11 Apr 2018, 00:00
Sören Amelang Edgar Meza

Econ min to head coal commission - Merkel / German ETS emissions down


Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the country’s “coal commission” tasked with finding a phase-out compromise should be headed by the ministry for economics and energy. After a cabinet meeting, she also said in addition to economy minister Peter Altmaier (CDU), environment minister Svenja Schulze (SPD), labour minister Hubertus Heil (SPD), and interior minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) should be part of the commission, reports Matthias Schlegel for the Tagesspiegel. Many Social Democrats had called for the commission to be headed by environment ministry.
In a first reaction, Greenpeace climate expert Karsten Smid said the participation of four ministries was counterproductive to finding a quick solution. WWF climate expert Michael Schäfer said the commission needed a clear mandate to phase out coal as quickly as possible.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal? and the portraits Merkel puts long-time confidant in charge of energy transition and New German environment minister faces steep uphill battle on climate.

German Environment Agency (UBA)

The German Environment Agency (UBA) says greenhouse gas emissions from the industries (excluding aviation) that take part in the European emissions trading system (ETS) fell by 3.4 percent last year – a steeper decline than Germany achieved in its overall emissions. Across the EU, ETS emissions rose by between 0.6 and 1.0 percent, primarily due to economic growth. The German economy also grew, but a 2.1 percent increase in industrial emissions was more than offset by a 5.4 percent reduction in emissions from the country’s energy sector, the UBA says.

Read the press release in English here.

See the CLEW article Energy sector drives slight drop in German emissions in 2017 for more information.

The Guardian

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has intervened in a dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Kate Connolly writes for the Guardian. Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin he cannot exclude Ukraine from the pipeline, which will run from Russia to Germany. The project has raised concerns that Putin is trying to increase western Europe’s reliance on Russian gas while bypassing Ukraine.

Read the article in English here.

See the CLEW factsheet Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels for background.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Henning Kagermann, head of government advisory council the German National Platform for Electric Mobility, has said he supports battery cell production in Europe to “avoid possible dependencies or delivery bottlenecks," the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. Kagermann says most problems currently ailing e-mobility in Germany, namely car range, costs and charging duration, “will be solved in five years’ time,” adding that an adequate charging infrastructure is key to the technology’s rapid spread. Bernd Osterloh, head of Volkswagen’s works council, has not ruled out the carmaker producing its own battery cells for electric cars. "Contrary to the position of Volkswagen’s executive board, as a works council we do not support a strategy that aims to buy cells exclusively from suppliers over the long term,” Osterloh said.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers for more information.

Heinrich Boell Foundation

German Green Party think tank the Heinrich Boell Foundation has published its European Energy Atlas 2018, detailing the state of Europe’s energy transition. Among the topics covered are the role renewables play in job creation, as well as the participation of citizens in renewable energy generation. The renewables sector has created more than a million jobs in Europe, mainly in wind, solar and biomass, according the report. By 2050, 125 million private citizens will be able to participate directly in European wind and solar energy production, it says.

Find more information in German here.

See the CLEW dossier Germany’s energy transition in the European context for more information.

Bild / Reuters

German carmaker VW will replace its CEO, Matthias Müller, with current VW brand chief Herbert Diess, news agency Reuters reports citing German tabloid Bild. Despite VW’s strong performance, “Müller’s ouster” has been planned for several months, the article says. The world’s largest car producer still grapples with the fallout of its engine manipulation scandal, dubbed dieselgate.

Read the article in English here.

For details, read the factsheet Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility.

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