As it decarbonizes its energy sector, Germany’s transportation emissions have remained stubbornly high, even increasing in the past two years. The car industry refuses to modernize even as electric vehicles gain popularity worldwide. Claire Stam of Euractiv takes a look.
Germany’s coal commission has been launched, with the goal of a gradual exit from coal. Politicans have admitted that coal-fired output needs to be halved before 2030 to meet climate targets – but have so far refused to set a date for a complete phaseout. Michael Buchsbaum takes an in-depth look.
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.