Climate change and the German government

This 15 November 2017 German video is about a Greenpeace action on the river Rhine. Climate activists put a banner, saying ‘[German Chancellor] Merkel‘s dirty secret: coal’ on a ship transporting coal. Another banner admonished Ms Merkel to ‘Action instead of hypocrisy’.

From Radio France International, 16 November 2017:

Unfortunately, Mutti Merkel‘s countrypersons are not doing well. Germany continues to burn heaps of coal and has no chance of meeting its target of reducing greenhouse gas emmissions by 40 percent of 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Germany gets 40 percent of its electricity from coal-burning power stations.

And even the German Green party admits that things won’t get better even by 2030, the deadline they argued for during the recent election campaign.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Merkel refuses to set date to shut coal fired power plants

Thursday 16th November 2017

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel refused yesterday to commit to a deadline to shut down coal-burning power plants, despite demands by environmentalists as she addressed UN climate talks.

Speaking at the COP 23 climate summit in Bonn, Ms Merkel said there would be “hard discussions” between her Christian Democrats, the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats

which are talking about having a three-party coalition government after the recent election

on the issue.

The Chancellor admitted coal use was part of the reason why Germany would miss its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions targets. Germany generates 40 per cent of its electricity from coal.

The German Greens had previously said they’d drop their pledge to set an end date for coal use if it got them into government.

Meanwhile, masked environmental activists forced the partial shutdown of the Weisweiler coal plant west of Bonn by climbing onto conveyor belts.

Operator RWE had to stop running two of the four generating units for lack of fuel.

And Greenpeace, which protested at the same plant on Saturday, said 14 of its activists had protested on a coal ship on the River Rhine, laying out a banner reading: “Merkel’s dirty secret: coal” as the vessel passed the conference venue. …

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres warned that the world only had only five years to take action on global warming targets, urging leaders to “show courage in combating entrenched interests.”

“The catastrophic effects of climate change are upon us,” Mr Guterres said. “The voice of small island states that are on the front lines of climate change must be the voice of us all.”.

Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) agreed during preliminary coalition talks to give up the country’s climate goal for 2020, according to media reports: here.

15 thoughts on “Climate change and the German government

  1. Friday 17th November 2017

    TWENTY countries banded together yesterday to form the Powering Past Coal alliance in a bid to phase out use of the climate-wrecking fuel.

    Launched at the COP 23 UN climate conference in Germany and kicked off by Britain and Canada, the group also includes the island nations of Nieu, the Marshall Islands and Fiji — which is presiding over the conference.

    Island nations are particularly threatened by climate change, with higher sea levels from melting polar ice threatening to engulf them.

    Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, president of the COP 23 conference, said yesterday that loss and damage from climate change “isn’t some distant prospect. It is a grave and present reality.”

    He urged countries to “get to grips” and called for “practical measures” to avert and adapt to global warming. Burning coal for energy is the single greatest contributor to climate change, releasing twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas.

    However, despite inaugurating the new anti-coal group, both Britain and Canada are laggards when it comes to climate change. Canada in particularly as it exports increasing amounts of oil — including from its highly toxic tar sands.

    Meanwhile Norway’s biggest private pension fund Storebrand said it was divesting from 10 firms over their involvement with coal. They include German energy company RWE, Poland’s PGE and South African utility Eskom.

    Chief executive Jan Erik Saugestad said it was a warning to firms to “clean up” their energy sources “or lose customers and investors.”


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