Backlashes or Bridges? Beverages!

Protesters in the Tuscan village of Certaldo, Italy, have put up this sign to protest against plans to mine CO2. Image: Silvia Giannelli.

Protesters in the Tuscan village of Certaldo, Italy, have put up this sign to protest against plans to mine CO2. Image: Silvia Giannelli.

Have a drink, with natural Tuscan CO2

Did you know that while countries all around the globe struggle to curb their CO2 emissions, some companies actually extract the gas right from the ground? In Italy, the residents of Certaldo, a small Tuscan village are protesting a company that plans to dig into their land to mine CO2. There is a chance that if extracted it might end up in your beverage, as carbon dioxide is what makes our drinks all bubbly and sparkly. CNM’s Silvia Giannelli, Elena Roda and Anja Krieger went to Certaldo to talk to the residents. You can read the whole story on IPS news.

A green village in Germany, to be destroyed for fossiles

This is not the only peculiar story our German-Italian team happened to run across during research. In the east German region of Lusatia, we visited a small village that produces more renewable energy than it consumes. But Proschim, a village with solar panels on farmers’ roofs and wind mills, is to be destroyed for a new lignite mine. For extracting the dirtiest energy there is, the small village would completely vanish – and this despite Germany’s ambitions to be the green leader. But the inhabitants fight – fiercely. We talked to proponents and opponents of the plan. You can read the stories written up by Silvia in English on IPS news, in Italian on La Stampa, and translated into Spanish by Periodistas en Español.

What on earth is a “bridge technology”?

How do Italy and Germany perform based on the EU targets for emission reduction, efficiency and renewable energy – and what drives the two countries? While Germany prides itself for its energy transition, the Energiewende, it still has a much easier path to achieve it, since its economy is still growing. The case of Italy shows that investing in renewables and moving away from fossil fuels becomes much harder during a recession. But even in Germany, dirty energy such as lignite coal is promoted as a “bridge technology”. Proponents argue it is a necessary bridge to renewables, while energy experts told us unanimously that if there is such a bridge, it would definitely not be coal. Read about this and more on our collaborative piece on RTCC.

Farmer Johannes Kapelle has lived in Proschim, Germany, all his live. He produces his own energy with solar panels on the roof of his house and doesn't want to leave his hometown Proschim, Germany, planned to be dismantled for a new openpit coal mine.

Farmer Johannes Kapelle has lived in Proschim, Germany, all his live. He produces his own energy with solar panels on the roof of his house and doesn’t want to leave his hometown, planned to be dismantled for a new openpit coal mine. Picture: Silvia Giannelli.

The research was co-funded by the Council of Europe’s Mediane journalism exchange program.

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