Kategorie für Blog: News Blog Europe (without DE)

25% of Europe's greenhouse gases come from buildings - scientists call for policy change

To live up to its climate change pledge under the Paris Agreement, the European Union must ensure that all 250 million existing buildings, as well as all new buildings in the EU, produce near-zero greenhouse gas emissions. In a new report, European national academies of science, through their association EASAC, call for far-reaching policy action. "Policies have long focused on creating energy-efficient buildings that require less heating and air conditioning or generate renewable energy on site. However, the energy used to operate buildings is only part of the story. We need to broaden the scope and look at emissions from building materials and methods - both for new buildings and for building refurbishment," says William Gillett, Director of EASAC's Energy Programme.

After decision in Spain and WHO demand: German Environmental Aid demands 30 km/h speed limit in built-up areas by 2021

  • Other countries are leading the way: Spain adopts 30 km/h speed limit in cities; French cities with 30 km/h speed limit have 70 percent fewer fatal accidents
  • Federal government fails "Vision Zero" and ignores 30 km/h as an immediate measure in key points paper for new road safety programme
  • Current United Nations Road Safety Week identifies reduction of speed limit to 30 km/h in built-up areas as key measure to protect lives

Jan Kamensky animation for the @platzfuerwien initiative

Animation from Jan Kamensky (2020)

The animation was created for the Viennese initiative @platzfuerwien to support them in their commitment to an environmentally friendly and people-friendly city.

Link: www.platzfuer.wien

More animations of other cities by Jan Kamensky, Hamburg:

Arte film clip (26 min., 2017) about Sweden's EcoCity Malmö

26 min, Available from 31/12/2020 to 07/03/2021, Film from 2017.

"New large-scale construction projects and ecological innovations ensured that Malmö today has become a prime example of the direct transition from industrial metropolis to sustainable Eco City. The secret recipe: the city relied not only on innovative technologies, but above all on the active participation of citizens in the change."

DGNB study: No additional costs for sustainable construction

A new study from Denmark takes a look at the costs of sustainable building construction and shows that more sustainable does not automatically mean more expensive. On the contrary. The study by Buus Consult on behalf of the DGNB system partner from Denmark, the Green Building Council Denmark, now provides clarity. In the study, it takes a close look at 37 DGNB-certified buildings.

EU climate targets: 55% less greenhouse gases instead of 40% so far

The EU today agreed on stricter climate targets. Accordingly, greenhouse gases are now to be reduced by at least 55 percent below the 1990 level by 2030. Previously, the target was 40% for the same period. For the first time, the EU calculations also include the greenhouse gases stored in forests and other "sinks".

Hydrogen strategy: EU must end subsidies for fossil fuels

Hydrogen is an important alternative for sectors stuck in the fossil fuel economy. As national governments and European parliamentarians negotiate the EU's hydrogen strategy, EASAC issues a new commentary. "Hydrogen can help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels," says William Gillett, director of EASAC's energy programme. "But the climate benefits are limited if we use fossil fuels to produce it - even with carbon capture and storage. The EU must put an end to fossil fuel subsidies. The fast-growing demand for hydrogen must be met by a massive increase in renewable electricity generation, along with certified imports from third countries."

Climate change: Aquatic ecosystem research societies from around the world call for immediate action

"The world's water resources are currently facing the greatest threat in the history of mankind," write aquatic ecologists in their recently published statement paper. More than one hundred professional societies of aquatic ecosystem research around the globe have signed the joint statement. In it, the researchers show the dramatic effects that climate change is having on aquatic ecosystems worldwide. They call for immediate concerted action by politics, business, science and society to halt the progress of climate change.

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New climate target: EU Commission proposes 55 percent reduction in emissions by 2030

As stated by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union address announced, the European Commission today (Thursday) proposed that EU greenhouse gas emissions should fall by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The previous target was 40 percent. The new target is based on a comprehensive impact assessment of the social, economic and environmental consequences. This shows that 55 percent less emissions is realistic and feasible. The new climate target will help support Europe's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. It also demonstrates the EU's global leadership in the run-up to the next UN climate conference (COP26).

European Green Deal and German Council Presidency: Climate neutrality can only be achieved with ambitious climate targets

CO2-Emissions should be reduced by 65 percent over the next ten years compared to 1990 in order to achieve climate neutrality - Energy system must be converted to 100 percent renewable energies by 2040 - Investment of 3,000 billion euros required to meet European Green Deal and Paris climate targets - German EU Council Presidency can ensure that Corona aid packages link economic stimulus with climate protection

European solar research and industry calls for "Solar Europe Now

Brussels/Fribourg, 5 May 2020 - A new alliance, "Solar Europe Now", officially launched on 5 May, calls for the recognition of solar energy as a key technology for the objectives of the European Green Deal. The new alliance, which currently includes more than 90 stakeholders from across the European solar value chain, is concerned that the current presentation of the Green Deal does not take enough account of the photovoltaic sector.

Plus-energy and zero-emission house "ZebLab" in Trondheim

Length 1 min.
Time-lapse of the construction of the ZEB Lab in Trondheim (Norway) until April 2020

Completion: May 2020

ZEB laboratory
Address: Att. SINTEF Community
Høyskoleringen 7B, 7034 Trondheim, NORWAY

Project: https://zeblab.no/
Photos: https://zeblab.no/photos

Vienna introduces compulsory solar systems for new residential buildings

In Vienna, as a rule, no residential building may be erected without a solar system in the future. This is stipulated in an amendment to the building code, which is currently being evaluated, the red-green city government informed on Monday. Currently, such a photovoltaic obligation applies only to industrial buildings.

Number of electric cars increases worldwide from 5.6 to 7.9 million

More new registrations, growth rate weakened / German manufacturers in 5th and 6th place

In 2019, the number of electric cars worldwide rose to around 7.9 million - an increase of 2.3 million compared to the previous year. The number of new registrations once again reached an all-time high, but grew only slightly compared to 2018. With a total of 3.8 million e-cars, China remains the undisputed global leader. It is followed by the USA with just under 1.5 million. The growth rate of new registrations declined in these two countries in particular. In Germany, on the other hand, the market continued to develop positively, albeit at a lower level: here, just under 231,000 electric vehicles were rolling along the roads at the end of 2019. The new figures come from a recent survey by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). According to the researchers, Tesla recorded the most new registrations worldwide in 2019, with 361,000. German manufacturers continued to improve on the previous year: BMW is in fifth place worldwide with 114,500 electric cars. VW reaches sixth place.

France focuses on timber construction and eco-neighborhoods

From 2022, all new public buildings must consist of at least 50 percent wood or other sustainable building material. For buildings with more than eight storeys, the supporting structure must even be made entirely of wood.

It was also decided that 90 ecological neighbourhoods and 100 urban farms should be created in Paris.

Video (2018) about the new development "Merwede" in Utrecht (NL)

Newly built districts with space-efficient mobility offers

2:14 min - 10/4/2018

On the west side of the Merwedekanal, a new sustainable urban quarter is being built in a central location not far from Utrecht Central Station. An urban development plan for the redevelopment of an industrial area along the canal was drawn up by the municipality of Utrecht together with ten landowners. The plan envisages a mixed district with 17 blocks. Here, 6,000 to 9,000 apartments are to be built for approximately 12,000 residents. The area is to become a showcase for healthy and sustainable living with innovative concepts for recycling, energy production, climate adaptation and mobility solutions. Size: 60 ha. Planned completion: by 2024
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BIG sets new standard for sustainable real estate development

Since 1 January 2020, all new buildings and general renovations of the BIG Group have been subject to the Group-wide mandatory minimum sustainable standard.

The BIG minimum standard goes beyond the legal requirements and ensures that all projects of BIG and its subsidiary ARE achieve the klimaaktiv SILVER standard in any case.
The sustainable minimum standard of the Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG) is a catalogue of criteria that must already be taken into account in the planning process of buildings. This makes the implementation of 43 measures of the BIG Holistic Building Program (HBP)* and the achievement of at least 750 klimaaktiv points mandatory for all new construction and general refurbishment projects for which a plan invention procedure will be carried out from 2020.
By implementing the minimum standard, CO2 emission levels will be significantly reduced, climate-damaging building materials will be avoided and the phase-out of fossil fuels will be accelerated.

Vorarlberg has included the "Holz von Hier" label in the new subsidy guidelines for residential buildings

Recently, the Austrian state of Vorarlberg published the subsidy guidelines for 2020 and 2021 for residential renovation and new construction in the private and public sectors. The climate-friendly procurement of wood and wood products from the region is anchored in these guidelines. The origin of the wood must be proven by means of the "Holz von Hier" label recently introduced in Austria or comparable certificates.

Buildings with wood as a construction material can become a global CO2 sink

27.01.2020 A material revolution that replaces cement and steel with wood in urban construction can have double benefits for climate stabilization. This is now shown in a study by an international team of scientists. First, it can avoid greenhouse gas emissions from cement and steel production. Secondly, it can turn buildings into carbon sinks, since in the construction timber the CO2 is stored. Although the required amount of wood is theoretically available, such an expansion would require very careful sustainable forest management, the authors emphasize.

Shutdown of five nuclear reactors in Europe

Shortly after the shutdown of the Swiss old reactor Mühleberg it goes Philippsburg 2 nuclear power plant from the grid on 31.12.2019 as planned. This will be followed in a few months by Fessenheim the two oldest reactors in France. In addition, at the end of the year in Sweden, the 45-year-old "Ring neck 2" from the grid. Shutting down nuclear reactors significantly reduces the risk of accidents and avoids masses of radiating nuclear waste and its transport in Castor containers.

Interview with Rob Hopkins on Arte

Rob Hopkins has been developing a method for preparing our societies for the coming upheavals for almost fifteen years.

Video: 5 min, available from Dec. 6, 2019 to Dec. 8, 2021.

European Environment Agency State of the Environment 2020 Report

While European environmental and climate policies have helped to improve the state of the environment in recent decades, progress has been insufficient and the outlook for the environment over the next decade is bleak, according to the report "The Environment in Europe - State and Outlook 2020en (SOER 2020)" is not positive.

The SOER 2020 is the most comprehensive environmental assessment ever undertaken for Europe. It provides an unsparing snapshot of Europe's position with regard to achieving the 2020 and 2030 policy targets, as well as the longer-term 2050 targets and ambitions for a shift towards a sustainable, low-carbon future. The report points out that Europe has already made significant progress in mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the past two decades. There are also signs of progress in other areas. Examples include tackling air and water pollution, new strategies to tackle plastic waste, progress on adaptation to climate change and in the areas of circular economy and bioeconomy. In addition, the EU Sustainable Finance Initiative addresses for the first time the role of the financial sector in the necessary transformation towards a sustainable future.

EU to trigger €4 trillion in climate change investment

1 trillion to be invested by the EU

According to the head of the EIB (European Investment Bank), Werner Hoyer, it is realistic to invest one trillion euros for climate protection within 10 years. In an interview with Der Spiegel, Hoyer said: "If we want to achieve our climate protection goals, we're no longer talking about billions, but trillions of euros" and "We can handle that." EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had named the climate protection target when she took office. Hoyer assumes that 1 trillion euro EU climate protection measures will trigger investments totalling 4 trillion euro.

European Investment Bank sends important signal by phasing out financing of fossil energy projects

The development and environmental organisation Germanwatch welcomes the adoption of the European Investment Bank's new energy directive as an "important signal for the entire financial market". It stipulates the phase-out of the financing of fossil energy projects by the end of 2021. The phase-out was also successful thanks to a common line taken in the end by the previously quarrelling federal ministries.

EU bank: ambitious climate strategy

and new energy financing policy No new financing for fossil fuel projects after 2021 Financing to drive future clean energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy innovation EIB Group to mobilise €1 trillion of investment in climate action and environmental sustainability by 2030 All EIB Group financing activities will be geared towards the 2020 [...]

ZDF portrait of the new Viennese district "Seestadt Aspern

Plan b broadcast, Seestadt Aspern from minute 15:30. video available until 1.6.2020:
No longer online; original link:
To the documentary website

The series plan b uses the example of the Urban Lakeside Aspern in Vienna to explain what a "circular economy" can look like in concrete terms. The Urban Lakeside is one of the largest urban development areas in Europe. By 2028, high-quality housing for more than 20,000 people and almost as many jobs will be built in several stages in the northeast of Vienna in the 22nd district. A sustainable urban district is to be created.

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7th call for tenders for Plus-Energy-Quarters

The call for proposals "City of the Future - Towards Plus-Energy Quarters" builds on previous experiences from the research programme specific focal points and R&D services. All stakeholders who are involved in research and development issues related to buildings, neighbourhoods and cities and who want to meet the new challenges of digitalisation in the building sector, the realisation of plus-energy neighbourhoods and the development of innovative urban greening technologies are eligible to submit proposals.

Within the framework of "City of the Future", around € 8.3 million are available for the 7th tender. The tender runs until 30.01.2020.

IEA: Massive growth in photovoltaics expected

The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects a boom in photovoltaics over the next five years. Worldwide, installed solar power capacity is expected to grow by 720 gigawatts (GW). www.solarserver.de/...iea-erwartet-massives-wachstum-der-photovoltaik/

Europe: independent with solar power

According to a new study by EU scientists, one percent of the EU's surface area is enough to cover the community's entire electricity needs with solar power. https://www.solarserver.de/solar-magazin/nachrichten/aktuelles/2019/kw40/europa-unabhaengig-mit-solarstrom.html

Austria: PV emergency package adopted

The Austrian parliament has implemented an emergency package to promote photovoltaics. Starting in 2020, an annual budget of 36 million euros will be available for investment subsidies for photovoltaic systems and electricity storage. https://www.solarserver.de/solar-magazin/nachrichten/aktuelles/2019/kw39/oesterreich-pv-notpaket-beschlossen.html