“Final spurt” to ratify Paris Agreement / Billions for rail
Germany is making haste in ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement partly over fears that Donald Trump will pull out of the deal before it comes into force if he becomes US president, writes Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Time is pressing, and so is Donald Trump.” The first chamber of the German parliament (Bundestag) will debate the agreement today, is set to vote on it tomorrow, and send it on to the second chamber (Bundesrat), where the state governments decide, on Friday.
Read the article in German here.
Find all the background on the Paris negotiations in the CLEW dossier COP21 – The view from Germany.
Federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt “unexpectedly” plans to invest an additional 2.4 billion euros in German rail company Deutsche Bahn (DB) over the next four years, writes Thomas Öchsner in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “It is my goal to further strengthen the rail system and to achieve necessary investments at Deutsche Bahn,” said Dobrindt, who had published his Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 in August. Government sources confirmed that finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble had already agreed to the additional investments, writes Öchsner.
Read the article in German here.
BMWi / Alliance Future of the Industry
A coalition of German industry associations, together with the federal economy ministry (BMWi), is demanding changes in the European Commission’s plans to reform the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The group wants to “find the balance between the two goals of having a competitive industry and reaching climate targets”. In a press release, the Alliance Future of the Industry calls for changes such as a rise in the number of free certificates, warns of carbon leakage, and says that reaching climate goals was not possible without a strong innovative industry.
Read the press release in German here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Low prices of Chinese products, the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), as well as levies connected to the Energiewende in Germany, all put a heavy burden on the German steel industry, writes Ulrich Grillo, president of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), in a guest article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. This was bad for the climate, as European steel production led to significantly less CO₂-emissions, compared to other parts in the world. The guest article is part of a newspaper special on the German steel industry.
For more information read the CLEW article German steelworkers fight EU plans for emissions trading.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Daimler
Electric drives for commercial vehicles in city traffic will become profitable in a few years, said Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). “In 2020, cell prices and the battery power will be at a point where the technology becomes profitable,” said Bernhard, ahead of tomorrow’s opening of the international trade fair IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hanover. For long-distance commercial traffic, diesel motors will remain the leading system for a while, writes Carsten Knop in a separate opinion piece in FAZ. Daimler announced in a press release that the company will start with the series production of a commercial van with e-drive for “customers who use their vehicles for urban deliveries” in 2018.
pv magazine / Fraunhofer ISE
A pilot pv array is meant to show that solar energy production does not necessarily need to compete with agriculture for scant land resources, reports Sandra Enkhardt in pv magazine. The solar panels are mounted on stilts seven metres above ground level to allow farming underneath in the project led by solar research institute Fraunhofer ISE, and supported by Germany’s federal ministry for research.
Find the Fraunhofer ISE’s press release in English here.
Read the pv magazine article in German here.