|Last Updated: May 11, 2012
Alexander Ochs is director of climate and energy at the Worldwatch Institute, an independent research organization focused on fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Worldwatch’s climate and energy program is dedicated to achieving a transformation of the global energy system in order to stabilize the climate, create sustainable growth, and increase security. Ochs is also the editor of Worldwatch’s ReVolt blog, which explores strategies for low-carbon development around the world.
In addition, Ochs is the founding director of the Forum for Atlantic Climate and Energy Talks (FACET) and a senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University.
Ochs was previously a member of the German delegation to the UN climate change negotiations. He has has held research and teaching positions at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the City University of New York (CUNY), Princeton, Munich University, Freie Universität Berlin, and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
In: Carbon & Climate Law Review 2/2008, pp. 219-21
You have worked on transatlantic climate relations for several years, both as a researcher and as a policy adviser. In a report written in 2006, you suggested that there is “little that cannot be done if Americans and Europeans agree – but very little that can be done if they do not”, expressing concern that climate change might become an issue dividing the transatlantic partners further apart. Has this assessment changed since you first wrote this, and if so, in what ways?
The first quote is actually an assessment made by Jessica Tuchman Mathews, President of the Carnegie Endowment, concerning global issues in general. Certainly, climate change has gained infamous prominence over the course of the last two decades as a topic dividing the two traditional partners Europe and the United States. It often heads lists of transatlantic disagreements. Transatlantic dispute over climate change well precedes the current U.S. administration. Ever since the topic of climate change has appeared on the international agenda, the United States has been made responsible for the slow progress in the negotiation of an international climate regime. But the dispute escalated when the Bush ‘43 government unilaterally declared the Kyoto protocol “dead”. Subsequently, Bush also broke his 2000 presidential campaign pledge to set mandatory reduction targets for CO2 emissions from… Read the whole interview here: C&CLR.Interview.pdf