“Sigmar Gabriel prepared to sacrifice climate levy”
Economy and energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is about to let go of his proposed climate levy for old coal-fired power stations, Der Spiegel reports. According to the article, Gabriel will meet representatives from trade unions and energy ministers of lignite mining states on Tuesday to discuss and likely agree on a range of other measures to reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector.
Read a short version of the article in German here.
Read CLEW’s Friday News Digest for the latest on the climate levy and alternative suggestions here.
Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
New era in security of supply for European power
Representatives of 12 European states have signed an agreement to increase regional cooperation in power security in Luxembourg. Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic have agreed to define a range of no-regret measures, including making supply and demand of power more flexible by using price peaks and refraining from implementing price ceilings. The 12 (electric) neighbouring states will also expand their grids and won’t limit power trading, even in times of scarcity. German energy minister Sigmar Gabriel said according to a press release: “Today, 12 neighbouring states in the centre of Europe have decided on a new era in energy policy: for them, security of supply is now not only a national but a European issue.”
See the Joint Declaration for Regional Cooperation on Security of Electricity Supply in the Framework of the Internal Energy Market by the 12 European states in English here.
“The bill has to add up”
A serious political discussion about the consequences of a global carbon budget is urgently required, argues climate politics expert Oliver Geden from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). The concept - a maximum amount of greenhouse gases humanity can emit if global warming is to stay below a two degree threshold – is clear and powerful, writes Geden. But it’s already obvious that much more CO2 will be emitted than the budget allows. Economists have therefore come up with the idea of an emissions deficit, which will have to be paid off in the second half of the century by extracting CO2 from the atmosphere. But the technologies to do this have not even been tested and their risks are totally unknown. Despite this, their deployment is already assumed on a massive scale if global warming is to be kept in check, writes Geden. Politicians and the general public need to discuss the possible consequences of these technologies, insists Geden.
Read the column in German here.
“A summit with clear views”
The G7 summit aims to tackle many key topics with global reach that will be felt well into this century, writes the head of management consultancy Bain & Company in Germany, Walter Sinn, in a commentary in Handelsblatt. The German economy would benefit greatly from a TTIP trade deal between the US and the EU, argues Sinn. “The topic of the Energiewende is of equal importance from a German point of view.” It would be a considerable gain for German industry if Merkel can persuade other states to follow a similar formula, because German companies can boast experience with wind farms and the feed-in of renewable power, according to Sinn.
Read the column in German here.