In the media: Coal and climate - Can Merkel lead by example?
Bloomberg / Handelsblatt
“Germany, France Seek Curb on Fossil Fuel Pollution This Century“
To control the risks of climate change, Germany and France want to almost completely forego the use of fossil fuels by 2050, Environment minister Barbara Hendricks (Germany) said in her opening speech at the sixth Petersberg Climate Dialogue, taking place in Berlin. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said at the same event that his country “fully shares” these goals, Bloomberg reports. The world needed a climate friendly economy. “We have to deliver results now,” Fabius added according to the Handelsblatt.
Read the Bloomberg report in English here.
See Barbara Hendricks’ speech in German here.
The speeches that German government representatives give at international conferences like the Petersberg Climate Dialogue don’t have much to do with the actual policy at home, Thorsten Knuf writes in an opinion piece for the Frankfurter Rundschau. Here energy minister Sigmar Gabriel is prepared to reduce the climate levy he wanted old coal fired power stations to pay. The signal that Germany sends to climate politicians around the world is disastrous - of all countries, it is the country of the Energiewende who boosts coal, Knuf says.
“Now the Chancellor takes over coal dispute”
Chancellor Angela Merkel weighs into the dispute about an additional levy on old coal-fired power stations, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. Several insiders told the paper that Merkel and the head of her chancellery, Peter Altmaier, would meet energy minister Sigmar Gabriel and his state secretary Rainer Baake on Wednesday evening to discuss the so-called climate contribution. Gabriel looks set to adjust his proposal and reduce the levy in order to pacify opponents, according to a new draft paper leaked on Monday. Until now, Merkel has kept silent about the proposed coal levy.
Find the article in German here.
Read a CLEW report about the leaked draft paper here.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has a long association with climate politics and was celebrated 20 years ago for bringing the climate summit in Berlin to a successful conclusion, must not give in to the coal lobby in the dispute about the levy, writes Michael Bauchmüller in an editorial for Süddeutsche Zeitung. “She won’t have the credibility to demand more climate action from the G7 if she doesn’t do the necessary thing at home because of the coal lobby”, Bauchmüller warns. Hopes for an agreement at the climate summit in Paris at the end of the year hinge on industrialised nations finding common ground when they come together for the G7 summit in southern Germany in about two weeks, argues Bauchmüller.
Read the editorial in German here.
The dispute about the coal levy is fast becoming a political power struggle, writes Andreas Mihm in a commentary for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Despite protests from within his own party, the Social Democrats, as well as the unions, energy minister Gabriel cannot give up on the proposal entirely, argues Mihm. But on the other hand, Chancellor Angela Merkel is not willing to make large concessions to Gabriel, who is also vice Chancellor, after the recent spat between the two over the activities of the German secret service BND.
“Only green power as of 2035”
The two northern German states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein want to promote a break-through of the energy transition by initiating the major project Norddeutsche Energiewende “NEW 4.0”, Olaf Preuss reports in the Hamburger Abendblatt. By 2035, the region could run on 100% renewable energy, if the cooperation between Schleswig-Holstein, which already produces more renewable power than it can consume, and Hamburg, one of Germany's large consumer and business centres, is strengthened, Hamburg’s economy senator Frank Horch said. National funding and cooperation of companies like Vattenfall, Siemens, Aurubis, and universities and research centers will be part of the project which aims at including not only the power supply but also the energy demand of industry, heat for buildings and regional mobility.
Read the article in German here.
Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung (FAZ)/MarketWatch
“E.ON to invest €1.9 bln in U.K. offshore wind farm”
A few months before splitting in two, utility E.ON boosts its renewable business with its largest wind farm investment to date, Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung reports. The company announced it would spend about 1.9 billion euros in the construction of offshore wind farm Rampion, located 13 kilometres off the Sussex coast in the English Channel. The project comprises 116 wind turbines with a capacity of 400 MW, enough to supply around 300,000 homes with electricity, according to the paper. U.K.'s Green Investment Bank, a leading investor in the offshore wind industry, acquired a stake of more than 300 million euros in the project, E.ON said.
Read the article in English here.
“Desert power after all”
Morocco has succeeded where Desertec failed, writes Rolf Obertreis in the Tagesspiegel. While the solar-power-from-the-desert project of Siemens, RWE and Deutsche Bank had to mothball their vision of solar power stations in North Africa, the Moroccan solar agency MASEN has just inaugurated the first large scale solar power plants, Noor I-IV. But Germany is still involved, Obertreis explains. The facilities use liquid salt from BASF, a gigantic turbine delivered by Siemens and made in Bavaria, as well as an 850 million euro loan from German development bank KfW. Germanwatch, an environmental NGO, has given the project good marks, Obertreis reports. Many local people found employment at the building sites and there were no problems regarding re-locations or land grabbing.
Read the article in German here.