05 Sep 2016 | Sören Amelang, Carl Morris

Germany 'left behind' as US, China ratify Paris Treaty

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Driving and driven”

China and the USA ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement shortly before the start of the G20 summit in China proves that both countries now see more chances than risks in climate protection, writes Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The move will push more investors to shift money from fossil to renewable energies. “The US and China have decided to become drivers of the transformation, before they are driven by the markets,” according to Bauchmüller. In contrast, the Berlin government coalition is struggling with its own climate goals, as shown by the fight over the Climate Action Plan 2050. Conservative, business-friendly politicians are “afraid of the future that others have begun to write”.

Read the commentary in German here.

For background on the Climate Action Plan, read the CLEW factsheet Climate Action Plan 2050: Negotiating a path to decarbonisation and the article CO2 targets and coal deadline omitted from Climate Action Plan draft.

 

Zeit Online

“Thinking globally, postpone locally”

China and the USA have ratified the climate treaty but not much has happened in Germany, writes Petra Pinzler in a commentary for Zeit Online. There is no doubt that Germany and its European neighbours will eventually follow suit, but it seems increasingly unlikely that they take appropriate action. Chancellor Angela Merkel stood by and watched as the environment minister’s Climate Action Plan was watered down in the spring. This gives the impression that climate change is not an urgent problem – “just bad enough to talk about it at summits from time to time”.

Read the commentary in German here.

 

klimaretter.info

“Former procrastinators step on the gas”

It is embarrassing that the former eco-champion Germany has taken a break in the global competition for the fastest and best energy transition, writes Joachim Wille in a commentary for klimaretter.info. “The German government, which fought so ardently and successfully for an ambitious climate treaty, does not have a plan for the necessary decarbonisation. It postpones the coal phase-out and puts the break on the development of renewables.” This is also an economic stupidity, because other countries can benefit from the fruits of Germany’s energy transition, while the Energiewende home country falls behind on global markets, according to Wille.

Read the commentary in German here.

 

The Guardian

“Angela Merkel’s party beaten by rightwing populists in German elections”

Chancellor Angela Merkel was dealt a regional election blow in her constituency of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as her Christian Democrat Union (CDU) came third behind the Social Democrats (SPD) and the anti-immigration Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

Read the article in English here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Facts on German state elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Berlin and the article Migration trumps energy in regional votes despite anti-wind party.

 

Greenpeace Energy

“Supply security is even more stable despite nuclear phase-out”

Germany’s power supply security has improved despite the nuclear phase-out, according to a study by think tank Energy Brainpool on behalf of green energy provider Greenpeace Energy. The number of power outages has decreased significantly since the beginning of the phase-out in 2011, the study finds.

Find the English press release and the study in English here.  

For more on this issue, read the CLEW factsheet Germany's electricity grid stable amid energy transition.

 

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