A draft of conclusions to the G20 summit in Hamburg contains a compromise on climate protection between the US and other member states, news agency Reuters reports. The document, dated 3 July, acknowledged Washington’s “isolation in opposing the Paris climate accord” but also provided for “collaboration on reducing emissions through innovation", the article says. The G20 is split “19-1” over the Paris Climate Agreement, which the US wants to have renegotiated while the other member states call it “irreversible", according to Reuters. The German government, which presides over this year’s summit, “neither confirmed nor denied the draft agreement", Reuters reports.
Read the article in English here.
See the CLEW interview with G20 Research Group founder John J. Kirton and the article G20 climate, energy plan goes to the wire at Hamburg summit for background.
Clean Energy Wire
The US negotiating team is “working hard to water down” climate texts for the upcoming G20 summit at the preceding negotiations, said International Executive Director at Greenpeace Jennifer Morgan at the Global Solidarity Summit in Hamburg. It is “incredibly important” that the other countries have “a G19 text, if needed, on climate and energy” which made clear they are moving ahead. Morgan said Germany would have a credibility problem if the country did not come up with a plan to exit coal, including a just transition package for the sector’s roughly 20,000 workers. “If the chancellor is really serious about being a leader on climate, at this summit she needs to make it clear that this phase-out is going to happen, and that she’s going to fight for it and work with the unions to get it done. Germany can’t be out there calling for climate action from the rest of the world, when coal is where it is in this country,” said Morgan.
At the Global Solidarity Summit, representatives from civil society, social movements, unions and church organisations discuss strategies and policies alternative to those of the G20.
For background, read CLEW’s interview with Greenpeace’s Morgan "Merkel's experience, credibility make her key in swaying Trump", and the CLEW articles Germany faces balancing act in climate leadership role and G20 climate, energy plan goes to the wire at Hamburg summit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her chief task during Germany’s G20 presidency is to “work on options for an agreement and not contribute to speechlessness". In an interview with weekly newspaper Die Zeit ahead of this year’s G20 summit in Hamburg, Merkel says political constellations in the group “have to be accepted the way they are” without playing down conflicting positions. A good G20 agreement would “show that we appropriately address global challenges and doesn’t whitewash dissent". Merkel reiterated her disappointment over US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull his country out of the Paris Climate Agreement but emphasised that many US states and cities remained committed to curbing climate change and reducing CO2 emissions. The Chancellor also said the Paris deal “actually is no matter to be discussed within the G20 but a UN-process". At the same time, she argued, the group of the leading industrialised nations had found common positions on climate protection in the past, which was why the matter would be discussed within the forum.
See the CLEW article Germany faces balancing act in climate leadership role for background.
Pew Research Center
A study by the influential Pew Research Center has found that confidence by citizens around the world in the leadership skills of German Chancellor Angela Merkel decisively outweighs that in US President Donald Trump. While 42 percent of respondents in 37 countries, including most G20 member countries, said they had confidence in Merkel’s governing, only 22 percent stated they did so for Trump. According to the US-based research centre, Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Agreement and other international accords was among the main reasons people around the world were sceptical about his leadership and also contributed to a declining view of the US as a whole.
See the article in English here.
WWF / Urgewald / Friends of the Earth et al.
G20 governments put four times more money into fossil energy generation than into renewables - despite their official commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement’s aims, NGOs including WWF, Urgewald and Friends of the Earth say in a press release. In a reported titled “Talk is cheap”, the NGOs show how the G20 governments “continue to provide sweetheart loans, guarantees, and other forms of preferential financing to fossil fuel projects" - potentially undermining the Paris Agreement’s goal to keep global warming well below two degrees Celsius. Given the current US administration’s intention to leave the accord, other G20 members had to “step up” and shift public finance from ‘brown’ to ‘green’ activities, they argue.
For background, see the CLEW dossier The energy transition and climate change.
Germany’s carmakers should follow the example of Swedish competitor Volvo and push for a quick transition towards electric cars, car industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer told Frankfurter Rundschau. Dudenhöffer said he believed the Chinese car market will continue to grow over the next years and bolster its “top position". “To be a part of that, Germany has to speed up its shift to e-mobility,” Dudenhöffer argued. Volvo, which is owned by Chinese e-carmaker Geely, announced all of its new vehicles will be equipped with an electric engine by 2019. China strongly supports the shift to e-cars to curb air pollution and mulls introducing a mandatory e-car quota for carmakers selling their products in the country.
See the CLEW dossier on The Energiewende and German carmakers for more information.
International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)
The average diesel passenger car on Europe’s roads emits less CO₂ than a comparable petrol car, but the compliance cost of meeting the European Union’s CO2 reduction target for new cars by 2025 would be up to 280 euros per vehicle lower with fewer diesel cars sold, according to a new study by the independent research organization International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). New diesel cars on average emitted nearly identical amounts of CO₂ as new petrol cars, and “efficiency gains from the diesel engine often are counterbalanced by a higher engine power and higher weight for diesel cars,” according to Peter Mock, Managing Director of ICCT in Europe.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
Free Democratic Party (FDP) leader Christian Lindner wants to slow down wind power expansion throughout Germany, after having pushed for similar policy in the new coalition agreement for North Rhine-Westphalia, reports news agency dpa. “It doesn’t make sense to rapidly expand a source of energy with state support, if the produced power cannot be used,” said Lindner. It has to be made clear that ecologic responsibility was not only about protecting the climate, but also flora and fauna in order to ensure citizens’ acceptance of Germany’s Energiewende.
Read the article in German here.
See the CLEW dossier Onshore wind power in Germany for more information
German Wind Energy Association
International efforts in the framework of the G20 to limit the effects of climate change will have to rely on wind power as a pillar of low-carbon energy generation, the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) says in a press release. “Auctions for wind and solar power prove that renewables have become absolutely competitive,” BWE president Hermann Albers says. “The cost debate of the past therefore has to become a debate of opportunities,” he argues. The BWE criticises the coalition agreement in North Rhine-Westphalia, in which the smaller partner Liberal Democrats (FDP) demands slowing down wind power expansion in the state. Germany was “a technology leader” in wind power, which is why limiting wind power expansion at home “threatens the position of German companies in one of the world’s largest future markets", the BWE says.
Read the press release in German here.
For background, see the CLEW factsheet German onshore wind power – business, output and perspectives.