The cabinet has now decided to draft a structural strengthening law for the coal regions

The cabinet has now decided to draft a structural strengthening law for the coal regions

However, the regrowth takes different lengths of time depending on the landscape, the researchers write: Grasslands, for example, take less than a year, while some forests take decades. In extreme cases, such as in tropical moorlands or in the Arctic, full recovery can sometimes only be expected after centuries. "Plant restoration is important because carbon that is not recaptured stays in the atmosphere, contributing to climate change", emphasize the authors.

Nevertheless, in the long term, pyrogenic carbon would be an important, so far overlooked CO2 sink. The scientists are calling for this to be included in calculation models for fire emissions. First author Jones speaks of "good news", "although rising CO2 emissions from human activities such as deforestation and the burning down of some moorlands continue to pose a serious threat to the world’s climate".

In general, the CO2 emissions from wildfires are enormous: every year, an area the size of India burns in the world, the researchers write. These fires therefore emit more CO2 than car, rail, air and ship traffic combined.

Johann Georg Goldammer, fire ecologist and director of the Global Fire Monitoring Center in Freiburg, coordinated by the United Nations, considers the researchers’ calculations to be plausible. The big difference to the burning of fossil fuels by humans lies in the fact that nature later removes the CO2 from the atmosphere.

Large fires had recently raged in the Arctic and Siberia. Even if fires in the far north occur again and again in summer, the number is many times higher than in previous years, said the EU-funded "Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service" With. The experts blame climate change, among other things.

Potsdam (AP) – The head of the Union faction has warned the SPD against a left slide in the midst of the search for a common climate protection concept.

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"If anyone thinks that they can shift the architecture of this coalition further to the left, then they are wrong", said parliamentary group leader Ralph Brinkhaus (CDU) on Wednesday before a two-day retreat of the group leadership in kill a mockingbird essay claims

In the evening, the coalition partner SPD started its marathon of introductions to candidates for party leadership. CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt demanded that the SPD must remain able to work in its personnel identification phase.

According to information from the German Press Agency, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) spoke out in the discussion behind closed doors from several participants clearly in favor of the model of trading in emissions certificates. Certificate trading is superior to a CO2 tax. The Chancellor was clearer than ever in her remarks, it said.

After this information Merkel made it clear that she considered trading in certificates to be more sensible because, in contrast to the CO2 tax, it would be easier to achieve the climate targets. In addition, such a trade will meet with greater acceptance among the population. In addition, a certificate trade will produce innovations that are not yet known. Initially, however, incentives are necessary.

According to this information, Merkel also showed sympathy for the state climate bond proposed by CSU state group leader Alexander Dobrindt. Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (CDU) also praised the CSU politician’s idea and encouraged a private foundation to implement it. Dobrindt had proposed to issue a state bond for savers to finance climate protection. Accordingly, there could be a climate bond with a government-guaranteed return of two percent per year and a term until 2030.

The head of the Union parliamentary group unanimously adopted the climate paper under the motto in the evening "Good climate. Strong Germany." The MPs propose to make the emission of the climate-damaging greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) more expensive. "The CO2 problem has not yet been adequately reflected in the price"it says there. "It is clear that in the future we will need efficient CO2 pricing – possibly initially only nationally."

After about three hours of discussion, a formulation was included in the paper that shows a clear preference for certificate trading over a CO2 tax. There it says: "Pricing in the form of certificate trading has the advantage that the amount of CO2 emitted is effectively limited, the climate targets can be achieved using market-based methods and innovations are stimulated."

There is already a CO2 price for the energy sector and parts of industry through trade in pollution rights at EU level. The current debate is about making fuel, heating oil and natural gas more expensive. But there should be a balance. Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) urges an increase in taxes on fuel, heating oil and petrol and wants to repay the income to the citizens via a per capita lump sum.

In the decision of the top of the Union parliamentary group, it is said that the existing taxes and charges on energy should be further developed and geared even more towards achieving the climate targets. At the same time, the competitiveness of Germany as a location and social balance should be preserved.

In its climate concept, the Union parliamentary group primarily provides incentives for citizens – for example with an expansion of local public transport and better rail services. The people should be taken along on the way to more climate protection. Brinkhaus said the Union does not rely on bans and regulatory law, but on the market, incentives and technology and innovation.

On the fringes of the retreat, Brinkhaus asked the federal states to become more involved in the climate debate. At the moment, the discussion is as if climate protection were an exclusive matter for the federal government. "The federal government thinks about it at all levels. And I really want to encourage the countries to do more. And they have to help finance it. Especially with the climate protection plans for local public transport, the federal states should also "reach into the spoke with". In the discussion, it falls far short of the fact that public transport is a national task.

Germany will not achieve the climate protection target for 2020 of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990. With a view to the climate targets for 2030 and 2050, the climate paper says if not "solid" and act sustainably, these goals would not be achieved either. In order to increase the production of climate-friendly energies, a massive expansion of wind energy is needed, especially off our coasts. The expansion of green electricity is a major controversial issue in the coalition. The goal is a share of 65 percent by 2030, currently it is around 38 percent.

Brinkhaus said about the search for a chairman at the SPD: "Regardless of who is elected: We are still available on the basis of the coalition agreement." Even before the search for a new party leadership began, it became clear that "that the SPD is shifting to the left". The Union wants to continue the coalition until the regular end of 2021. Brinkhaus also emphasized: "The grand coalition is not an end in itself. We won’t bend over there either." Dobrindt said that the Union expects the SPD to remain able to work in its personnel identification phase and to continue projects with the CDU and CSU. "There will be no discount on SPD projects."

Berlin (dpa) – Union and SPD do not leave the coal miners alone – that should be the message of the coalition. It is a conscious signal that four days before the important elections in the East, the Federal Cabinet is launching billions in aid for the coal regions.

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But this is far from creating new jobs. And the structural aid is linked to another law. Germany is to gradually phase out the climate-damaging power generation from coal by 2038. So it was decided by a government commission made up of business representatives, trade unionists and environmentalists at the end of January. Actually, it wouldn’t have ended until the late 1940s. For structural change, the report provided aid of 40 billion euros until 2038.

The government had announced that it would implement the concept. Environmental and business associations, but also the heads of government of the coal states of Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and North Rhine-Westphalia have repeatedly criticized the government for taking too much time. In Saxony and Brandenburg, a new state parliament will be elected on Sunday. According to surveys, the SPD and Union must expect losses, while the AfD is likely to record growth.

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The cabinet has now decided to draft a structural strengthening law for the coal regions. On the one hand, this involves direct federal financial aid "for particularly significant investments" of the coal states and their communities of up to 14 billion euros. The money should flow in stages from 2020. It is to be used to improve local conditions for the economy or to accelerate the expansion of the fast Internet. In addition, it is about better urban and regional development and measures for the renaturation of former open-cast mining areas. As stipulated by law, the federal states make a contribution. The federal government reviews the use of funds at regular intervals.

The second big chunk are measures that are the responsibility of the federal government – for example, new railway lines or roads and the establishment of new research institutes. With these funds, the federal government wants to achieve a financial volume of 26 billion euros by 2038 at the latest "orientate"as it says in the draft. Overall, the federal government wants to take a sum of 40 billion euros into hand for long-term structural change.

There is also an immediate program of up to 240 million euros, which should enable the first projects to be launched quickly. The federal states had already registered many projects.

The federal government itself also wants to create up to 5,000 jobs in authorities and other own institutions in the regions by 2028. The Bundestag still has to approve the law.

The financial aid for the states should be distributed according to a key: 37 percent go to NRW, 25.8 percent to Brandenburg, 25.2 percent to Saxony and 12 percent to Saxony-Anhalt. In addition, the distribution of 1.09 billion euros to structurally weak locations of hard coal power plants in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland, as well as to the former lignite mining district of Helmstedt in Lower Saxony.

The law on structural aid is to come into force once the law on the concrete withdrawal from coal has been promulgated. The draft for the exit law should be available in the next few weeks and the law will then be passed by the end of the year. It is intended to show a specific way of showing when and where exactly power plants and opencast mines will be shut down.

Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) said of the structural law that the federal government is keeping its word with the plans. The state does not leave people alone. "We want to maintain and expand jobs, sustainably secure the quality of life of the people living in the regions and at the same time make an important contribution to climate protection by phasing out coal-fired electricity."

The acting SPD chairman Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel said: "With the Structural Strengthening Act, we are investing in the future of people in two ways: First, the exit from coal is an important building block for a climate-friendly energy transition. Second, we provide prospects for the people who will be directly affected by the coal phase-out long before the coal phase-out." This is extremely important for people in Lusatia in particular.

In order to create planning security for the federal states, administrative agreements are planned with the federal government. These are binding agreements, said a spokeswoman Altmaiers. The federal states concerned, on the other hand, are demanding a state treaty with the federal government. The concern: future federal governments may no longer feel bound by commitments.

Country leaders nevertheless welcomed the bill. Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke (SPD) said: "I think this is a very, very important step forward."

On the other hand, criticism came from environmental associations and from the opposition in the Bundestag. Greenpeace CEO Martin Kaiser said the government was providing one "Blank check" with billions of taxpayers’ money – without making it clear when, where and how coal-fired power plants would be switched off. "The link with climate protection goals is imperative, everything else is irresponsible"said Kaiser. Green leader Annalena Baerbock said: "Instead of finally initiating the coal phase-out and making the coal regions the focus of the expansion of renewable energies, the federal government distributes money a few days before the state elections without any sense or reason."

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