Recent Publications  

UFZ-Newsletter

Here you can find the latest UFZ-Newsletter contributions and points of view.

Gawel, Erik: Human Right to Water
UFZ Point of View, December 2011. 

Read on in German

Gawel, Erik: Quo Vadis Biofuel?
Discussion, in: UFZ Newsletter, August 2011, pg. 1-4.

In the public discourse uncertainty prevails on the topic of biofuels and E10. Which goals do we want to set? Can these goals improve the security of the energy supply? Do they really contribute to protecting the climate? Is E10 a suitable measure? Three UFZ experts discuss these aspects scientifically from an economic, ecological and engineering point of view – and do not always share the same opinion. 

Read on in German

Gawel, Erik: Keeping and Enhancing Waste Water Charges and Water Extraction Charges!
Point of View, in: UFZ Special "Water", June 2011, pg. 25.

Water is needed for so many different purposes such as growing crops, for industrial production, the energy supply or domestic uses. Water consumption by humans thereby intervenes with the natural water regime and excludes alternative uses – water consumption is therefore at a "cost", i.e. economically-speaking there is a "water scarcity". This scarceness should not be confused with the term "water shortage". There is certainly no "shortage" of bread or mobile phones, although these goods can be considered to be economically scarce, which justifies the fact that a price is charged for them: This price indicates the value of the forfeited alternative possibilities of using the resources processed within these goods. Prices enable an efficient solution to solving scarceness conflicts. This means that those uses will prevail that yield the greatest surplus of economic advantage above the social costs.

Read on in German

Gawel, Erik: Virtual Water: A Concept Reached Deadlock
Point of View, in: UFZ Newsletter, April 2011, pg. 5.

The water consumption of a product or a country or a single human being can be determined these days using "footprint" calculations. So-called "virtual water" thereby refers to the water, which was also used in another part of the world in order to produce goods, which are consumed here. World trade turns out to be trade with virtual water. Is this kind of water trade problematic and should virtual water flows be regulated?  

Read on in German

Gawel, Erik: Emission Certification Trade instead of Financial Support for Renewable Energies?
Point of View, in: UFZ Newsletter, December 2010, pg. 12.

Since the introduction of the emissions trade in the EU in 2005 the Renewable Energy Law has been increasingly under attack. Criticism has not only arisen from politicians and businessmen, but also from renowned economists: With the introduction of the emissions trade, the promotion of renewable energies on the electricity market has become dispensable...

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Thrän, Daniela / Gawel, Erik: Energy and Biodiversity
in: UFZ Experts for Biodiversity, Leipzig: UFZ. December 2010, pg. 29-31.

The global energy requirement will continue to rise considerably in the coming years.  Consequently, the challenge will grow to reduce greenhouse gases to protect not only our climate but also our ecosystems and our finite resources. The transition to an energy supply that is supported by renewable energies is therefore inevitable. While substantial improvements can be expected from renewables in terms of climate protection, new fields of conflict are arising in other areas of nature and environmental protection, as in the case for species conservation...

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Gawel, Erik: Bridge to the Past: Extending the Operation Period of Atomic Power Plants Constrains Economic and Environmental Targets
UFZ Point of View, 9.9.2010.

The decisions made about extending the operating period of atomic power plants have become reality: While faint outlines of the promised and long overdue energy concept can now be seen, with the further use of nuclear power the facts are laid down. The virtue used in favour of extending the operating period is the idea of an "energy bridge"... 

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Gawel, Erik: Bioenergy - White Hope to Climate Protecion?
Point of View, in: UFZ Newsletter, December 2009, pg. 19.

The use of renewable energies from biomass is considered to be a banner of hope. On the one hand it promises a considerable reduction in greenhouse gases from a climate policy perspective. At the same time it opens up additional energy sources, which are urgently needed to satisfy the growing worldwide demand for energy. Furthermore, it reduces the dependency on increasingly scarce fossil fuels and threatening price increases. Traditional agricultural and forestry sectors expect a new boost in demand from bioenergy markets, and the state economic policy has recognised export opportunities from biomass technology and new sources of added value for structurally-weak rural areas. With this background it is hardly surprising that policies over recent years have been geared to a substantial development of using bioenergy...

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Gawel, Erik: CO2-based Motor Vehicle Tax - A Climate Protection Tax?
Point of View, in: UFZ Newsletter, June 2009, pg. 10.

After many years of struggle, from 1 July 2009 the passenger car tax of the German Federal Republic is now also directed at new vehicles regarding CO2-emissions. At the same time the federal government also receives tax sovereignty for this tax and can thus politically influence mineral oil and passenger car tax in the future, without having to consider the interests of the federal states. Does this mean that the passenger car tax will finally become a climate protection tax?

Read on in German

 

 


last update: 05.03.2014 

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