German carmakers BMW and Daimler have signed an agreement to merge their mobility services business units to compete with Uber in the United States and Didi Chuxing in China, writes news agency Reuters. “As pioneers in automotive engineering, we will not leave the task of shaping future urban mobility to others,” Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said in a press release. Under the terms of their deal, which includes car-sharing units Car2Go and DriveNow as well as ride-hailing, parking and charging services, Daimler and BMW will each hold a 50 percent stake in a joint venture. Over the past weeks, the companies had paved the way for the merger by buying out their partners in Car2Go and DriveNow.
See the CLEW dossier German carmakers and the Energiewende for background.
The new coalition treaty of CDU/CSU and SPD falls short on climate and energy policy, write Alexander Reitzenstein and Sabrina Schulz in a background briefing for E3G. They analyse treaty provisions and look at key political events since the swearing-in of the new cabinet, such as the chancellor’s first speech in parliament. “If Angela Merkel’s speech outlining the new coalition government’s agenda is any indication, climate policy will not be a priority for Germany over the next four years,” they write.
Find the briefing in English here.
For the full background on Germany’s new government coalition, read the CLEW dossier The next German government and the energy transition.
German solar PV manufacturer SolarWorld Industries GmbH has filed for insolvency, writes Sandra Enkhardt for pv magazine. The announcement comes less than a year after SolarWorld AG filed for insolvency in May 2017. SolarWorld blames the planned phasing out of anti-dumping measures by the EU Commission against Chinese competition and the further drop in prices, writes Enkhardt.
Read the article in English here.
For background, read the CLEW article Last major German solar cell maker surrenders to Chinese competition.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Rapid greenhouse-gas emissions reductions are needed to keep in check both the costs of the transition towards climate stabilisation and the amount of CO2 that will have to be removed from the atmosphere, write researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in an analysis, published in Environmental Research Letters. Emissions in 2030 would need to be at least 20 percent below what countries have pledged under the Paris climate agreement, writes PIK in a press release. “To stabilise the climate before warming crosses the Paris threshold, we either have to undertake the huge effort of halving emissions until 2030 and achieving emission neutrality by 2050 – or the emissions reductions would have to be complemented by CO₂ removal technologies," said lead-author Jessica Strefler.
State government of Schleswig-Holstein / dpa
The new government coalition in Germany’s northernmost state, Schleswig-Holstein, has agreed on new regulations for wind energy expansion. This includes an increase of the minimum distance between turbines and the nearest settlement from 800 to 1,000 metres in specific areas, according to a press release. In return, other restrictions – for example regarding environmental protection – will be relaxed to enable the state to achieve its target of increasing onshore wind capacity to 10 gigawatts by 2025, reports news agency dpa. Environmentalists have criticised the agreement, reports dpa.
For background, read the CLEW article Wind power course at stake in election in "cradle of Energiewende" .
New German environment minister Svenja Schulze has asked relevant ministers for proposals on how each sector can do its part to reach the country’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. “We’ve agreed on firm climate targets together, so everybody must contribute,” Schulze told weekly Die Zeit.
Read the interview in German here.
For background, read CLEW’s profile on Schulze: New German environment minister faces steep uphill battle on climate.