10 Sep 2018, 13:55
Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

Success at COP24 "feasible" - ministry / Growing wind power opposition

Clean Energy Wire

It is “feasible” that the UN climate summit in Katowice in December (COP24) will produce an agreement on implementation guidelines (also called rulebook or work programme) to the Paris Climate Agreement, Germany’s negotiator Nicole Wilke from the environment ministry has told journalists. At the conclusion of a preparatory meeting held in Bangkok, Wilke said that some parts of the text, which is to define the rules for countries to measure and report emissions, climate action, adaptation to climate change and climate finance, were already “very mature,” while others, particularly those concerning reporting on climate change mitigation, still reflected diverging views. The German delegation also expects the COP in Katowice to prompt member states to start taking stock of their current climate actions and raise their ambition to reduce global warming to well below 2°C, as set out in the Paris Agreement of 2015.
NGO Germanwatch said that one of the reasons why negotiations weren’t making faster progress was divergent approaches to the issue of climate finance. In order to ensure success in Katowice, “industrialised countries must provide for reliable climate finance so that climate change mitigation and adaptation to climate change become possible worldwide,” Germanwatch team leader for international climate policy Rixa Schwarz said.

Find a press release by the environment ministry in German here and the Germanwatch press release in German here.

For background on the Katowice COP read the CLEW article Poland's Katowice COP: Next coal country hosting UN climate talks.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Experts commissioned by the German federal government at the diesel summit in 2017 agree that diesel vehicle hardware retrofitting is an effective measure to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. However, they are divided on the costs per vehicle, and whether or not car manufacturers could legally be obliged to pay for the retrofitting, according to a draft of the expert group’s upcoming final report seen by the newspaper. Chancellor Angela Merkel had announced that her government would formulate a joint stance on hardware retrofitting solutions by the end of September.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet "Dieselgate"- a timeline of Germany's car emissions fraud scandal.

Welt Online

Opposition to wind power expansion in Germany is gaining clout, as shown by a new video spot, with which the German Wildlife Foundation (Deutsche Wildtier Stiftung) has entered the campaign before the upcoming state elections in Hesse, writes Daniel Wetzel in an article for the Welt Online. The clip calls for stopping the installation of new wind turbines in the state’s forests. While Hesse’s government still supports wind power expansion, political opposition is more marked in other federal states, such as Brandenburg, writes Wetzel.

Read the article (behind paywall) in German here, and watch the video in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Fighting windmills: When growth hits resistance.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Having received state support for twenty years through the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the German wind power industry “still cannot stand on its own feet,” writes Andreas Mihm in an opinion piece in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In the current crisis – which, according to sector representatives, was brought on by mistakes committed in political regulation – the industry “calls for state money like an addict for a dealer,” writes Mihm. While the government had set a more ambitious renewables target for 2030, the expansion of wind power must hinge on power grid development, he writes. “Anything else would be irresponsible.”

For background, read the CLEW article Minister promises stability for troubled German wind power sector and the dossier Onshore wind power in Germany.

Clean Energy Wire

Germany is already connected to liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals in neighbouring countries, but the government “is working on advancing the [LNG] infrastructure in Germany itself,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a German-Qatari economy and investment conference held in Berlin. Several companies are already planning to construct an import terminal in the country. “Of course, German companies decide on their gas supply based on profitability criteria, whereby liquefied gas imports from Qatar could also play a role,” she said.

For background, read the CLEW news piece Qatar Petroleum in talks with Uniper and RWE over German LNG terminal, the factsheet Gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 links Germany to Russia, but splits Europe, and the dossier The role of gas in Germany's energy transition.

Clean Energy Wire

German bilateral cooperation such as with the state of California in the USA is “a good recipe to implement a sustainable and dependable energy system quicker, cheaper, and more efficiently,” said state secretary Thomas Bareiß in a statement ahead of a visit to San Francisco to attend the Global Climate Action Summit there. The energy transition opens up many economic possibilities for new business models, startups, digital services, and the industrial sector, he said. Bareiß will also attend the California-Germany Bilateral Energy Conference 2018 on 11 September.

Find the statement in German here, and the regularly updated CLEW calendar here.

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