual greenhouse gas emissions have been rising for years instead of being quickly reduced to zero,” he says. Instead of initiating a significant turnaround in “ineffective support schemes”, the coalition agreement is instead teeming with the same old, ineffective schemes that will ultimately contribute to the failure of the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals, Fell says. 

Read the opinion piece in German here.

 Find background in the CLEW articles Germany's coalition negotiators agree treaty, promise coal exit date and Reactions to Germany's coalition agreement, and the factsheet Climate, energy and transport in Germany's coalition agreement.

 

European Commission / BMWi

European Commission approves Germany’s electricity capacity mechanism to ensure security of supply

The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules Germany’s strategic capacity reserve, which is meant to ensure the security of power supply in case of emergencies, the Commission said in a press release. “Capacity mechanisms can help to safeguard security of electricity supply, but they must be designed so as to avoid distortions of competition in energy markets,” said European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Germany has clearly identified and quantified the security of supply risks and the reserve is needed to ensure security of supply during the ongoing reform of the German electricity market and to manage the phase-out of nuclear electricity generation. The reserve is temporary and will be removed when the underlying market issue is solved, the Commission said. The German economy ministry welcomed the decision, which allows Germany 2 gigawatts (GW) of reserve capacity from 2019 on. The capacity will be tendered in technology-neutral auctions, open to all types of capacity providers, including demand response.

Find the Commission press release in English here and the BMWi press release in German here.

Find background in the CLEW factsheet Germany's new power market design.

 

Reuters / Handelsblatt / Vattenfall

Vattenfall generates annual profit for first time in five years

Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall posted a pretax profit in 2017 despite sluggish electricity demand, helped in part by new wind power capacity, writes news agency Reuters. Vattenfall started operation of two new wind parks in 2017, one of them the offshore wind park Sandbank in the German North Sea, reports the Handelsblatt in a separate article.

Find the Reuters article in English here, the Handelsblatt article in German here and the Vattenfall release in English here.

Find background in the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition.

 

Frankfurter Rundschau

Germany’s large insurance companies finance Poland’s coal industry

The two major German insurance companies Allianz and Munich Re have until now often been viewed as “being in the camp of climate activists”, but a study by NGO Unfriend Coal now suggests both companies are quite active in insuring Poland’s coal industry, Thomas Magenheim writes in Frankfurter Rundschau. “The self-proclaimed climate activist Allianz supports the largest coal expansion in Europe,” says Regine Richter of German NGO Urgewald. She says reinsurer Munich Re is “schizophrenic” for issuing many studies that highlight climate change’s negative consequences but simultaneously issuing insurance certificates for the Polish coal industry. The insurers do not deny their activities, but Allianz points to the 4.6 billion euros it has so far invested in renewable energy, which bears proof of its climate action.

Find the article in German here and the Unfriend Coal study in English here.

Also read the CLEW article Private climate finance under scrutiny on eve of Paris summit.

 

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)”. They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.

Ask CLEW

Kerstine Appunn

Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

info@cleanenergywire.org

+49 30 700 1435 212