German Of The Day: Klassenbester

That means top of the class.

Nitrates

And that’s what Germany is when it comes to all things green and environmental and renewable and organic and… You get the picture, right? Well, that’s what I thought up until recently, too. Turns out they’re not very good at restricting the use of nitrates, though.

Germany ‘to be fined BILLIONS‘ for breaking EU environmental laws after ECJ ruling – The ECJ ruled that Germany breached a Brussels directive by failing to take enough action to tackle water pollution. The verdict by the EU’s highest court, based in Luxembourg, came after growing concerns about the levels of nitrates in German water. Nitrates are widely used as fertilisers, but the chemical can harm the environment and cause health risks through water pollution.

Der Europäische Gerichtshof in Luxemburg hat Deutschland wegen Verletzung von EU-Recht verurteilt, weil die Bundesregierung zu wenig gegen Nitrate im Grundwasser unternommen hat. Geklagt hatte die EU-Kommission.

A Green Superpower?

Germany?

Coal

Germany is a superpower when it comes to setting ambitious goals. But it’s even better at burning coal.

Germany aims to generate 80% of its power from renewable sources by 2050 with nuclear being fully phased out by 2021. But given the costs associated with renewables and the challenge of replacing nuclear power efficiently, it is not clear that Germany will succeed in either of these goals…

The Germans have increasingly turned to coal as their power generation source of choice, especially U.S. coal. Today coal power plants are responsible for generating nearly half of Germany’s power, and numerous new plants are scheduled to come online in the next few years.

Overall, the increase in coal is likely to create a significant increase in airborne pollution and potentially stoke tension between Germany and its neighbors. But at the same time, if Germany wants to phase out nuclear power, coal is the only realistic option; a fact which some German politicians are starting to admit.