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Air pollution in Paris in December, 2016 as seen from Montmartre. Tangopaso / Wikimedia Commons

Six European Countries Could Face Multi-Million Euro Fines Over Air Pollution

The European Commission confirmed in a statement Thursday that it would pursue legal action against six European countries for exceeding air pollution limits set for 2005 and 2010, Air Quality News reported.

The commission is referring France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Hungary and Romania to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which could fine them millions of euros if they do not act quickly enough to solve the problem, The Guardian reported.

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Mike Mozart / Flickr

Germany to Put 'Massive Restrictions' on Monsanto Weedkiller

German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner announced Tuesday she is drafting regulation to stop use of glyphosate in the country's home gardens, parks and sports facilities, Reuters reported.

The minister also plans to set "massive restrictions" for its use in agriculture, with exemptions for areas that are prone to erosion and cannot be worked with heavy machinery.

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Renewable Energy
Wind turbines and solar panels in Zerbst, Germany. René / Flickr

Germany’s New Coalition Agreement Waffles on Paris Goals

Nearly six months after elections took place, three German parties finally signed an agreement to form a coalition government Monday, Reuters reported.

But while the agreement, between Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union, and the Social Democratic Party, might relieve Germany's political uncertainty, it is less reassuring for the environment, according to some critics.

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Energy

Germany Is a Clean Energy Superpower—And Here’s the Proof

Most people know Germany for things like its popular car manufactures Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, its annual Oktoberfest—fun fact: Germany has 1,300 breweries and 5,000 different brew brands—and all those brilliant composers (Bach, Beethoven and Schumann, anyone?). But did you know the country is also a clean-energy superpower?

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Climate
The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Untertürkheim with the city of Stuttgart behind. Daimler

Germany's Top Court: Cities Can Ban Diesel Cars to Fight Air Pollution

German cities can ban older diesel vehicles from its roads to combat air pollution, the country's highest federal administrative court ruled Tuesday.

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig has allowed the cities of Stuttgart and Duesseldorf to legally ban the most polluting diesel cars from zones worst affected by pollution, paving the way for other cities to issue similar bans.

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Sven Hoffmann / Flickr

Germany Considers Free Public Transport to Fight Air Pollution

In car-obsessed Germany, the government is considering free public transportation in some of its most polluted cities to reduce road traffic and emissions from private vehicles.

"We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars," three ministers wrote in a letter to EU environment commissioner Karmenu Vella in Brussels.

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Renewable Energy
Rooftop solar at Marcus Garvey Village in Brooklyn. Demand Energy

Trump’s Destructive Solar Tariffs: Why Smarter Ways Exist to Foster Innovation and Save Jobs

By Edward Barbier and Terry Iverson

President Donald Trump's decision to impose punitive duties on imported solar panels and related equipment is rankling most of the industry.

This was the final step of a process that began when two U.S. subsidiaries of foreign solar panel makers filed a rarely used kind of trade complaint with the International Trade Commission. Trump largely followed the course of action the independent U.S. agency had recommended to protect domestic manufacturers from unfair competition.

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Potatoes with wind turbines in Tiemannsegge, Lower Saxony, Germany. antje whv / Flickr

Germany Sets New Renewable Energy Record

Germany has broken another renewable energy record, with clean power providing a third of of the country's electricity in 2017.

Preliminary data from the Association of Energy and Water Industries show that renewable electricity generation grew to a record 33 percent this year, up from 29 percent in 2016.

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Renewable Energy
A wind farm in the Hesse state of Germany. Neuwieser / Flickr

German Utilities Pay Customers to Use Electricity Thanks to Renewables Surplus

This past May, Germany's renewable energy mix generated so much power that prices actually went negative for several hours, meaning grid operators were forced to pay customers to use electricity.

This coming Sunday, however, wind generation alone is forecast to hit a new record, according to data crunched by Bloomberg. This means average prices will be negative for Germany electricity customers for a whole day, not just for a few hours.

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