Julian Wettengel – Informed Comment https://www.juancole.com Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion Sat, 09 Apr 2022 02:52:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.6 Germany boosts renewables with “biggest energy policy reform in decades” https://www.juancole.com/2022/04/germany-renewables-biggest.html Sat, 09 Apr 2022 04:06:42 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=203944 By Kerstine Appunn and Julian Wettengel | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Germany wants to fight the climate crisis and its heavy dependence on fossil fuel imports by speeding up the rollout of renewables with a massive overhaul of key energy legislation. In the “biggest energy policy reform in decades,” the coalition of Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Free Democrats (FDP) proposes to lift the rollout of wind and solar power “to a completely new level” in a draft law amounting to more than 500 pages. It aims to free up new land for green power production, speed up permit procedures, and massively increase wind and solar additions to achieve a nearly 100-percent renewable power supply by 2035. The energy industry welcomed the package as a good starting point for the necessary faster roll-out of wind and solar energy in Germany. [UPDATE add reactions from industry]

After little more than 100 days in office, Germany’s new government has presented what it calls the “biggest energy policy reform in decades” to massively increase the buildout of renewable energies. The coalition partners SPD, Green Party and FDP say the more than 500-page so-called “Easter Package” of reform proposals tackles not only the climate crisis, but helps the country in its efforts to become independent of Russian fossil fuels.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz highlighted this double benefit of Germany’s goal to become climate-neutral by 2045 with the help of renewables. Today’s package is a “very important contribution” to these goals, said Scholz in the Bundestag during parliamentary question time. “With the ‘Easter Package’ we are showing what we intend to do. Now more than ever, we will become independent of the use of fossil resources. That is our task.”

Today’s package is part of a comprehensive programme of climate action measures the parties had promised for 2022 in last year’s coalition treaty. However, Russia’s war against Ukraine has added a sense of urgency to not only getting Germany’s policy back on track to reaching climate targets, but also becoming independent of fossil fuel imports as quickly as possible. The government said it sees renewable energies as “a matter of national security.” The economy ministry has said it will introduce a second package of legislative reforms by the summer.

The package includes draft reforms of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the offshore wind law, the energy industry law and legislation to speed up power transmission grid development. The package will now be sent to parliament and could be adopted still in the first half of 2022.

Germany’s energy industry association BDEW said the legislative drafts contained important decisions for the expansion of renewables in Germany, such as raised tender volumes for wind and solar and the introduction of contracts for difference. “It must be clear to all ministries involved and all levels – be it federal or state – that the expansion of renewable energies is the order of the day, not only for climate protection but also to become less dependent on fossil energy imports,” said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae.

FDP gives only provisional consent

There could be a big hurdle for the package in the further legislative process. The pro-business Free Democrats said their formal agreement to the package in cabinet is meant to get the process going. However, “deviations from the coalition agreement (e.g. climate-neutral electricity system 2035, CfD) must be corrected in parliament,” wrote deputy parliamentary group leader Lukas Köhler in a message on Twitter.

Renewables reform centrepiece of the ‘Easter Package’

The centrepiece of the reforms is the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) – the now 22-year-old legislation that enabled the share of renewable power to grow to almost 45 percent. Most importantly, the amendments provide for much higher capacity addition targets to reach the new government goal of having 80 percent renewable power (some 600 terawatt-hours) in the mix by 2030 and almost 100 percent green electricity by 2035.

By 2030, installed onshore wind capacity should reach 115 gigawatts (GW), the government says. Annual capacity additions therefore have to reach 10 GW as of 2025. Solar PV installations will amount to 22 GW per year as of 2026 to achieve a total capacity of 215 GW by the end of the decade. Offshore wind additions are increased as well to reach a minimum of 30 GW per 2030 and 40 GW by 2035, and 70 GW by 2045. While the government wants to incentivise the production and use of biomethane in highly flexible plants by increasing tender volumes, the use of biomass for power production will be superseded by its use in transport and industry.

In light of the war in Ukraine and the urgent need to become independent from imported fossil fuels, the ministry has increased these numbers again compared to a first proposal made in February 2022.
New distance and bird protection rules – and more money for communities

To ensure that these ambitious growth scenarios are not hampered by lengthy planning procedures, local opposition and contradictions with other protected goals, the government establishes the principle that the use of renewable energies is of overriding public interest and will be given priority over other concerns until greenhouse gas neutrality is achieved.

To this end, the economy and climate ministry together with the environment ministry already presented a new compromise that is to reconcile bird protection and wind energy expansion.

With new distance rules between wind turbines and weather radar installations as well as rotating radio beacons, which so far prevented the building of new wind parks in their vicinity, some 5 gigawatts of onshore wind capacity can be freed up, allowing for around 1,200 new wind turbines to be built within a short time, economy and climate minister Robert Habeck said on Tuesday (5 April) in Berlin.

To achieve higher acceptance in the population, citizen energy initiatives will be exempt from participating in the tender scheme; it will be made easier for local communities to benefit financially from wind parks and ground-mounted solar PV nearby.

Climate neutrality becomes guideline for the grid

In addition, the “Easter Package” also includes changes to federal grid planning. In general, all future power network planning is to be undertaken to achieve a climate-neutral grid in the most efficient way; and to ensure that the grid will keep track with the renewables expansion at hand. Initially, 19 new grid expansion projects will become part of the federal grid requirement plan, and another 17 will be amended to best serve the energy industry. To make grid planning and building faster – Germany lags behind with its grid expansion plans by several years – permission procedures are to be simplified and hurdles reduced, the government says.

While renewables expansion would receive a significant boost through the package, the drafts did not address grid expansion sufficiently, said Tim Meyerjürgens, COO of power transmission grid operator TenneT. Both would be needed to make the energy transition a success. “We had introduced further important procedural simplifications into the discussion, but we still see too little of this in the current draft law for a significantly accelerated grid expansion on land and at sea in the future,” said Meyerjürgens.

“A new impetus in energy and climate policy that many have been waiting for” – dena

The renewable energy industry welcomed the proposals as a first step, but called for changes in the legislative process. “We still see a need to make adjustments across all renewable energies. These changes must be made with the summer package at the latest,” said renewables association BEE president Simone Peter. The BEE highlighted shortcomings on solar power. “The solar targets set out in the cabinet draft can only be achieved if the government makes self-supply and direct supply with solar power significantly more attractive and provides sufficient site areas for solar parks,” said Peter.

Wind energy association BWE says the Ukraine war and the wish to become independent of Russian fossil fuels has provided an extra push to renewables development. “[The Easter Package] shows that, with energy security in mind, there is a great will to advance wind energy quickly,” said BWE president Hermann Albers. He added that the upcoming ‘Summer Package’ should ensure that approval procedures for new wind parks are accelerated. “We must significantly reduce the approval period from the current average of six years.”

Andreas Kuhlmann, head of the German Energy Agency (dena), said the proposals represented “a new impetus in energy and climate policy that many have been waiting for.” However, he also said that the measures outlined would not be sufficient to reach the goals the government laid out in its coalition agreement. Parliament would “hopefully” introduce a number of changes, said Kuhlmann.

Environmental NGO Greenpeace Germany welcomed the package. “Habeck’s legislative package is more resolute than anything we have seen on this in recent years,” said the NGO’s Reenie Vietheer, but criticised that citizens’ energy had received too little attention.

German environmental umbrella organisation DNR called the package “a first important step” towards energy sovereignty through wind and solar power. DNR president Kai Niebert called for adjustments in the parliamentary process. “Among other things, we need the introduction of a solar obligation on all roofs, the abolition of arbitrary distance requirements to residential settlements and the accompanying provision of sufficient areas for onshore wind energy,” said Niebert.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” .

Via Clean Energy Wire

No to Blackmail: Germany to be free from Russian oil, coal by end of 2022, Gas by 2024 – Econ Minister https://www.juancole.com/2022/03/blackmail-russian-minister.html Sat, 26 Mar 2022 04:06:18 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=203692 ( Clean Energy Wire) – Germany is making considerable progress in weaning itself off fossil fuel imports from Russia and could become virtually independent of the country’s coal and oil by the end of this year, said economy and climate minister Robert Habeck in Berlin. Natural gas supply poses the biggest challenge and it will likely take until mid-2024 for Germany to be able to forgo deliveries from Russia, said the minister. Significant expansion of renewables, reduction of consumption in all sectors, diversification and the ramp-up of hydrogen are needed for this.

In the short term, RWE and Uniper are finalising contracts to rent three floating LNG terminals that could be used to import liquefied natural gas directly into Germany, possibly already in the coming winter. Habeck commended the “great unity” of European states and transatlantic partners in their efforts to become independent from Russian energy. [UPDATE adds Habeck quote “We don’t have to let ourselves be blackmailed.”]

Germany can become independent from Russian coal by autumn, virtually independent from the country’s oil by the end of 2022, and largely do without its natural gas by summer 2024, said economy and climate minister Robert Habeck. However, presenting an update on Germany’s energy supply security and the status of dependence on Russian deliveries, the Green Party politician reiterated the government’s stance that it is too early for an immediate energy embargo.

“Companies are letting contracts with Russian suppliers expire, not renewing them and switching to other suppliers,” Habeck told journalists in Berlin. “And at an incredible pace.” Habeck commended the “great unity” of European states and transatlantic partners in their efforts to become independent from Russian energy. It is this unity that would help “put a stop to Putin’s game.”

As Habeck spoke in Berlin, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and U.S. President Joe Biden announced a deal that would see the U.S. deliver an additional 15 billion cubic metres (bcm) of LNG to the EU in 2022.

In the midst of the Energiewende, Germany still relies heavily on imports of fossil fuels. In 2021, about 35 percent of crude oil, 55 percent of natural gas and almost half of hard coal imports came from Russia. Due to this dependence, chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly warned of a sudden halt of deliveries from Russia, saying this would plunge Germany and Europe into a recession.

“We don’t have to let ourselves be blackmailed.” Robert Habeck, economy and climate minister

According to the government’s “Energy Security Progress Report,” oil imports from Russia will be halved by mid-2022 and the share of hard coal imports reduced from 50 to 25 percent already in the coming weeks. The share of natural gas supplies from Russia sank to about 40 percent by the end of the first quarter 2022 (55% for full 2021), said the report. This happened thanks to increased pipeline supplies from Norway and the Netherlands, and via LNG contracts, but came at a high cost, as prices for gas have increased substantially in recent months.

Too early for an embargo, more time needed to replace Russian gas

Habeck reiterated that it was too early for an all-out embargo on Russian energy supplies, but that this did not mean that the government was not preparing to stop these supplies. He said it would make “a big difference” whether the government decided to introduce such a step, or whether the Russian president halted supplies.

“If we decide it ourselves, we also have to take responsibility for it, in all its consequences, all the way to the end,” said Habeck.

The minister added there was not yet a supply bottleneck in Germany and the country still had options to act. These might lead to constraints, but “we don’t have to let ourselves be blackmailed.”

The country needs more time to replace Russian deliveries, especially of natural gas, said Habeck. “We still have a way to go and we will only be able to say goodbye to Russian gas with a joint effort – the federal government, the states, local authorities, companies and private households together.” The minister said the expansion of renewables, the consistent reduction of consumption at all levels, diversification and the rapid ramp-up of hydrogen are imperative for the country to be able to do without Russian gas by mid-2024.

In the short term, energy companies RWE and Uniper are finalising contracts to lease three floating LNG terminals (FSRU) that could be used to import liquefied natural gas directly into Germany as early as next winter.

With the leasing of the three floating terminals, around 27 bcm of LNG could be landed in the final stage step by step by summer 2024. As early as in the winter of 2022/2023, an additional 7.5 bcm of LNG would be available on the market.

Bloomberg’s Sergio Chapa reported that American gas exporters and German buyers of the power-plant fuel will meet next week in Berlin to speed up talks on how the U.S. can help the European industrial powerhouse wean itself off Russian supplies. The U.S. Embassy in Germany is coordinating the meeting with the liquefied natural gas suppliers, expected to take place after the March 29-30 Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue conference, people familiar with the plans said.

Influence of Russian oil company “a mistake” – Habeck

Reducing oil imports from Russia presents an additional problem for the German government. About a third of Russian supplies are imported to be processed in the Schwedt refinery in Brandenburg. As this is largely owned by the Russian company Rosneft, Habeck does not expect it to reduce imports from Russia voluntarily, like other companies have signalled already.

“You don’t have to be particularly bright to realise that a Russian state-owned company does not want to become independent of Russian oil in this situation,” said Habeck. It turned out to be “a mistake” to allow a Russian company such responsibility regarding the energy supply of this region and beyond. “But we are also working on this,” said Habeck without providing details.

Via Clean Energy Wire

With Russia in Ukraine, Climate Emergency is at Heart of German Security Strategy https://www.juancole.com/2022/03/emergency-security-strategy.html Sat, 19 Mar 2022 04:04:11 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=203556 ( Clean Energy Wire ) – The climate crisis and its effects on people’s lives around the world will be at the heart of the National Security Strategy being developed by the German government, said foreign minister Annalena Baerbock.

The minister called climate change “the security policy question of our time” and said the “foundations for the security of our lives” depend on “getting a grip on” it. Her government’s foreign policy on the issue would become an integral element of the upcoming strategy.

“Every tonne less CO2, every tenth of a degree less global warming is a contribution to human security,” she told security policy stakeholders in Berlin. Baerbock started her speech talking about Russia’s war against Ukraine and a more traditional element of security policy, the energy supply and Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels – to a large extent from Russia.

“Moving away from fossil fuels faster, and towards renewable, efficient energy is not just investing in cleaner energy, it is investing in our security and therefore our freedom,” said Baerbock. She acknowledged that the country will have to import renewable energy sources in the future, such as green hydrogen.

The government plans to develop a national security strategy together with security policy stakeholders such as lawmakers, researchers, associations and civil society. The country does not yet have such a strategy.

The war against Ukraine has forced Germany to radically rethink many fundamental policy fields, such as its energy policy, given that the country is heavily dependent on Russian fossil fuels.

Via Clean Energy Wire

New German Chancellor Scholz Pledges Success in Ambitious Doubling of Renewables by 2030 https://www.juancole.com/2021/12/chancellor-ambitious-renewables.html Sun, 19 Dec 2021 05:02:08 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=201873 By Julian Wettengel | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – The new German government’s plan to more than double power production from renewable sources by 2030 presents a “gigantic task” for the country, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz in his first government declaration in the Bundestag (national parliament).

“However, I am firmly convinced that we will succeed,” he added. Scholz laid out his government’s plans for the coming four years, sticking firmly to the promises from the coalition treaty of his Social Democrats (SPD), the Green Party and the pro-business FDP.

He said climate action would become a central task which cuts across policy departments in his government. “We want to be measured by how successfully we solve this task.” Scholz spent much of his more than one hour-long speech on Germany’s planned transition to climate neutrality by 2045. “Behind us lie 250 years in which our prosperity was based on the burning of coal, oil and gas. Now we have about 23 years ahead of us in which we must and will get out of fossil fuels.”

New government aims to make Germany more progressive, green while staying competitive • FRANCE 24

To succeed in this, the government would ring in a “decade of investments in the future”, said the chancellor. “It is about laying the foundations for a new technological era, from hydrogen pipelines to decentralised power supply and electric charging stations.”

The new German government coalition took office in early December and laid out its plans to get the country on a path to climate neutrality in line with the 1.5°C global warming limit of the Paris Agreement. How to finance climate action is a key issue for the coalition. Analysts deem the renewable capacity targets that the government has set for 2030 very ambitious – as well as the objective to secure 80 percent of power demand from renewable sources at the end of the decade.

Via Clean Energy Wire

The Future of Airflight: German electric air taxi pioneer Volocopter raises $238 mn https://www.juancole.com/2021/03/airflight-electric-volocopter.html Sun, 07 Mar 2021 05:01:46 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=196514 ( Clean Energy Wire) – German urban air mobility company Volocopter has raised an additional 200 million euros in funding from a wide range of investors to help “solidify [its] leading position” in the market and bring its battery-powered air taxi to certification, the company said in a release.

“No other electric air taxi company has publicly performed as many flights in cities around the world, with full regulatory approval, as Volocopter has,” said CEO Florian Reuter.

Volocopter said it expects its first commercial air taxi routes to be opened within the next two years and aims for its VoloCity to become the first certified electric air taxi for cities. BlackRock, Continental AG, Daimler and DB Schenker are among the investors.

Volocopter is one of several different concepts for establishing e-aircraft as a means of short-distance transportation in Germany. In 2018, the start-up presented its vision for a large-scale urban electric air taxi service.

In 2019, the company teamed up with airport operator Fraport AG to explore the use of autonomous flying taxis at Germany’s Frankfurt Airport. Another prominent German air mobility start-up is Lilium.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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Volocopter: “New VoloCity Air Taxi Design Released by Urban Air Mobility Pioneer Volocopter”

Renewables cover almost half of German electricity use in first 9 months 2020 https://www.juancole.com/2020/09/renewables-almost-electricity.html Sat, 26 Sep 2020 04:03:17 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=193476 (Clean Energy Wire ) – Renewables covered about 48 percent of German power consumption in the first three quarters of 2020, preliminary data from energy industry association BDEW and the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) shows, a 5-percentage point increase over the same period last year.

On the one hand, the increase is due to the windy and sunny weather conditions of recent months, which were favorable for electricity generation from renewables. In the first quarter in particular, significantly more electricity was generated from wind than in the previous year. An unusually high number of hours of sunshine also led to a sizeable increase in electricity generation from solar energy of 13 percent compared to the same period last year, write BDEW and ZSW.

On the other hand, the coronavirus pandemic led to a reduction in overall electricity consumption of about 5 percent in the first nine months of 2020. “The figures make clear that there is still a long way to go before we reach the target of 65 percent renewables by 2030,” said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae, and called for an ambitious renewables reform.

The government this week approved its draft reform of the The Renewable Energy Act (EEG), introduced in 2000, has been Germany’s main legislative tool for the development of renewable power, guaranteeing all renewable power producers an above-market fixed price for 20 years, as well as grid priority. The Renewable Energy Act (EEG), introduced in 2000, has been Germany’s main legislative tool for the development of renewable power, guaranteeing all renewable power producers an above-market fixed price for 20 years, as well as grid priority, Germany’s main renewables law, to enable a share of 65 percent renewables in 2030 power consumption and a greenhouse-gas neutral electricity sector before 2050.

Cabinet ministers fell in line behind energy minister Peter Altmaier’s proposal on how to speed up the roll-out of renewables, ready them for competition, and increase citizens’ approval, but industry groups and parliamentarians said some of the changes were counterproductive. They warned that many older wind turbines could stop operating because they lack viable options to run profitably.

Via Clean Energy Wire


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Deutschland.de: “Floating wind turbine to be tested in Baltic Sea”

Even German Conservatives, Corporations make Green New Deal, Climate “Top Priority” after Pandemic https://www.juancole.com/2020/04/conservatives-corporations-priority.html Tue, 28 Apr 2020 04:02:48 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=190582 By Julian Wettengel | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Top politicians from Germany and more than 60 large companies have warned that the climate crisis must continue to be a top priority, even as the world economies grapple with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Ahead of this week’s digital Petersberg Climate Dialogue, environment minister Svenja Schulze said the Paris Agreement should remain the “compass” for the economic recovery after the current crisis. Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear that climate action would continue to play an important role during the German EU Council presidency and pointed to the current dry spell in the country. In a joint statement, companies from all sectors called for making the economy more resilient with a climate-friendly stimulus programme.

German environment minister Svenja Schulze, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schäuble, the president of the country’s parliament, have cautioned that any recovery after the coronavirus pandemic should happen in a sustainable, future-proof and climate-friendly way.

Schulze called for an intensive exchange between governments across the globe on restarting the economies after the pandemic in a press conference preceding the Petersberg Climate Dialogue (PCD), an annual ministerial summit organised by the German government in preparation for the coming UN climate conference.

“The Paris Climate Agreement, which shows the way into a climate-neutral world, should continue to be our compass to modernise our economies and make them more climate-friendly and thus secure jobs,” said Schulze. “And unlike with the coronavirus we already know the ‘vaccinations’ against the climate crisis.” As an example the minister said funds should be invested in alternative mobility instead of the combustion engine. People across the globe currently have a sense of what a crisis feels like, she said. “I trust that an increasing number will be ready to do more against the long-term environmental risks, the climate crisis and the destruction of eco-systems.”

Calls and proposals for economic stimulus packages with a focus on sustainable and climate-friendly measures have been growing over the past weeks. German politicians and national and international NGOs have called on Chancellor Merkel to use her speech at the PCD on Tuesday to make clear that now is the moment for a green recovery.

Over the weekend, Merkel said in her weekly podcast that a European recovery programme must be tied to the EU budget, with Germany “contributing much more”, reiterating earlier statements. This was to ensure that, among other things, “we can invest in the future, and that means in climate action – the [European] Commission has developed the Green Deal – and in digitalisation.”

Schäuble also joined in the green recovery chorus. The pandemic is not the only major problem, he told Tagesspiegel, but also “climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and all the damages humans and in particular us Europeans cause nature”. The former finance minister said he hoped for recovery measures that do not just let the industry carry on as before, citing the scrappage premium for older cars as an example. After the pandemic the big question will be “how do we get to a more sustainable and […] restrained life in economy and society? How can we reduce the differences in the world so that they are bearable”?

The Green Party, meanwhile, has come out with its first proposals for the recovery. In an op-ed in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, party heads Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck call for reducing the renewables levy by 75 percent, and for direct financial support for other measures, such as establishing a hydrogen economy.

Climate on agenda for German EU Council presidency in second half of 2020 – Merkel

In her podcast, Merkel said the coronavirus crisis would certainly leave its mark on the German EU Council presidency in the second half of 2020. “That means we have to do something to strengthen Europe’s economy, social cohesion and think about the future – and that means climate and environmental questions,” said Merkel. “We will have the climate issues on our agenda just like we will have the health issues.”

The chancellor added that already today the lack of rain in many parts of Germany was apparent. Bloomberg reported that as the country was likely experiencing the driest April since records began, the important Rhine River marine transport route was drying out, prompting concerns that key industrial goods might have trouble making it to their destination. The river is now at its lowest level for April since 2011, wrote Bloomberg.

Gerhard Adrian, president of Germany’s National Meteorological Service (DWD), told news agency dpa that climate action should not be left behind as the coronavirus crisis takes centre stage. “It would be bad if climate action was put on hold over the fight against the virus.” If economic systems had to change to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, economic stimulus packages related to the coronavirus crisis would be an opportunity to do both at the same time, he said.

Merkel also said Germany would push a discussion on joint emissions trading for marine transport and aviation. Overall, she said the goal was “to have, by the end of the German presidency, more Europe, and a Europe that is better equipped to face the 21st century than it is today”.

Alliance of large companies calls for green recovery

Ahead of the climate summit’s kick-off today, an alliance of more than 60 large German and international companies – including ThyssenKrupp, Bayer and Vattenfall – called on governments to introduce climate-friendly, long-term economic stimulus programmes. In a joint statement organised by business initiative Foundation 2° (Stiftung 2°), the companies call on the German government to closely link measures to overcome the coronavirus crisis and the climate crisis, stick to existing climate policy to not endanger investments and projects already made, and push the European Green Deal as an innovation and growth strategy. “The German government should work with all member states of the European Union to assure that the there is no turning back from European climate policy,” said Foundation 2° managing director Sabine Nallinger in a press release.

Oliver Geden, head of the EU research division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), said the statement was a “prime example of ‘constructive ambiguity’ in PR.” In a message on Twitter, he criticised the statement for not saying anything concrete on setting new EU and German climate targets, noting that it talked about policy only in the broadest sense.

Finalising “tough” talks on EU 2030 climate target this year depends on Merkel’s negotiation skills – researcher

In regards to the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, Geden said it was an “important vital sign of climate diplomacy”, but added that the impact of online meetings was limited. “To work out political compromises, the direct contact among negotiators is necessary.”

At the press conference, Schulze once again came out in favour of raising the EU’s 2030 climate target to a 50-55 percent reduction in greenhouse gases, as proposed by the European Commission. “If you want to become climate-neutral by 2050, then you cannot reach that with the existing 2030 interim target of a 40 percent reduction,” Schulze said, but acknowledged that this was not yet a coordinated German government view.

Geden pointed out that the “tough negotiations” on the EU level would start during the German Council presidency. Whether they could be finalised in 2020 will depend on Merkel’s negotiating skills, he added. “Merkel is therefore unlikely to commit herself publicly to a concrete reduction corridor at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue.”
“Most dangerous recovery of all would be a futile attempt at a brown recovery” – economist

At the press conference ahead of the PCD, British economist Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE, warned that the world should not go back to the fragile economic systems that existed before the crisis and face up to the risk of a global recession. “There can be no going back, we have to rule out austerity and the most dangerous recovery of all would be a futile attempt at a brown recovery.” Stern also said that the dangers involved in climate change were “still bigger than the dreadful crisis that we’re experiencing from COVID. If we let the climate get out of control, they would last a very long time, centuries.”

Stern called for a programme “similar to the Marshall Plan”, but for the entire world and in a “much bigger scope”. “There is only one feasible way forward and that’s to build a much greener, more environmentally-friendly and more equitable economy,” said Stern. There is a lot the world could do on energy efficiency, building e-mobility and rail programmes and infrastructure, redesigning cities, and looking after the natural capital such as forests and land, he noted. “There is so much we can do quickly.”

Via Clean Energy Wire

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German wind power soars to record highs in February | Energy Live News