13 Dec 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Kerstine Appunn Benjamin Wehrmann

Five EU states ponder CO2 price/ Germans most afraid of climate change

CORRECTION: The News Digest item "German unemployment benefit too low to cover power costs" erroneously stated that people receiving Germany's “HartzIV” benefits pay on average 158 euros more for electricity than budgeted for in their MONTHLY payment. The new version now correctly says that the figure refers to ANNUAL payments. We apologise for the mistake.

Federal Ministry for the Environment

France, the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany announced at the One Planet Summit in Paris on Tuesday that they would “examine or introduce” an effective CO2 price in "relevant sectors," according to a  press release from the German environment ministry. A CO2 price could be an effective tool to comprehensively decarbonise the world economy, the ministry says. The price should increase over time to achieve the Paris Agreement target of keeping global warming below 2°C.

Read the press release in German here.

For more information, see the CLEW factsheet Climate finance: A brief overview of Gemrany's contributions.

Handelsblatt Global

“The climate torch passes from Chancellor Angela Merkel to President Emmanuel Macron,” Christine Coester writes for Handelsblatt Global in a piece about the One Planet Summit. While Merkel struggled to form a government back home, Macron was taking over “environmental stewardship,” Coester writes.

Read the article in English here.

See the CLEW factsheet The story of "Climate Chancellor" Angela Merkel for background.

Spiegel Online

An article by Axel Bojanowski for Spiegel lists some of the One Planet Summit’s achievements as follows:

  • World Bank announces it will stop supporting oil and gas production as of 2019

  • From 2018, the World Bank will publish all the projects it funds in the energy sector

  • French insurance company AXA will stop insuring the construction of coal plants and tar sands businesses

  • Norwegian pension fund Storebrand will increase its portfolio for greenhouse gas-free investments to 3 billion dollars

  • 100 investors pledged to increase the pressure on the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters, including Coal India, Gazprom and Exxon

  • The EU Commission will look into making bank loans for renewable energy projects more accessible.

Read the article in German here.


The EU and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation will work together on an initiative to drive research and innovation in agricultural and food systems in developing countries, Georgi Gotev reports for EurActiv. EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said the project was an excellent example of public-private cooperation to mobilise funding for the fight against climate change. The research initiative may include the use of genetically modified plants, something that Bill Gates sees as a solution to food shortages in Africa resulting from climate change, Gotev writes.

Read the article in English here.

CarbonBrief / National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)

People living in Germany are the most worried about climate change in a comparison of 18 countries by the British agency National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). While 44 percent of Germans say they are very or extremely worried about climate change, the figure for Poland is only 15 percent.

Find the study in English here and a CarbonBrief article on the subject here.

Check 24

Unemployment benefits in Germany are insufficient to cover average power costs, price comparison website Check 24 says in a press release. People receiving Germany's “HartzIV” benefits pay on average 158 euros more for electricity than budgeted for in their annual payment. The gap varies between Germany’s federal states - as do electricity costs - with claimants in the north-eastern state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern nearly 240 euros out of pocket, Check 24 adds.

Read the press release in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet What German households pay for power and the CLEW article Welfare groups urge power cost relief for German poor for more information.

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) / nature energy

Charges that wind and solar power cause large “hidden” emissions are false, because emissions remain low even when the energy needed to build them is taken into account, according to a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “A full decarbonisation of the global power sector by scaling up these technologies would cause only modest indirect greenhouse gas emissions,” the PIK says in a press release. Carbon capture and storage, on the other hand, cannot make coal “truly clean” because life-cycle emissions remain 10 times higher, it adds.

Find the press release in English here.

The study is published in the journal nature energy here.

Federal Ministry of Finance

German manufacturing businesses have reduced their energy use in line with government efficiency targets, the Federal Ministry of Finance says. A monitoring report by RWI- Rhineland-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research found that companies consumed 13.8 percent less energy in 2016 than a base value based on consumption between 2007 and 2012. As a result, companies will be given partial relief on their power and energy taxes.

Read the press release in German here.

Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV)

Most people in Germany say politicians are principally responsible for managing the shift towards sustainable consumption, according to a survey by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv). The vzbv says responsibility for sustainable consumption was “often passed on to consumers”, who say the onus should be on policymakers to effect change through regulation. According to the survey conducted by forsa, 87 percent of respondents said policymakers carried the largest responsibility. Respondents said preventing climate change was the most important sustainability goal, followed by a secure and sustainable energy supply and better agricultural production.

Find the survey in German here and a vzbv press release in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet Polls reveal citizens' support for the Energiewende for more information.

Federal Grid Agency

The natural gas network plan for 2018 to 2028 will include plans for Germany’s first national liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) said in a press release. BNetzA said supply security was a “priority” in the agency’s network development plan for the next 10 years and long-distance pipeline operators should assess how the shut-down of important transmission lines would affect supply security for industrial centres in southern Germany. The LNG terminal could be built in Brunsbüttel near the German port city of Hamburg, the BNetzA adds.

Find the press release in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet Germany's dependence on imported fossil fuels for more information.

Public Radio International (

Germany is due to close its last hard coal mine next year, and the affected regions prepare for the transition, for example by considering renewable energy projects or tourism, Valerie Hamilton reports in a feature for Public Radio International (PRI). But many challenges remain in economically deprived areas, where unemployment remains high.

Read the article in English here.

See the CLEW factsheet Coal in Germany for background.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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Sven Egenter

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