06 Sep 2018, 13:26
Julian Wettengel

Frankfurt must introduce diesel bans / Qatar eyes German LNG terminal


The western German city of Frankfurt must introduce a ban on older diesel vehicles as part of a plan to improve air quality, the Federal Administrative Court ruled, reports news agency Reuters. The country’s financial centre must from February 2019 ban diesel cars that meet Euro-4 and older emission standards, and petrol cars that meet Euro-1 and 2 standards, while Euro-5 diesels must be banned from September that year. “The driving ban is necessary because all other measures considered by the state will not lead to a significant reduction of nitrogen dioxide emissions in an appropriate time,” said presiding judge Rolf Hartmann. The decision by the court in Wiesbaden on a case brought by environmental group Environmental Action Germany (DUH) came after a landmark ruling by Germany’ top administrative court in February opened the door to inner-city bans.

Read the article in English here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Diesel driving bans in Germany – The Q&A.


Qatar Petroleum, the world’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), is in talks with German energy companies about cooperating on a potential LNG terminal, writes Mathias Bruggmann in an article in Handelsblatt. “We have a serious interest in participating in a German LNG terminal and are talking to both companies – Uniper and RWE,” CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi told Handelsblatt. His company wants to be “part of the solution regarding Germany’s gas supply,” he added. “If Germany wants its own terminal and [LNG] from different sources, we are ready to supply from Qatar.” The discussion about a possible LNG terminal in Germany received a new push when US President Donald Trump said the country relies too much on Russian energy resources and is “totally controlled” by the fossil fuel exporting giant.

Read the article (behind paywall) in German here and find a Reuters story on the topic in English here.

Find background in the CLEW factsheet Gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 links Germany to Russia, but splits Europe and the dossier The role of gas in Germany's energy transition.

Spiegel Online / Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology Poland

German economy minister Peter Altmaier has said that Poland and Germany plan a cooperation on battery cell production, reports Spiegel Online. The production could be located in the eastern German lignite mining region Lusatia and western Poland, writes Spiegel. “We declare establishing a close cooperation between Polish and German consortiums dealing with battery development,” wrote Polish entrepreneurship and technology minister Jadwiga Emilewicz in a message on Twitter after a bilateral meeting with Altmaier in Warsaw.

The governments will organise a joint Polish-German business summit focusing on innovation and e-mobility in the first quarter of 2019, she wrote.

Find the Spiegel article in German here, and the press release by the Polish ministry in Polish here.

For background, read the CLEW article Chinese-German battery cell deal key step for mobility transition.

European Climate Foundation / Cambridge Econometrics

Transitioning to efficient and zero-emissions road freight transport will significantly reduce European spending and dependence on oil imports and spur economic growth, the European Climate Foundation and Cambridge Econometrics say in a report backed by Siemens, DB Schenker and Tesla. By 2030, using more efficient diesel trucks, combined with the gradual integration of new electric and hydrogen vehicles and infrastructure, would lead to a cumulative reduction in imported oil and petroleum products of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent, or 11 billion by 2050, says the report.

Find the press release and the report in English here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Road freight emissions in Germany and the dossier Cargo transport and the energy transition.

IDDRI / Climate Strategies / DIW

Implementing pathways away from coal-fired power production in line with the Paris Climate Agreement is feasible in the major coal-using economies within 20 to 30 years, according to a comparative study on six countries, including Germany, Australia, China and Poland. The move would be beneficial both from a social and from an economic point of view. The study underlines that there is no universal blueprint for implementing a just transition, but calls for action sooner rather than later: “The crucial success factor is to anticipate rather than wait until the economics turns against coal,” says a press release. Research institutes from six major coal-using economies, including the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), cooperated under the leadership of French think tank Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and UK-based research network Climate Strategies.

Find the IDDRI press release in English here, the report in English here and the DIW press release in German here.

See CLEW's Commission watch for updates on the coal commission's work.


The European Commission had approved, in a February state aid ruling, Germany’s security standby of lignite plants scheme, and said that future rules on the design of the EU electricity market would not influence this ruling. The Commission now says this safeguard clause was “a mistake” that will soon be rectified, which could mean renewed state aid examination of funding for Germany’s security standby, writes Frédéric Simon in an article for EurActiv. “The state aid decisions will not shelter member states or companies from any future changes in legislation,” said Christof Schoser, deputy head of unit at the Commission’s competition directorate in charge of state aid controls.

Find the article in English here.

Find background in the CLEW factsheet Germany's new power market design.

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