To continue leading the Energiewende it started, Germany now needs to follow other progressive nations and announce a swift coal exit. But the “Coal Commission” tasked with structuring the coal phaseout seems to be dragging its feet. L. Michael Buchsbaum takes a look.
Climate change was again placed at the centre of global diplomacy as diplomats and ministers gathered in Bonn for the latest annual round of United Nations climate talks. COP23, the second “conference of the parties” since the Paris Agreement was struck, was a technical affair as countries continued to negotiate the finer details of how the agreement would work from 2020 onwards. Jocelyn Timperley of Carbon Brief covers the summit’s key outcomes.
Just as COP23 was getting underway, French minister Nicolas Hulot said France was not abandoning its goal of switching partly from nuclear to renewables, just postponing it. Craig Morris says more time won’t help: nuclear may keep the lights on for now, but the French remain in the dark about nuclear’s conflict with wind & solar.
Germany has been seen as a leader in renewable energy in the European Union, but there is still a long way to go. To revitalize both European and German energy transitions, Rebecca Bertram proposes three strategies for Germany’s new government to put in place at the EU level: better goals, binding goals, and the long-awaited coal phaseout.
Germany might remain without a new government for some time, due to fundamental differences between the parties likely building a coalition: the conservative CDU, the libertarian FDP and the German Greens. But, says Craig Morris, the rise of the far right should not be overestimated.
On Sunday, Germans will vote for a new parliament. Despite recent floods in the Caribbean and the Southeast Asia, climate change and the Energiewende did not take center stage. So what are Germans concerned about, and how will Germany’s energy transition fare under the most likely coalitions? Craig Morris investigates.
Lots has been said about Trump’s decision to back out of the Paris Accord, but have we overlooked one factor: like-minded politicians abroad feeling encouraged to speak up? Judging from German events, opponents of the Paris agreement are coming out of hiding. As the Germans would say, Trump is making skepticism salonfähig: literally, “suitable for the salon” – something that can be talked about in polite company. Craig Morris explains.
On December 6, Germany’s highest court handed down a mixed ruling that practically everyone is interpreting as confirmation of their original position. The ruling provides clarity but does not put the issue to rest for good. By Craig Morris.
The amount reported as the cost of renewable electricity has nearly reached seven cents per kilowatt-hour, almost as much as the lowest retail rates in the United States. Yet, the main price driver is reportedly “falling wholesale prices.” Sound weird? Maybe it’s time to change the surcharge’s name, Craig Morris suggests.
This month, the German government met with state representatives but failed to reach an agreement. The second meeting is scheduled for May 31. At the moment, both sides have simply agreed to disagree. Berlin wants to dramatically slow down the energy transition, and some states will have none of it. Craig Morris explains.