Criticism of environment minister’s ‘solo’ push for coal exit
North-Rhine Westphalia’s state premier Hannelore Kraft and her economy minister Garrelt Duin have criticised Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks’ push for a faster coal exit in the next 20-25 years. Hendricks had said that a coal phase out in Germany should be possible to organise within this time span and that the debate about it should start immediately after the Paris climate summit. Kraft and Duin, Social Democrats, like Hendricks, said her remarks didn’t represent the opinion of their party. As long as the storage problem for renewables remained unsolved and the grid expansion unfinished, “we don’t need to talk about a coal exit”, Duin said according to dpa.
Read the dpa report in German here.
Making the Energiewende a model for all
German consumers have made it possible that the market for renewable power sources has opened up and has made them affordable, former German environment minister and head of UNEP, Klaus Töpfer, told the Frankfurter Rundschau. A renaissance of nuclear power was unlikely since the technology was so expensive that it needs “massive subsidies” in industrial countries. It would also not be the solution for developing countries, he said. Germany has to now design its energy transition in a way that shows “this is not only a model for rich states but also for developing nations”.
taz – die tageszeitung
“Only in theory a good idea”
Organising remuneration for renewable energies via auctions sounds very convincing in theory but leads to several problems in reality, writes Malte Kreutzfeld in an opinion piece for the taz. The whole project planning has to be financed in advance, before operators know whether they will succeed in the bidding process. This will be possible mostly for large investors but not for small citizen-run projects, Kreutzfeld says. The new rules will not kill the energy transition but they will lower acceptance for it among the general public.
Read the op-ed in German here.
Read a CLEW article on the switch from feed-in tariffs to auctions here.
“Climate ‘friendliness’ is important criterion for consumers”
The majority of German consumers (80 %) regard “environmental friendliness” as an important criterion when buying products or services, a poll by consultancy PwC has found. Some 90 percent believe that a more sensible way to consume contributes to climate protection. Two-thirds of the 1000 participants said they would pay more for climate-friendly products. When buying shares in companies, however, 60 percent said that they considered the environmental record of the company to be unimportant. And 54 percent of Germans are happy to pay more for renewable power compared to other power sources. The figure among under 30-year-olds was 79 percent, PwC says.
Zeitung für kommunale Wirtschaft
“Cities oppose lignite plans”
Cities in North-Rhine Westphalia who hold shares in utility Steag (Germany’s fifth largest power supplier) are opposing the idea that the company could buy Vattenfall’s brown coal operations in eastern Germany. The city council of Essen has advised against the purchase which Steag had announced interest in earlier this month.
Read the article in German here.
Read a CLEW factsheet on Vattenfall’s coal assets in Germany here.
Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
“EU energy ministers secure implementation of energy and climate targets”
The EU energy ministers have agreed on governance measures to coordinate national energy policies and climate action, writes the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Berlin. It establishes a consulting and monitoring process that, for the first time, also includes the questions whether targets are achieved. They also agreed on a back-up instrument in case member states don’t reach the binding EU renewable target. State Secretary Rainer Baake said it was an especially good result to have a clear implementation structure for the renewable target. This was showing that the EU was reliably achieving its 2030 energy and climate targets shortly before the climate summit in Paris.
Read the press release in German here.
European Environment Agency (EEA)
CO2 emissions from new vehicles in Europe continued to decrease in 2014
Vehicles sold in the European Union in 2014 were, on average, 2.5 percent more efficient than those sold the previous year, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report tracks progress towards CO2 emission targets for passenger cars and gives an overview of the achievements of the different car manufacturers.
See the EAA report and a graph with car manufacturer achievements in English here.
COP21 – Road to Paris
“Germany says Paris climate deal must include solid review scheme”
The German government will consider the climate conference in Paris a success if the deal includes a solid review scheme that makes sure pledges for climate action by countries are transparent and will be kept, Reuters reports.
Read the article in English here.
Read a CLEW factsheet about Germany’s negotiating positions at the COP in Paris here.
Read a CLEW interview with Germany’s head negotiator here.
“COP21: Industry can be a part of the solution”
A worldwide, robust climate deal from COP21 will convince industry leaders to invest in green technology and help tackle climate change, writes Dr. Reinhold Festge, President of German Engineering Federation VDMA in a guest article for EurActiv.
Read the op-ed in English here.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Imapact Research
“Price on CO2: Why finance ministers could save the climate”
Finance ministers around the world should have an interest in putting a price on carbon, irrespective of the risks of unabated climate change, a study by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) finds. Governments would benefit from charging for CO2 emissions while lowering taxes on capital and work. Revenue from the CO2 price could be used on schools, infrastructure and security, the researcher suggest.