The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2021 published today paints a mixed picture of progress by the European Union (EU) on climate action. While the Scandinavian EU countries, Portugal and the EU as a whole rank high on the index with relatively good indicators, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic stand out as outliers on climate progress within the bloc. In the overall ranking, the EU has improved from the 22nd place last year to the 16th place this year, almost exclusively thanks to a much better rated climate policy. The CCPI analyzes and compares climate protection across 57 countries (plus EU as a whole) with the highest emissions, which together account for 90 percent of global emissions.
Lüke Recktenwald is a real "islander". His family has been living on the North Sea island of Langeoog for four generations and runs a hotel and restaurant. Whether Lüke will be able to live and work on the island in the future like his parents is uncertain, as Langeoog is increasingly threatened by the climate crisis. In this interview he tells how he experiences the climate and health crisis on the island and why he decided to go to court to demand climate protection.
Long-term stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans is closely interlinked with the fate of the EU. A positive development in the region and the maintenance of good relations are in the EU’s strategic interest. Geopolitical interests continue to compete in the Western Balkans: China is increasingly rivalling ideas of international solidarity and co-operation offered by the EU. This has become most apparent during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that followed. The new momentum of recently extended financial support should be the starting point for a more serious cooperation with the Western Balkans on the energy transition. The German EU Presidency in the second half of this year should focus on making energy transition partnerships a reality. This is an opportunity that the EU should not miss.
In order to become carbon-neutral before 2050, Germany urgently needs to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector – the only sector with rising emissions. This policy paper provides an overview of public support for rail in comparison to support for road and air transport, and presents possible solutions for modernising the subsidy and tax system to turn rail into the backbone of future mobility.
The argumentation map deals with the currently planned extra-high voltage direct current transmission lines (HVDC) in Germany and, in particular, with the debate as to whether/why HVDCs should be built or not. In this respect, it aims to serve as a clear representation of the various and complex topical arguments and theses, without evaluating them.
When EU and Western Balkan leaders met on May 5th for a virtual EU-Western Balkans summit, the main focus was on the response to the Corona crisis and the EU accession prospects for the countries of the region. However, one topic should not be forgotten: the development of the energy sector in the Western Balkans. Both sides could gain a great deal from Energy Transition Partnerships, especially in order to create future prospects for the economy after the corona crisis.
The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) presented today at the climate summit in Madrid reflects opposing trends in global climate action: Australia, Saudi Arabia and especially the USA give cause for great concern with their low to very low performance in emissions and renewable energy development as well as climate policy. With these three governments massively influenced by the coal and oil lobby, there are hardly any signs of serious climate policy in sight. On the other hand, global coal consumption is falling and the boom in renewable energy continues. In 31 of the 57 high emitting countries assessed, collectively responsible for 90 percent of emissions, falling emission trends are recorded.
In regards to the informal summit of the European Council in Sibiu, Romania, on 9th of May and the European elections, a major European alliance of cities, regions, businesses, civil society organizations, sports and youth associations urge the EU decision makers to take decisive action to respond to the climate emergency. Germanwatch supports the Climate Action Call.
The following background paper explains how the blockchain technology works and shows the fields in which it might be applied as well as the opportunities blockchain might provide. Furthermore, it highlights the threats posed by blockchain and the areas in which the technology requires further development. Anyone aiming at making a significant political, economic or technological contribution to this future topic should start addressing blockchain now.
In its final report, the German coal commission recommends the last coal power plant of Germany to shut down in the corridor 2035 to 2038. This is an important step towards reaching Germany's 2030 climate target. Nevertheless, it is not enough to bring the energy sector on a path to comply with the 1.5°C-limit of the Paris Agreement.
In this short position paper, Germanwatch asesses the most important outcomes of the coal commission's final report of 26 January 2019.