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Dear Colleagues and Friends,
with summer arriving in the northern hemisphere, it is time for our quarterly update. Meanwhile, the world has become a different place. Russia’s war in Ukraine and the EU’s inability to decide on a complete boycott of Russian energy, thus depriving the Russian war machine of funding, shows us in the most brutal way what a disastrous geopolitical situation our fossil dependence has plunged us into. Climate and security policy have never been more closely linked.
At the same time, the latest IPCC report warns more urgently than ever that any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future. It reveales that many impacts of the climate crisis will be more severe than predicted and that there is only a narrow chance left of avoiding its worst ravages. The IPCCs findings are that devastating that António Guterres, the UN secretary general, called the latest report “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership”.
As if that bleakest warning wasn´t enough, the World Meteorological Organization issued a climate update last month stating there is a 50% chance of reaching the 1.5 °C limit of the Paris Agreement no later than 2026 – and the likelihood is increasing with time. The chance of temporarily exceeding 1.5°C has risen steadily since 2015, when it was close to zero. For the years between 2017 and 2021, there was a 10% chance of exceedance. That probability has increased to nearly 50% for the 2022-2026 period.And still global leaders are falling short on cutting climate-warming emissions. There still is a yawning gap between international climate pledges and commitments and collective climate action. On the one hand, climate and energy policy are more present in public discourse than ever before and numerous legislative packages have recently been put together at both the federal and EU level to accelerate the socio-ecological transformation. On the other hand, today’s activities and current policies have the world on track to warm by about 3 °C long before the end of the century. Which means, our focus now must be on accountability. We´re in the delivery phase and we definitely have no more time to lose.
A current example of this political cognitive dissonance is the fuel discount introduced by the German government two weeks ago. While the G7 countries have agreed to end fossil fuel subsidies, the German government is implementing a fossil fuel subsidy in the form of a fuel tax cut, which was supposed to relieve the financial burden on car drivers due to rising energy prices but completely failed in achieving this goal and merely increases the profits of the mineral oil companies instead.
What is becoming clear to us in the face of these mutually fueling global crises is that our work for the energy transition and a zero-emissions world is more important than ever. Only with 100% renewable energies, we will succeed in solving these complex crises of our time in a concerted manner, instead of playing them off against each other.
In this Newsletter you find an overview of what the EWG has accomplished in this second quarter of 2022. Additionally, we present two recent academic publications on uranium and hydropower, that are closely linked to the results of previous EWG studies.
Particularly, this edition covers:
- New publications on wind power, bioenergy, Swiss energy policy and biofuel
- EWG presence at important Energy & Climate Conferences
- Team Update
- Uranium scarcity
- Cost competitiveness of Power-to-Gas-systems
…and much more.
With that, we let you get right to it and wish you a wonderful summer!
Enjoy the reading!
Your EWG Team
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