Germany

My coal childhood - lessons for Australia from Germany's mine pit lakes

Anica Niepraschk
| 2nd August 2017
How do you solve the problem of ‘retired' mine pits aka huge abandoned holes in the ground? Turning them into lakes is a popular solution but maybe not the best one says ANICA NIEPRASCK who should know since she grew up in the Lausitz region of Germany in a community surrounded by these massive, dangerous and polluting land holes

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If you think fossil fuel lobbyists belong in UN climate negotiations, maybe you also think Santa smokes Lucky Strikes, and the tobacco industry belongs in the World Health Organisation. Photo: Phil Wolff via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Bonn climate talks' glacial progress shows why we must kick fossil fuels out!

Pascoe Sabido
Corporate Europe Observatory
| 25th May 2017
The participation of the fossil fuel industry in UN climate talks represents clear a conflict of interest, writes Pascoe Sabido. And nowhere has this been more apparent than at this month's UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, where fossil fuel representatives have slowed progress to a snail's pace. With just six months to go before November's COP23 negotiations, it's time to defy the US, EU and Australia, and kick fossil fuel lobbyists out!

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Photo: takomabibelot via Flickr (Public Domain).

Trump's multi-trillion dollar fraud on America: 'public-private' infrastructure partnerships

Pete Dolack
Systemic Disorder
| 23rd February 2017
Donald Trump's scheme to rebuild US infrastructure could be among the world's greatest ever financial heists, writes Pete Dolack. He has chosen the most expensive, anti-democratic way to do the job, through the mass privatization of priceless public assets - sticking users and taxpayers for exorbitant charges for decades to come, while banks and speculators reap the profits.

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'Some day, son, all this (nuclear waste) will be yours!' Cartoon: Katauskes via Greens MPs on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Why worry about nuclear waste? What has the future ever done for us?

Andrew Blowers
| 16th November 2016
The long term problems of what to do with nuclear waste remain entirely unsolved, writes Andrew Blowers. Yet governments and the nuclear industry continue to peddle their untenable 'bury and forget' policy of deep geological disposal, which only unloads the toxic legacy of modern day nuclear power and weapons onto uncountable future generations.

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Abandoned, and going nowhere: Japan's the Monju 'fast' nuclear reactor. Photo: Nuclear Fuel and Power Reactor Development Corporation (PNC) / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Japan abandons Monju fast reactor: the slow death of a nuclear dream

Dr Jim Green
| 6th October 2016
'Fast breeder' reactors are promoted by nuclear enthusiasts as the clean, green energy technology of the future, writes Jim Green. But all the evidence tells us they are a catastrophic failure: complex, expensive, unreliable and accident-prone. Is Japan's decision to abandon its Monju reactor the latest nail in the coffin of a dead technology? Or the final stake through its rotten heart?

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You think English badgers have it tough? Try France! Dead badger found on the Col de Planchamp, Haute Savoie, France. Photo: lechoucas via camptocamp.org (CC BY-SA).

The Eurobadger coalition - fighting for badgers Europe-wide

Lesley Docksey
| 10th June 2016
Badgers are having a rough time in England, writes Lesley Docksey. But it's no better in most other European countries, where they enjoy no specific protection and digging, baiting and shooting are widespread. Hence the new Eurobadger coalition formed to campaign for them Europe-wide. The one shining example is Holland - TB-free since 1999 without killing a single badger!

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In Germany, it's not just flashmob protestors opposing TTIP. The German Judges Association is in on the act now too. Photo: campact vius Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

'No legal basis' for TTIP corporate courts, say German judges

Nick Dearden
| 3rd February 2016
Germany's association of judges and magistrates has condemned the EU's plan to create a special court for investors and corporations to sue national governments, writes Nick Dearden. The proposed new court would: have no legal basis; supplant the sovereignty of member states; and usurp the role of national courts. The chances of TTIP and CETA ever being agreed just took a big step back.

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Saudi Arabia being awarded the 'fossil of the day' prize at COP21 last Thursday (Day 5) for trying to obstruct the goal to limit warming to 1.5C. Today, it looks like they lost. Photo: Takver via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Victory: COP21 sets 1.5C 'long term temperature goal'

Kyla Mandel
Brendan Montague
Oliver Tickell
| 5th December 2015
The latest text of the Paris Agreement on climate change published today sets 1.5C as its 'long term temperature goal', half a degree lower than previously agreed. It's a big victory for poor 'climate vulnerable' countries - and a blow for Saudi Arabia.

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Xioa Yan Kou Farm, China. Photo: Danish Wind Industry Association / Vindmølleindustrien via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

From China to Europe, nuclear is losing the energy race to renewables

Paul Dorfman
| 10th November 2015
The UK-China plan for new nuclear build in England defy the evolving reality of 21st century power networks, writes Paul Dorfman. In China itself, the nuclear dream is hitting construction problems and delays, while wind and solar blossom at ever falling cost. But the phenomenon is global. Despite some governments' nuclear obduracy, renewables are winning the race hands down.

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Wind turbines along a mountain ridge in Galicia, Spain. Photo: Luis Alves via Flickr (CC BY).

The archaic nature of 'baseload' power

Michael Mariotte
| 7th September 2015
Nuclear power advocates cling like limpets to the idea of 'baseload' power, writes Michael Mariotte. No surprise there - it's the only selling point they've got. It's just too bad the idea is obsolete. Variable renewables combined with stronger grids, energy storage and responsive demand can do a better job for less money. No wonder the shills are getting desperate.

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Do wild boar eat in the woods? Photo:  bzd1 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Warmer winters boost Europe's wild boar

Paul Brown
| 23rd August 2015
Increasingly mild winters have caused an abundance of acorns and beech nuts in Europe's woodlands, writes Paul Brown, triggering a wild boar population explosion - just one of the effects of warming climate on wildlife populations.

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The real battle is only just beginning. Riot police in Syntagma late in the night after large demonstration of 'Indignados', in Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, 29th June 2011. Photo: Ggia via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Greece - the real fight is only just beginning

Oliver Tickell
| 14th July 2015
Supporters of Greece's fight for sovereignty are unanimous in blaming the evil troika for its humiliating defeat, writes Oliver Tickell. But the real fault is with Syriza for their needless, shameful surrender. Now, as the real battle begins, we must hold firm with the Greek people against neoliberal occupation.

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If Hinkley C is allowed, then other will follow in Poland, Czech, Hungary and UK. The Dukovany nuclear complex, Vysocina Region, Czech Republic. Photo: Zruda via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Austria files Hinkley Point C legal challenge in European Court

Oliver Tickell
| 6th July 2015
Austria today filed its legal challenge to the UK's €108 billion support package for the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, writes Oliver Tickell. A second such challenge at the European Court is due from green energy suppliers in Germany and Austria who fear unfair competition from subsidised nuclear power in Poland, Czech and Hungary if the Hinkley C precedent stands.

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The massive 5-reactor Hamaoka nuclear site, 200km SW of Tokyo, is built directly over the subduction zone near the junction of two tectonic plates. It was closed in 2011 to avoid a second Fukushima scale disaster. Photo: Cesar Ogasawara via Flickr (CC BY-

To stop using fossil fuels any time soon, Japan must follow Germany's lead

Peter Matanle
University of Sheffield
| 15th June 2015
Japan and Germany have much in common: both are major industrial countries that have gone nuclear-free, writes Peter Matanle - Germany by choice, Japan by necessity. But while Germany is actively pursuing its renewable energy revolution, or Energiewende, Japan, possessed of the richest renewable energy resources in East Asia, is stuck in a fossil fuel pit.

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Friends of the Earth supporters protesting at the UNFCCC climate talks in Bonn today, denouncing the lack of progress. Photo: Friends of the Earth Europe via Flickr (All rights reserved).

Germany takes the heat as climate talks close with no progress

Oliver Tickell
| 11th June 2015
UN climate talks in Bonn ended today without the progress needed to secure agreement at the Paris COP in December - shortly after the G7 issued aspirational climate promises devoid of action, and heedless of warnings that Germany is already suffering the impacts of climate change.

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Nuclear fail: Entergy's 'Vermont Yankee' nuclear plant shut last year because it was running at a loss even with all its capital costs sunk. It now faces a $1.24 billion decommission - of which only $670 million is funded.

Running in reverse: the world's 'nuclear power renaissance'

Dr Jim Green
| 29th January 2015
The global rebirth of nuclear power was meant to be well under way by now, writes Jim Green. But in fact, nuclear's share of world power generation is on a steady long term decline, and new reactors are getting ever harder to build, and finance. The only real growth area is decommissioning, but that too has a problem: where's the money to pay for it?

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