“Still up in the air”
There are still many hurdles to an agreement in Paris and there is a real danger of disappointment, writes Klaus Stratmann in a commentary for business daily Handelsblatt. Negotiators have still not managed to establish a continuous process for readjusting climate pledges, there is still a gap of a few billion dollars in the Green Climate Fund, and it remains unclear whether a treaty will pass US domestic politics. “So it’s the same story as at every other climate summit: We will only know at the last second if the international community is serious about the fight against climate change.”
"The Ex-Climate Chancellor"
Chancellor Angela Merkel's reputation as "climate chancellor" is being damaged internationally because of Germany's lack of success on cutting carbon emissions under her leadership, Horand Knaup and Gerald Traufetter write for the magazine Der Spiegel. While Merkel urges world leaders in Paris to work towards the decarbonisation of the global economy, Germany looks likely to miss its own 2020 reduction targets because Merkel’s government has been too lenient on industry players such as carmakers and the owners of coal-fired power plants, they write.
Read a factsheet on Germany’s climate goals here.
Find a CLEW factsheet on Angela Merkel's career as "climate chancellor" here.
Find the CLEW coverage of the COP21 in Paris here.
“For the love of the atom”
It seems crazy that nuclear energy is seen as a dangerous money pit in Germany, whereas the same technology is viewed as a problem-solver in Great Britain, writes Björn Finke in a commentary for Süddeutsche Zeitung. Because nuclear energy is so expensive, and it remains unclear what to do with radioactive waste, Great Britain should take inspiration from the German phase-out and the ambitious roll-out of renewable energies. “At the same time, the German government must urgently take a leaf out of London’s book: The exit from coal, without any ifs and buts.” Finke concludes: “No coal power and no nuclear power: That would be the best of both worlds.”
Read the commentary in German here.
Find a CLEW dossier on the challenges of the German nuclear phase-out here.
CLEW is organising a media tour on the nuclear phase-out in Germany in January. Find more details here.
"States are liable for their sins"
The insurance scheme against damages caused by climate change being planned at the Paris summit is an elegant solution and a big step for industrialised countries to address the issue of liability, writes Michael Bauchmüller in a commentary in Süddeutsche Zeitung. But he says the catch is climate change itself: “The larger the consequences, the more difficult they are to insure.” Bauchmüller writes that the commitment by G7 countries comes just at the right time, because “there will only be an agreement if both issues can be addressed: Help for the poorest and the battle against climate change.”
Read the article in German here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“A market for the climate”
It’s almost guaranteed there will be an agreement at the end of the Paris summit, including a commitment to "decarbonisation" or "climate neutrality", but the crucial question is whether it will provide detailed and binding guidelines on how to get there, writes Andreas Mihm in a commentary for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He says emission trading systems like the EU’s should be developed and extended. The topic will not feature in an agreement, but it would be sufficient if China and Germany pushed emissions trading during their upcoming G20 presidencies, according to Mihm. “Merkel should make the overdue step to include further sectors in the trading system. It’s not enough if energy and industry get a CO2 price tag, but transport, agriculture and real estate don’t.”
Mihm also says it is deplorable that the government missed the opportunity in Paris to stress that enormous advance payments by German consumers gave the world affordable wind and solar technologies.
German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF)
“Companies regard summit success as decisive for business”
More than 60 percent of companies specialising in energy efficiency do not believe the Paris summit will result in a binding agreement, whereas about 20 percent think such a treaty is possible, according to a survey by the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF). A two-thirds majority of the optimists also believe the summit will be an important stimulus for their business. “Success at the climate summit would also be a success for German companies,” said Carsten Müller, head of the DENEFF board.
Find the survey in German here.
“Terium's plan to split is the end of lignite”
RWE CEO Peter Terium is preparing for a long-term lignite exit with plans to split the company, writes Angela Hennersdorf in business weekly Wirtschaftswoche. “It’s already clear today that there won’t be much left of the old RWE,” according to Hennersdorf. She says for RWE management, the coal phase-out is already a done deal, but the company will fight for public financial assistance and a few more years of profitable operation.
Read the article in German here.
Read a CLEW article about RWE’s plans here.
Federal Network Agency
Report on grid and system security measures
The costs of measures to secure power grid stability rose sharply in the first half of 2015, according to the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). “For the whole year of 2015, we expect a significant increase compared to 2014,” Jochen Homann, the Agency’s president, said in a press release. He says steps to stabilise grids were particularly common in federal states with a high share of renewables. “Again, this underlines the necessity of a rapid grid extension.”
Find the report in German here.