Nikolaus J. Kurmayer

The Green Brief: East-West EU split again over climate

Eastern EU countries are blaming the bloc’s carbon market for rising energy prices. Simply dismissing those calls as populists would be ill-advised as EU leaders meet in Brussels for a two-day summit starting tomorrow.
Health 19-10-2021

Commission’s advertisement team-up with UEFA raises hackles

The launch of the European Commission’s new #EveryTrickCounts campaign seeks to leverage the widespread love of Europe’s favourite sport but has resulted in ridicule and scathing accusations of "greenwashing".
Climate change 18-10-2021

Germany slashes green electricity levy by almost 43%, with abolishment in sight

Germany will lower its infamous renewable electricity surcharge to the lowest point ever in 2022 amid signs that the next government may be preparing to abolish the tax entirely.
Economy & Jobs 15-10-2021

German economic growth significantly lower than expected for 2021

Germany's economic growth forecast for 2021 has been "significantly" reduced by a group of the country's leading economic research institutes in their bi-annual economic projection report, published on Thursday (14 October).
Energy 14-10-2021

Scientists warn against global warming effect of hydrogen leaks

Recent studies suggest that hydrogen could be a contributor to the greenhouse effect when it leaks through infrastructure.
Electricity 13-10-2021

Intellectuals urge Germany to keep nuclear plants online

“Dear Germany, please keep your nuclear reactors online,” 25 leading foreign and domestic writers, journalists, and intellectuals wrote in a joint letter, warning that dropping nuclear power would only increase Germany's carbon emissions.

The Green Brief: In energy crisis, EU plays the long game

The crisis currently gripping global energy markets has exposed the EU’s inability to deal with surging prices in the short term, leaving national governments to fight the fires while Brussels focuses on the long term.
Health 13-10-2021

English football league launches environmental sustainability scheme

The English football league (EFL) announced Monday (11 October) that it would join forces with the environmental accreditation scheme GreenCode to make the second-highest league in England more sustainable.
Elections 12-10-2021

The Brief, powered by APPLiA — Markus Söder: the enemy within

On 27 September, the German social democrat SPD gave bouquets of flowers to the party’s election-winning candidates: Olaf Scholz for winning across Germany, Franziska Giffey for winning Berlin, and Manuela Schwesig for winning Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Germany’s SPD pushes for inclusion of gas in EU green finance taxonomy

The role of gas in the energy transition should be reflected in the EU’s green finance taxonomy, according to the economy and energy spokesperson of Germany's social democratic SPD party, which is expected to lead the next German government coalition.
Politics 11-10-2021

German far-right: Spats and election losses as AfD veers to the right

Germany’s prominent AfD party had gained big in 2017, prompting fears of a new far-right wave in Europe. Following the disappointing result at the 26 September elections, the party has lost much of its splendor.

Spanish energy tax threatens EU’s green hydrogen plans, industry warns

As energy prices soar across Europe, the chairman of electricity giant Iberdrola warned of short-sighted measures in Spain that are threatening the expansion of renewable electricity needed for the production of green hydrogen.

The Green Brief: Fossil fuel subsidies are back (and they’re here to stay)

With the ongoing surge in energy prices, EU governments have scrambled to implement emergency measures to protect vulnerable consumers. Yet in doing so, they’re indirectly subsidising fossil fuels and undermining the green transition just weeks before the UN climate summit opens in Glasgow.
Energy 01-10-2021

The lesser-known hydrogen roadblock: safety concerns

The high flammability of hydrogen – a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas – has prompted EU lawmakers to ensure that potential safety issues do not stymie the market uptake of this rather novel energy carrier.
Health 28-09-2021

German Bundesliga aims to introduce sustainability criteria for clubs

German football league association DFL aims to anchor sustainability in its licensing criteria by 2024. The 36 first and second class clubs are to take a vote in December whether the recommendations by the task-force “Future of Professional Football” should be included.

EU’s environment policy cards reshuffled after German elections

As Europe wakes up from Germany's election night, one thing appears clear: both the Greens and the liberal FDP are in a strong position to enter the next government. How will this affect Germany's position on EU environmental matters?
Elections 23-09-2021

German Chancellor Merkel to stick around for a while after polls

As Angela Merkel said goodbye to her Stralsund constituency of 30 years on 21 September and visited Paris one last time as chancellor on 16 September, one might get the wrong impression that she is not long for the international stage.

The Green Brief: Good morning Brussels! Can we have your points please?

In many ways life in the European Parliament is very similar to Eurovision. There are lots of languages, a fanfare of cultures and an obscure points system that no one understands, but just sort of accepts. Here's how those points will impact the FIt for 55 package.
Elections 22-09-2021

Germany’s youth disgruntled with election system dominated by seniors

Germany heads to the polls on Sunday (26 September) with a majority of voters aged above 50, while many teenagers under the legal voting age of 18 feel disgruntled for not being allowed to vote in an election they consider pivotal.
Elections 20-09-2021

Legal battle over German election polling enters round two

With just days until polling day for the German federal elections, one of the biggest opinion polling firms, forsa, is locked in a legal battle with the German federal election authority. 
Climate change 20-09-2021

Forest policy splits Nordic lawmakers in the European Parliament

Leading lawmakers from the Socialist and the Greens group in the European Parliament held contrasting views on forest policy during a EURACTIV event earlier this month.
Elections 17-09-2021

Armin Laschet: Merkel’s heir apparent?

Angela Merkel has governed Germany for 16 years and proven a reliable ally both in Europe and for the world. Will her party colleague hoping to succeed her follow in her footsteps or diverge from her path in order to forge his own legacy?
Economy & Jobs 15-09-2021

Germany’s stance on workers’ representation set for major change

As the German elections near, the EU is simultaneously gearing up for the fight over the revision of the dated Works Council Directive. Germany has always been a pioneer of worker’s co-determination, where will its next government stand?

The Green Brief: Merkel’s climate ‘realpolitik’ legacy

When she came to power, Angela Merkel was quickly dubbed the “climate chancellor” after she prioritised global warming during Germany’s G8 and EU presidency in 2007. Sixteen years later, her questionable track record speaks more of climate realpolitik instead.