Green Party sets coalition conditions / Indo-German climate alliance

Clean Energy Wire

Greens make stepped-up climate protection a prerequisite for joining coalition

The German Green Party has made a strengthened commitment to climate protection and energy transition a prerequisite for joining a future coalition after September’s parliamentary elections. “We are ready for talks with any party”, but there had to be a consensus that progress in reaching Germany’s climate protection targets and advancing energy transition is made a priority, the party’s co-leader, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, said at a press conference in Berlin. In their ’Ten-Point-Plan for Green Governance‘, the Greens identified their most important policy aspirations as “a binding offer for voters”. These include an end to renewables expansion limits; a national carbon floor price; the “immediate” shutting down of Germany’s 20 dirtiest coal-fired power plants; and “fostering the breakthrough of e-mobility” by “ending the era of combustion engines.” She said the Greens were determined to become Germany’s third party behind the conservative CDU-CSU union and the Social Democrats, as “the third place decides what direction the country will take in the next legislative period”. In the latest polls, the Greens rank fifth behind the FDP, which adheres to economic liberalism, and the Left Party. The Greens’ co-leader said the CDU-CSU and the Social Democrats “lack earnestness when it comes to climate protection”, which was why “it should be left to professionals like us”.

Find the Greens’ ten-point plan in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende.

 

German Federal Government

India and Germany vow to reinforce cooperation on climate protection

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel want to intensify bilateral cooperation on climate and environmental protection, the German government said in a press release. The Indo-German alliance for climate protection and renewable energy was an “overarching partnership” between the two nations, in which mutual assistance and synergies would be further strengthened, the press release said. At a press conference held during his visit to Berlin, Modi said not acting on climate change amounted to “a moral crime”. Chancellor Merkel said she was glad that India sought to implement the Paris Climate Agreement “very intensively and in a very committed way”. India was “in a different stage of development” than Germany, she said, but New Delhi’s national climate targets showed that the country “knows how much of a challenge climate change means for all of us.”

Find the press release in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article Germany, China urge US to remain in climate agreement and the CLEW factsheet The story of "Climate Chancellor" Angela Merkel.

 

BBC

“If Germany can't count on old friends, perhaps it's time to make new ones”

The visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Berlin had special significance as it came just days after a difficult G7 summit had exposed deep rifts between Germany’s government and the current US administration, particularly over climate change, Joe Miller writes for the BBC. Given the diplomatic rows over US President Donald Trump’s stance towards his country’s European partners and the looming Brexit negotiations, “Germany's business community had already been slowly coming to the conclusion that it may - regrettably - be time to seek new friends”, particularly in India and China, Miller writes. But the possible “pivot to Asia” in “Europe’s economic powerhouse” was also due to a dire need by the German economy for skilled labour from India and other countries, particularly in the field of digital innovation.

Read the article in English here.

 

Clean Energy Wire

Consensual G20 communiqué “should be the aspiration” – German gov’t official

Despite the outcome of last week’s G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, a consensual statement by all leaders “should be the aspiration” for the G20 summit in Germany in July, said Lars-Hendrik Röller, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s economic advisor and the government’s G7 and G20 sherpa, at the T20 summit in Berlin. Asked whether it is “still the G20, or is it the ‘G19 plus one’”, Röller replied: “Of course, what normally has happened in these G20s – in terms of the communiqué, which is only one output – is that we had a consensual statement. And that should be the aspiration also this year”. Last week’s G7 communiqué includes a section on climate, in which all members except the United States “reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement”. They acknowledge that the US administration has yet to decide on its climate policy – an unprecedented development in G7 history.

Watch the video of the T20 summit in English here.

For background, read the CLEW article Germany, China urge US to remain in climate agreement and the CLEW factsheet The story of "Climate Chancellor" Angela Merkel.

 

Reuters

“E.ON hires Goldman to explore options for Uniper stake: sources”

German energy company E.ON has hired Goldman Sachs to explore options for the sale of the group's remaining stake in its legacy fossil fuel business Uniper, Reuters quotes company sources. E.ON is currently Uniper’s largest shareholder, with a 46.65 percent stake.

Read the article in English here.

For background on Germany’s battered utilities, read the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition.

 

Handelsblatt

Call for EU-wide CO2 floor price

In a guest commentary published by the business daily Handelsblatt, Franz Untersteller, environment minister of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and Green member of the federal parliament Oliver Krischer call for a CO₂ price to be set for energy sources harmful to the climate. They propose to introduce a CO₂ floor price for plants under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), in coordination with Germany’s European neighbours and with the long-term goal of establishing an EU-wide floor price. In sectors not included in the ETS, tax rates for coal, oil, and natural gas should be adapted to reflect actual CO₂ emissions, they argue. The CO₂ price should equal the current electricity tax, which would subsequently be abolished, write Untersteller and Krischer.

For background on reform proposals, read the CLEW factsheet Germany ponders how to finance renewables expansion in the future.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Greens see ‘striking failure’ at Gundremmingen nuclear power station”

The Green Party in the Bavarian state parliament says that Germany’s largest nuclear power plant Gundremmingen, operated in part by RWE, has exceeded power output limits several times over the past year and a half by up to 20 percent, writes Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to a power plant spokesperson, Gundremmingen did not exceed limits. He said that the data shown on RWE’s website was wrong due to a faulty calculation design. A spokesperson of the state environment ministry said that there were no indications of exceeded limits, writes the paper.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The challenges of Germany’s nuclear phase-out.

 

Agora Energiewende

Lignite plant closures unlikely despite financial problems - study

Germany’s lignite power stations, which are particularly harmful to the climate, currently do not earn enough money to recuperate investment costs, or to invest in the maintenance and extension of connected mines, says a study conducted by the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut), commissioned by energy think tank Agora Energiewende* and the European Climate Foundation (ECF). However, the study says it is unlikely that operators will decommission plants and mines in the near future because of complex longer term considerations regarding financing, regulation, and planning.
The option of a coal exit, which will be discussed in a commission to be established by the new government after the autumn elections, would require early and forward-looking planning, says the 180-page survey of the lignite industry, which aims to provide a basis for the commission’s discussions.

Find the study in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?

 

Think20 (T20)

“20 solution proposals for the G20”

Think20 (T20), which brings together research institutions and think tanks from the G20 countries, presented key policy recommendations for G20 policy makers at the T20 Summit in Berlin. The proposals include recommendations on climate policy, such as “encourage the establishment of transformative sovereign wealth funds in G20 countries to support climate protection”.

Find the document in English here.

 

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