05 Sep 2017, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann

France & Germany aim for ETS reform / Diesel figures further down

Reuters / Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy / Federal Environment Ministry

The governments of France and Germany intend to reinforce European carbon trading in the electricity sector and aim to initiate a reform of the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) before the UN’s COP 23 in November, news agency Reuters reports. Brune Poirson, French Minister of State in the ecology ministry, met with German counterparts Rainer Baake from the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and Jochen Flasbarth from the Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB).
In press releases by the ministries, Poirson and her German counterparts said they would jointly work towards a quick implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and advance legal groundwork on a European energy union. The state ministers also confirmed the continued implementation of a cross-border smart grid project as well as cross-border auctions of renewable energy projects.

Read the Reuters article in English here, the press release by the BMWi and the BMUB in German here and here, and a release by the French ecology ministry in French here.

See the CLEW factsheet Understading the EU's ETS for background.

Federal Motor Transport Authority

Diesel car registrations in Germany are in decline: year-on-year registration figures in August fell by 13.8 percent, bringing the share of vehicles with diesel engines on German roads to 37.7 percent, the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has said in a press release. Total car registrations grew by 3.5 percent compared to 2016, with electric vehicles growing by 143.2 percent and hybrid cars by 76.4 percent. Registrations of cars with gasoline engines grew by 15 percent, cementing the technology’s dominant position with a share of 58.4 percent of all vehicles. Average CO2 emissions of newly registered cars in Germany remained at 128.2 grams per kilometre, the press release says. A KBA spokesman told Clean Energy Wire the average value was based on manufacturers’ measurement results achieved on the test block.

Read the press release in German here.

See the CLEW dieselgate timeline for background.


The German government praises diesel technology as an important component of climate protection in the transport sector - but this claim is more and more contested by transport and climate researchers, Bernhard Pötter writes in Tageszeitung (taz). Claiming that diesel engines were necessary to achieve Germany’s climate protection targets due to the technology’s lower consumption was “nonsense”, says Peter Mock, of the environmental research association ICCT. Cheap diesel fuel had fostered the increase in registrations of bigger and more fuel-intense vehicles, which outweighs the lower consumption level of diesel engines lying about 15 percent below that of gasoline engines, Pötter writes. According to the ICCT, a quick transition to hybrid and e-cars was far more conducive to climate protection than a continued use of diesel cars.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW article Merkel at second diesel summit: must avoid driving bans "by all means" and the CLEW factsheet The debate over an end to combustion egnines in Germany for more information.

Tesla has doubled its sales in Germany in the first half of 2017, reports. The US electric car manufacturer has sold 2,075 of its electric cars in Germany since January. However, while Tesla’s sales figures were clearly surging, German carmaker BMW’s electric model i3 alone sold 2,385 times during the same period, the article says.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet Early e-car starter BMW plans new mobility sprint for background.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in the TV debate with her challenger Martin Schulz, scolded Germany’s carmakers for putting the country’s key industry in jeopardy with their manipulation of exhaust emission values, Carsten Knop writes in a commentary for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. But at Germany’s second diesel summit, just one day after the debate, “she just pays 500 million euros more to the already projected 250 million euros” reserved for a sustainable mobility fund, Knop says. The car industry, on the other hand, seems to have no intention to ramp up its contributions to the fund that is aimed at facilitating clean mobility concepts for German cities “and instead hopes that the entire outrage over the companies and their diesel engines will blow over soon,” Knop argues. “A pillar of the world’s export champion will keep crumbling if things continue that way,” Knop suggests.

Read the commentary in German here.

See the CLEW article Merkel at second diesel summit: must avoid driving bans "by all means" and the CLEW factsheet The debate over an end to combustion egnines in Germany for more information.

DVZ - Deutsche Logistik-Zeitung

German port industries and state politicians call for removing the cap on offshore wind power expansion, Jan Peter Naumann writes in DVZ – Deutsche Logistik-Zeitung. The current expansion corridor of 15 gigawatt (GW) by 2030 had to be expanded to 30GW by 2035, Olaf Lies, economy minister in the state of Niedersachsen said. Several maritime service providers also say expansion caps had to be removed to meet Germany’s rising electricity demand, for which offshore wind power was an indispensable component, Naumann says.

Read the article in German here (behind paywall).

See the CLEW factsheet German onshore wind power - business, output and perspectives for background on the country's wind industry.

Energie & Management

The election battle in Germany leaves little room for hoping that the country’s climate protection record will improve soon, Ralf Köpke writes in Energie & Management. While the wind power industry currently approaches a new expansion record and struggles to find sufficient equipment for turbine construction, “such worries probably will be gone” by 2019, Köpke says. Hermann Albers, president of the German Wind Power Association (BWE), says expansion volumes in that year might drop by 60 percent compared to 2017, leading to layoffs in the industry. Energy economist Claudia Kemfert, of research institute DIW, says Germany currently was “harvesting fruits of the past” in terms of its renewables expansion record, leading to “a rise in carbon emissions instead of a drop”.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW dossiers The energy transition and climate change and Onshore wind power in Germany for more information.


Germany’s right-wing national conservative party Alternative for Germany (AfD) calls the human effect on global warming into question and wants to scrap efforts to cut carbon emissions, Maria Fiedler writes in Tagesspiegel. “There have been cold and warm periods also before industrialisation started,” AfD top candidate Alexander Gauland said at a presentation of the party’s energy policy concepts in Berlin. The concept paper says human influence on climate change was “an invention”, while leading party figures call for leaving the Paris Climate Agreement, ending all climate protection efforts of public services and stopping the Energiewende, and consequently the funding of renewable energy sources, Fiedler says. The AfD’s other top candidate, Alice Weidel, also called for a guarantee for owners of diesel cars to be allowed to use their vehicles until at least 2050, and said the debate over high NOx pollution in German cities was “a campaign issue inflated by the Greens”. Weidel also accused Chancellor Angela Merkel of “de-industrialising Germany” by considering a possible end to combustion engine technology.

Read the article in German here.

For an overview of German party positions on energy and climate, see this CLEW factsheet. Also, see this CLEW dossier for background on German parliamentary elections 2017.

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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