15 Sep 2016, 00:00
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Fair coal exit possible - services union / VW announces job cuts


A socially acceptable coal exit in Germany is possible and could be financed through the CO₂-emissions trading earnings, according to a report by enervis energy advisors GmbH, commissioned by the German service sector trade union ver.di. “Our proposal does not burden the society,” said union head Frank Bsirske in a press release. The report analyses the social costs of a coal exit, for example salaries for laid-off workers, and how these could be financed. The maximum annual costs would likely stay below 250 million euros, according to ver.di. As an alternative to earnings from CO₂ certificates, a coal exit could also be financed by a surcharge on the electricity price of 0.02 to 0.09 cents per kilowatt hour, writes ver.di. With 2.2 million members, ver.di is one of Germany's largest trade unions.

Read the press release in German here and find the full report in German here.

dpa / Wirtschaftswoche

On the first anniversary of the Dieselgate scandal, it is clear that VW wants to use it as a chance for a fresh start, according to an article by news agency dpa. “The balance to date is a catastrophe. The formerly proud automaker is shaken to the core, important suppliers are scared, and the diesel does not seem to have a future, at least beyond Europe.” The cost in billions of euros reaches double digits, and this money is lacking in key areas such as electrification and digitisation. But 12 months after the earthquake, there is also a ray of hope. Car industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer told the author that VW would not have stood a chance in the new mobility world without the wake-up call from Dieselgate.

Read the article in German here.  

Read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Reuters

VW management have announced plans to reduce the number of employees, according to media reports.  "We are facing a tough fitness programme," VW human resources chief Karlheinz Blessing said at a staff meeting, according to a Reuters report. "That also includes a reduction in personnel, for instance via early retirement," he added, without giving details. VW brand CEO Herbert Diess said his company’s strategic goal “is no less than market leadership in e-mobility,” reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The company also said it wanted to announce details of its “Strategy 2025” plan in November.

Read the Reuters report in English here.

Read the report in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in German here.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Drivers of cars powered by natural gas and operators of gas refilling stations should be careful after the recent explosion of a VW vehicle of this type, writes Christian Siedenbiedel in a commentary for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. It is too early to conclude the technology is too dangerous as the search for less climate-damaging cars continues, according to Siedenbiedel. “In any case, it’s embarrassing for VW that, after diesel, a further engine technology gets a bad reputation because of a vehicle from the Wolfsburg company.”


A majority of German companies participating in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) do not expect the Paris Agreement to be effective in reducing global emissions, according to a survey by the German development bank KfW and Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW). According to the ‘KfW/ZEW CO₂ Barometer’, the EU ETS “has generated only weak incentives for firms to implement carbon abatement measures” in the current trading period. “The scheme could be further strengthened to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of climate action in Europe,” write the authors in the survey report.

Find the press release in English here and the full survey report in English here.

European Climate Foundation / Bild Zeitung / dpa

Energy prices for German consumers dropped by 0.9 percent in August, following a decrease of 1.2 percent in July. While prices for petrol and heating oil went down, electricity prices remained stable, according to the European Climate Foundation’s (ECF) Energy Price Monitor, Bild Zeitung writes based on a dpa report. The decrease was caused by rising euro exchange rates and lower profit margins for the oil industry, writes Bild.

Find the article in English here.

Die Zeit

Germany is the European champion when it comes to electricity exports, but this was mainly based on overcapacities of coal-fired power stations, according to Green politician Bärbel Höhn, writes Petra Pinzler in Die Zeit. “The success of solar and wind energy is nice. But this hardly improves the climate footprint of the German electricity system – as long as the country continues to subsidise coal power and enables its massive export,” writes Pinzler.

For background, read the CLEW article Renewables surge pushes coal power exports to record high - think tank.

German Aerospace Center

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and its French counterpart CNES signed a cooperation agreement to realise the Franco-German climate satellite MERLIN. From 2021 onwards, the satellite will measure the concentration of the greenhouse gas methane in the Earth’s atmosphere. “Space missions such as MERLIN help us to gain a greater understanding of the mechanisms that influence the Earth's climate. This is therefore also an essential component for implementing the Paris Climate Agreement,” Brigitte Zypries, state secretary at the economy ministry, said during the signing ceremony.

Read the press release in English here.

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