EU cancels dieselgate meeting / Carsharing doesn't always cut traffic
An EU ministerial meeting dedicated to the consequences of the diesel scandal has been cancelled after German transport minister Andreas Scheuer said he would not be able to participate because of other appointments, reports Till Hoppe in the business daily Handelsblatt. EU industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said she was disappointed and told the newspaper that holding the meeting, scheduled for 27 November, “doesn’t make sense” without the participation of the country with the largest car industry. She added that Scheuer will miss a chance to exchange experiences with other countries’ ministers.
Read the article in German (behind paywall) here.
Find background in the Factsheet “Dieselgate” – a timeline of Germany’s car emissions fraud scandal and in the article Germany's car-loving transport minister faces clean mobility challenge.
The financial industry is a relevant actor in virtually all sectors of the economy and should therefore be included in Germany’s Climate Action Law as well as in any action plan aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 2030, the environmental NGO Climate Alliance says in a position paper. The NGOs call on Germany’s finance (BMF) and environment (BMU) ministries to devise concrete implementation measures for ensuring that climate risks are exposed in investment strategies and that a regulatory framework steers both public and private financial flows away from climate-damaging investment targets towards more sustainable alternatives. “The financial sector plays a key role in achieving the Climate Action Plan’s targets” and market observers agree that “climate-related financial risks so far have not been adequately accounted for,” Climate Alliance says.
Find the position paper in German here.
See the CLEW interview Germany laggard in assessing fossil investment risks and the article German financial sector expects EU standards to boost green finance for more information.
Germany’s environment ministry plans to use the concept of CO2 budgets in next year’s much-anticipated Climate Action Law, reports Nora Marie Zaremba in Tagesspiegel Background. A ministry spokesperson told the publication that it wants to define the emission reduction targets for various economic sectors in terms of CO2 budgets. This would not affect the final targets but would enable the publication of yearly budgets. The ministry said it had decided to use the budget concept in the climate action law because it was also used at EU level.
The Green Party’s demand to grant “climate passports” to people whose livelihoods have been destroyed by climate change sounds reasonable but is crazy, argues Ulrich Ladurner on Zeit Online. “The Germans haven’t recovered from the great migration in 2015,” writes Ladurner. He says the assumption is wrong that only a small number of people will be entitled to the passports, because islands with a total population of 2.6 million people are believed to be at serious risk from climate change, and the same applies to many coastal regions with millions of inhabitants. “Because it currently looks like the Greens will govern in Berlin in a not-too-distant future, they should start thinking about which arguments could be used to deny the climate passport to many, many people who may leave these regions.”
Read the commentary in German here.
The German biogas industry is fighting for survival even though it is indispensable, writes Kathrin Witsch in the business daily Handelsblatt. The technology was once seen as a saviour of the energy transition because it can generate electricity independent of the weather. Today there are more than 9,000 biogas plants in Germany, which produce eight percent of the country’s green electricity. But support cuts meant that only 120 such plants were added last year, compared to 1,500 in 2011. Many plants will be shut down once they reach the end of their 20-year support period because owners shy away from necessary investments, according to the article.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the dossier Bioenergy in Germany – Troubled pillar of the Energiewende.
Car sharing association bcs
Car sharing schemes differ greatly in their impact on users’ car ownership, according to a report published by the car sharing association bcs. Whereas car sharing businesses using fixed stations for pick-up appear to have reduced car ownership significantly, “free-floating car sharing has hardly any effect on traffic volumes,” according to the bcs. A thousand users of station-based services own a total of 108 private cars on average. In contrast, 1,000 users of free-floating services, such as Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s Drive Now, own 485 cars. Users of stationary systems are also much more likely to get rid of their own car after joining a service compared to users of free-floating car sharing schemes.
Find the report in German here.