FAIReconomics Newsletter week 51  NEWS

Climate conference reaches compromise: The climate conference in Madrid has never been so long overdrawn, more than 40 hours longer than planned. The result was a minimal compromise, for a long time it even seemed that there would be no result at all. Article 6 of the Paris Agreement was particularly hotly contested and no agreement could be reached. The section provides that market mechanisms can be used to increase and implement national climate protection contributions, the so-called NDCs. This means, for example, that a polluting country can finance climate protection for a developing country in order to reduce the use of fossil fuels there, and this emission saving can be credited to its NDC. There is also controversy as to whether the pollution rights granted under the Kyoto Protocol should continue to apply under the Paris Agreement. Environmental associations believe that this could be a loophole for double counting, for example, and thus undermine the Paris Agreement. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is „disappointed by the outcome of #COP25. The international community has missed an important opportunity to increase ambition for #climate protection, adaptation & funding. But we must & I will not give up“ welt.deklimareporter.de , faz.net,    @antonioguterres  , alle Originaldokumente zur Weltklimakonferenz

Europe’s Green Deal adopted: With the exception of Poland, which has a special status due to its high energy dependence on coal, the EU has now agreed on climate neutrality until 2050. At the insistence of the Czech Republic, it was also stipulated that „some member states“ would also use nuclear power plants in their energy mix. Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary in particular had initially blocked an agreement; the three countries have so far been dependent on the less climate-friendly coal. But the Green Deal will also force companies to recalculate – German companies like Daimler, for example, which have not yet had their CO2 emissions under control, are now likely to become even more nervous. dw.com wiwo.de ,

Around 563 square kilometres of forest were destroyed in Brazil in November 2019 alone. Deforestation in the South American country increased by 104 percent compared to the same period last year. 8974 square kilometers of forest were cleared in the first eleven months of this year. This corresponds to the size of Puerto Rico. dw.com

Germany only mediocre: In the „climate protection index“ by germanwatch, the top three places remain vacant among the 57 countries surveyed.  Sweden, Denmark and Morocco are then at the top. But there are also good things to report: „The new climate protection index shows signs of a global turnaround in emissions,“ says Ursula Hagen of Germanwatch. „More than half of the major emitters are currently recording declining CO2 emissions. Despite the improvement, Germany remains in the middle of the field. There were bad marks with the discharge of greenhouse gases and energy consumption per capita, for the climatic politics it remained mediocre. zdf.de

Energy turnaround in the building sector stops: An evaluation by energy service provider Techem shows that the energy turnaround in the building sector is not making progress, but that the values are even rising. In the past three years the increase amounts to with the natural gas 5,8, with the fuel oil 8,5 and with the district heating 4,9 per cent. The study mentions that the increase in consumption may also be due to the drop in energy prices. techem.de , spiegel.de

Denmark: The new Danish climate law, called „Klimalov“, is exemplary in international comparison and is supported by a broad front of the parties as well as by society. In addition, the Scandinavian country wants to achieve its climate protection goals without nuclear energy. Another goal of the law: The Danes want to achieve the entire CO2 reduction on Danish soil and not through international trade in pollution rights. taz.de

Digitalisation is an energy guzzler: The fact that the Internet is an energy guzzler is not new, but it is only now that many consumers are becoming aware of it. Watching a streaming service for 3o minutes consumes just as much energy as driving over six kilometres. Both the EU Commission and the Greens in Germany have recognised this. In a motion in the Bundestag, the parliamentary group calls for new concepts and guidelines against the environmental problems of digitisation. „Digitisation without ecological guard rails will understand and accelerate the existing trend towards increasing resource consumption and emissions“. Digitisation could become a driver of the climate catastrophe, it continues. An essential lever for the Greens: CO2 pricing  taz.de ,  faz.net  (Europa/Vestager)

BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:

Management of Solidarity-Economic Enterprises – A Guide to Democracy and Sustainability

Open sewing workshops, free shops and repair cafés are small examples of the growing number of alternative business initiatives. But it is not only the importance of solidary economic enterprises that is increasing; the methods of the solidary economy, such as holacracy, sociocracy or public welfare balance, are also increasingly in demand in profit-oriented enterprises. The book examines questions of solidarity economy from a management perspective. schaeffer-poeschel.de

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Electrical appliances: The Greens demand a right to repair. sueddeutsche.de
Denmark: Artificial island planned for the production of hydrogen. bluewin.ch
Alu-Deo Hysteria: Completely exaggerated. zeit.de 
Coca Cola: Will build wells for 350,000 cubic meters of water in Lower Saxony. ndr.de
Climate researcher: Becomes president of the National Academy Leopoldina.  faz.net
Berlin: Federal state decides on climate control system. rbb24.de
EU: Approves subsidies for battery subsidies. zeit.de
Financial markets: Climate risks underestimated. faz.net
Bayer: Carbon-neutral until 2030. handelsblatt.com
Trump: Sanctions against Northstream 2. ndr.de

MOBILITY:

Dirty politicians‘ company cars in Germany: Every year the German Environmental Aid publishes the company car check. Not a single one of the 237 cars examined in our company car survey complies with the EU fleet limit value of CO2 in real operation, which has been in force since 2015, according to a DUH statement.  For the first time, greenhouse gas emissions even increased. The governing mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, drives the dirtiest company car of all German heads of state. The head of government with the cleanest company car is Bremen’s mayor Andreas Bovenschulte, who drives a petrol-electric hybrid. By the way, Green politicians do best: They drive the most climate-friendly vehicles, CDU politicians the dirtiest cars. In the federal government, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer uses a vehicle that has the highest real CO2 emissions according to DUH.  zeit.de ,  rbb24.de

Ships harm the environment: Ships calling at EU ports blew 139 million tons of CO2 into the air last year. This is slightly less than the entire Netherlands emits. Remarkably, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) emitted eleven million tons of CO2 in 2018, more than Ryanair, for example. zeit.de

Rather few bridges: Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer wants to enable cycling on bridges of motorways and federal highways. In the future, it will be possible to construct a width of operational paths on bridges that „ensures that they can be used by public cycling“. The plans are primarily aimed at bridges over rivers and canals. The new regulation could thus affect „about three bridge structures a year“. rnd.de

Vision Zero:  The Federal Government should include the goal „Vision Zero“ as a guiding principle in the Road Traffic Regulations (StVO). The coalition factions demand this in a motion (19/15779), which will be on the agenda of the Bundestag on Thursday. In its coalition agreement, the Grand Coalition has committed itself to the common goal of „Vision Zero“ in road traffic – to reduce the number of deaths on the roads to zero in the medium term, the deputies write. In order to achieve this goal, road traffic must become safer for unprotected road users. For this reason, the government factions had agreed in the coalition agreement to review the road traffic regulations during this legislative period and to update them in line with the needs of bicycles.

The CDU/CSU and SPD parliamentary groups therefore „expressly welcome the initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transport, which has promptly taken up the agreement of the coalition agreement and submitted a draft for the amendment of the StVO“. It is right to stipulate with the addition of paragraph 5 the observance of a sufficient safety distance when overtaking other road users, the MEPs say. In the case of overtaking by motor vehicles from pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of very small electric vehicles, the lateral distance will in future be at least 1.5 metres in urban areas and at least 2 metres outside urban areas. It is also advocated that trucks with a maximum permissible mass of more than 3.5 t in urban areas would in future have to maintain a walking pace when turning right. The coalition fractions are in favour of increasing the fines for parking motor vehicles on protective strips and in the second row and for parking on footpaths and cycle paths contrary to the ban in order to protect cycling.

Timetable change: More trains, more journeys and lower prices are promised by the railways for the timetable change yesterday. There are 15 percent more connections between Hamburg and the Rhine-Ruhr conurbation. deutschlandfunk.de
Peugeot 2008: Interesting electric version. sueddeutsche.de 
Greta: Irritation about train travel with Deutsche Bahn. spiegel.de

TAKING LI

„Those were tough negotiations in Madrid. Unfortunately, the results do not do justice to the urgently needed progress in climate protection. But I am glad that we were able to fend off all attempts to soften the Paris climate protection agreement. Madrid showed once again that it takes a lot of strength to keep the world’s states together. If we want to combat global warming successfully, but cohesion is essential, then the common will to act is indispensable.“

Svenja Schulze, Federal Environment Minister, criticises the results of the climate conference in Madrid, saying that the brakemen should not set the pace. In Madrid, everyone had finally agreed to the Paris climate treaty, but the fight against climate change would have to be speeded up. Now is the time to look to the future. Europe would set a good example in 2020. We Europeans are the first major economy to significantly raise its commitment to climate protection next year. There was a lot of recognition in Madrid for this, especially from the small island states. This commitment would be combined with the expectation that other large economies would also present new commitments next year. bmu.de

„Now more than ever! Now it depends on the fact that we ignite Ursula of the Leyens moon rocket, thus the European Union climate contribution clearly raise and the spark on others jump over let. Therefore the Federal Government may not stand further on the brake with the climatic protection in Europe.“

Michael Schäfer, head of climate policy at the WWF, countries such as Australia, Brazil and the USA, had blocked the necessary decisions here and blown off any progress towards more ambitious climate protection targets. Many governments ignored the global climate protection protests as well as the reality of global warming, which is already destroying the livelihoods of millions of people through the increase in droughts, floods and sea levels. It is precisely because Madrid has failed that the major economic powers must now assume responsibility: At the EU-China summit in Leipzig in September, the world’s largest and third largest climate polluter would come together, and together they would finally have to take the fight against global warming seriously. wwf.de

MORE KNOWLEDGE:

Ownership of responsibility: The company bears a social responsibility, it should be common knowledge that companies do not benefit their profit, but society, not yet. The „Stiftung Verantwortungseigentum“ (Responsible Ownership Foundation) is now calling for this step to be legally safeguarded. The term „ownership of responsibility“ means that companies do not dedicate themselves to profit in the corporate purpose, but rather to the employees or society in general. The aim is to operate sustainably and credibly. However, Germany lacks a legal form. Now a foundation for responsible ownership has been established. enorm-magazin.de

Suppliers could do more for climate protection: If the suppliers of the most important global market leaders asked their suppliers to produce more sustainably, this could lead to a considerable reduction in greenhouse gases and contribute to climate protection. Suppliers produce more than five times as much emissions as the corporations themselves. According to a survey, only eleven percent of suppliers‘ electricity requirements are covered by renewable sources, and only four percent have a concrete goal of increasing the share of renewables.  1.3 percent of these companies are aiming for 100 percent green energies in the medium term.  spiegel.de

Lagoons as carbon sinks: As so often, blessings and misfortunes lie close together. Lagoons can be found on 13 percent of the world’s coasts. But all over the world they are slowly drying up and at some point will no longer be able to fulfil their function as carbon sinks. fair-economics.de

Marshall Islands: Nuclear bunkers are rotting away.. sonnenseite.com 
Greenland: Ice sheet continues to melt. n-tv.de
Christmas: Ten tips for a sustainable party. news.de

THE LAST:

Children don’t believe the Internet as much: encouraging – somehow we humans, at least when we are children, still seem to be calibrated to humans and not to machines: Children between the ages of five and eight consider information from the Internet to be less trustworthy than if it comes from humans. heise.de

Über den Autor

Frank Tetzel ist Chefredakteur von FAIReconomics. Seine Schwerpunkte liegen auf den Themen: Energie, Mobilität, Tourismus, Arbeit und Stadt der Zukunft.

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