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Dear Readers,

Five years ago, we looked toward France with great expectations. The Paris Agreement was supposed to be a landmark in the multilateral climate negotiations with its goal to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees. The last five years have shown that there is a wide gap between the goals and the reality when it comes to implementation. That, although committed young people have been begging us since 1982 in heartbreaking performances that we should finally take care of their future.
The recent study by Fridays for Future and the Wuppertal Institute shows that the goals could be accomplished much faster. More ambitious targets for a climate-neutral energy supply and carbon neutrality are already possible by 2035. According to the study, "the current climate goals of the German government (...) are not in line" with the commitments of the Paris Agreement.
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Quote from the study: "German emissions would therefore have to decrease dramatically, especially in the next five years, and particularly in the next legislative period. Meeting the 1.5°C budget requires CO2 reduction targets of at least -60 percent by 2025 and at least -85 percent by 2030."
Which steps are now urgently needed? The goals for the expansion of renewable energies between 2020 and 2035 must be tripled and accelerated - especially for wind energy. In addition, the coal phase-out must take place much earlier than planned in the German "coal phase-out law". New industrial facilities must be operated in a climate-neutral manner, the energetic renovation of buildings has to be increased massively and we need a real mobility transition - to name just a few measurements. Otherwise, the remaining CO2 budget of Germany until 2050 will be used up already by 2030-2035.

Corona shows what could be possible

Interestingly, the drastic measurements on the covid crisis show what is feasible in a short time. However, a recent study also shows that the Federal Republic is only meeting its climate targets for 2020 due to pandemic measures and the government is only mediocrity when it comes to climate protection. On this performance scale published by Germanwatch e.V., the first three places remain vacant because no country is treating the climate pandemic with the necessary seriousness - except perhaps Bhutan.
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Germany needs to improve. The question is not: “Can we make it?” but rather: “We have to make it“- otherwise we destroy the earth. To achieve this, we need radical changes, such as a CO2 price of €180 per ton, which is also demanded by climate science. In progressive Sweden, the price is already at €115 per ton.

Increased efforts are also needed globally. Thank god, one of the biggest climate deniers was voted out of office in November. Now we hope that Joe Biden's announcements of an "eco-boom" in the U.S. will come true, such as climate-neutral energy procurement by 2035. Critical voices remain, even if the nomination of John Kerry as Envoy for Climate Change gives confidence.

Pushing forward the energy transition

All the more reason for us to do what is within our sphere of influence and to demand this strongly from our politicians. Solar and wind power should not be capped. The pointless and arbitrary 10-h-distance-regulation must be abolished, otherwise it excludes most areas in Bavaria from the use of wind power. Wind power projects on a cooperative and decentralized basis enable everyone to own and participate in electricity production. To give an example: the wind power plant in Berg at Lake Starnberg generates a significantly higher return on invest than the 5.5% originally forecast for investors.

The construction of the plant was loudly opposed. The responsible persons for the project were denigrated on insulting posters by opponents of wind power, with words like: "A few stupid investors will surely be found". Likewise, a financial disaster was predicted because of poor wind yield. But the opposite is the case: last year the plant had already produced half of the predicted annual yield in March. In addition, local residents and citizens could become electricity producers from an investment sum of 1,000 euros. The money is clearly better invested there than in the bank. As in Berg, there are many examples that ecology and economy are by no means contradictory.
Unfortunately, the reality is different: the largest European coal companies, such as RWE and Uniper, among others, continue to receive billions from banks and investors.
This follows from the new study "Fool's Gold - The financial institutions risking our renewable energy future with coal" by the European NGO alliance ‘Europe Beyond Coal’. urgewald e.V. and eleven other European and international non-governmental organizations rightly denounce here the responsibility of financial investors to stop supporting such companies.

This becomes even more obvious by the following figure: if all companies were to operate in the same way as RWE, the temperature on earth would rise up to 13.8 degrees, which would certainly be the end of mankind. Why is such a company still allowed to operate legally on the market? You are not allowed to sell toxic food at the weekly market as well.

Isn’t it crazy that Unicredit, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and others are still making money from climate destruction? The fantastic NGO ‘urgewald’ exposes such abuses and makes them known to the public. That is why we fund them for this important commitment. Maybe you will join us and support the work of urgewald e.V. as well?

Scandal in Munich

How successful a determined and emphatic action can be, is shown by our engagement in Munich. We protested massively against the Stadtwerke München's investments in oil and gas at the Artic Circle. Markus Raschke from Protect the Planet and his fellow campaigners from Raus-aus-der-Steinkohle, Extinction Rebellion, Fossilfree and the Fridays For Future movement, used creative actions to draw attention to the responsibility of the City of Munich. Together with its subsidiary Spirit Energy they plan to continue oil drilling near the nature reserve Bear Island. Oil drilling on behalf of the City Council must be stopped - so please sign this petition! Shortly before the release of this newsletter, I heard that the city government is now partially giving in as a result of the protests.
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With expertise, experience and persistence, you get there faster. Following this guideline, Protect the Planet was able to recruit Dr. Martin Köppel as its new managing director. Since October, he has working with us enthusiastically on climate issues, species conservation and environmental protection.
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Time is running out

We only have 10 years left to set the course for a world that lives with the resources that are available – inspired by indigenous people.
The good news: there are fascinating solutions that we can participate in and help to regenerate our earth. What can be more satisfying than making a relevant contribution, so that our children have a future worth living? At the same time, we can experience the power and warm-heartedness of people who are fighting as a community for our planet.

With this in mind, I wish you and your loved ones a
Merry Christmas and a healthy new year 2021!

Yours sincerely
Dorothea Sick-Thies and the Protect the Planet team
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