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English version of ˮDunkle Wolken über der Braunkohleˮ

May 28, 2015
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The German government is sticking to its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from the 1990 level by 2020. As it currently seems doubtful that the target will be achieved, Minister of Economics Sigmar Gabriel suggests introducing an additional climate contribution for older electricity power plants with particularly high CO2-emissions. Especially older lignite-based power plants would be affected by such a measure. And this at a time when many power plants are under pressure anyway due to changes in the investment strategies of a large Scandinavian investor. [more]

More documents contained in "Talking Point"

117 Documents
January 16, 2019
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Berlin found it difficult to adapt to the market economy after Germany’s re-unification. Both parts of the divided city, the eastern and the western, had to cope with fundamental changes – the eastern for obvious reasons, the western because it had benefited from generous subsidies until then. Berlin has therefore been lagging behind the rest of western Germany for decades. By now, however, it is not only catching up with western German metropolitan areas, but even beginning to overtake them. Employment growth in cutting-edge industries suggests that Berlin is truly becoming an innovation hub. And this development serves as an excellent basis for the residential market. While we mainly focus on developments in 2018 in this article, the house price trends are likely to remain in place for some time to come. [more]
January 15, 2019
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Banks in Europe face a more difficult business environment in 2019 than last year. While the macro environment is still decent, momentum is cooling markedly. In addition, prominent political risks loom dangerously. On the operating side, banks are treading water. Their limited cost savings are being fully absorbed by declining revenues, and balance sheets continue to shrink despite a moderate pickup in lending. Profitability and capital levels are both stagnating. Only in a benign economic and political scenario will banks be able to return to growth this year. [more]
December 14, 2018
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4
Ahead of and during the UN Climate Summit at Katowice, the usual warnings were heard, saying that a reduction in global carbon emissions was urgently necessary. However, these political calls are much too vague. Instead, the most inconvenient message remains unsaid: The technologies which are available today and in the foreseeable future will, in all probability, prove insufficient to counteract climate change to the necessary extent and with the necessary speed and, at the same time, allow households to stick to their consumption patterns and continue with the well-established division of labour along international production chains. [more]
November 21, 2018
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Steady growth in air transport is leading to capacity bottlenecks, both in terms of available planes and at individual airports. Capacities will need to be increased, which means that more money must be earmarked for fixed-asset investments as well as labour and operating expenses. Taken together, the growing pains in the aviation sector and the rise in jet fuel prices may prove an overwhelming chal-lenge for some market participants. Air transport growth has also resulted in higher capacity utilisation in related sectors, such as tourism (the “overtourism” phenomenon comes to mind). There are, in fact, discussions about limiting or redirecting visitor flows. [more]
October 23, 2018
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The European banking industry remains in restructuring mode. Most institutions are focused on increasing profitability and returns to shareholders. In contrast to previous periods of rising net income, the key this time is exiting less attractive parts of their business rather than expanding across the board. Hence, most P&L and balance sheet components have declined year-over-year, with one major exception: profits. Capital levels have suffered from new, more conservative accounting rules on loan loss provisions. [more]
August 10, 2018
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The extraordinarily hot and dry summer weather will cause severe crop shortfalls in Germany, according to experts' estimates. Due to the adverse weather conditions, the crop outlook for European neighbouring countries, as well as other large food producers such as the USA or Australia, is quite poor, too. Over the past weeks, wheat prices for delivery in December 2018 were up by just under 20%. [more]
June 13, 2018
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Several aspects of the European data protection regulation GDPR could have far-reaching implications for competition in the EU’s data economy and the competitiveness of the bloc’s tech industry and AI startups. Data protection “made in Europe” could give European companies a competitive edge as users become increasingly privacy-aware. But GDPR could also end up rather strengthening the position of incumbent tech giants and throw the continent further behind the US and China in the emerging race for global AI dominance. If potential negative implications of the regulation for the EU’s data economy materialize, EU lawmakers should not hesitate to make adjustments accordingly. [more]
June 7, 2018
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When reporting on bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrencies these days, the speaker is faced with the question: Shall he discuss the technology or move directly to the presentation of the social and economic implications? Conveying a complex technology in just a few minutes is risky. In Alice's rabbit burrow, the speaker and his audience quickly lose track of each other. But the audience may also be left clueless by the direct presentation of the potentially revolutionary implications. In the face of this dilemma and the complexity of cryptosystems, we will try to shed light on the issue by means of metaphors. We hope you will join us on our journey into the blockchain universe. [more]
May 29, 2018
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12
The third and fourth pipeline strings for Russian gas transports through the Baltic Sea to Greifswald/Germany, which are also known under the term of “Nord Stream 2”, are now under construction, doubling the existing transit capacity of Nord Stream 1. The project continues to be highly controversial, given arguments that it might drive a wedge between the EU countries, the United States’ opposition and the risks it poses to the triangle of energy, environmental and security policies. That – also thanks to Germany’s initiative – Russian gas flows through the Ukraine look set to continue following the expiry of the old contracts in 2019 is a step forward and may foster acceptance of Nord Stream 2. In the face of the recent realignment of global gas trading, this would be in the interest of (nearly all) players. [more]
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