First edition of CONNECTED published!

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Feb 102011


Dear Readers,

In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama set the national goal to generate 80 percent of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035; the German government recently outlined its long-term energy concept which envisions full energy import independence and a 60 percent renewable energies share by 2050; the City of San Francisco launched an initiative aiming at a 100 percent renewables supply within just a decade; and under the motto “growth with foresight,“ Hamburg, this year Europe’s green capital, shows how urban development can be both economically beneficial and environmentally sustain-able. These are only a few examples illustrating that true leadership willing to tackle the twin challenges of climate change and energy security can be found on both sides of the Atlantic.

Content_CONNECTED1_2Welcome to the first edition of CONNECTED – a newsletter discussing climate and energy from a transatlantic perspective. With CONNECTED, partners adelphi and Worldwatch, headquartered in Berlin and Washington DC, will support the Transatlantic Climate Bridge, an initiative that since its inception in 2008 has promoted numerous activities by public authorities, the private sector, civil society, and academia in order to strengthen climate protection and energy security. CONNECTED aims to showcase and review policy and research initiatives that are aimed at low-emissions development. Opinion pieces, interviews, as well as reports on studies, dialogues and conferences will provide a regular update on the progress made toward building climate-compatible economies in Europe, the United States and beyond.

[I am co-editor of CONNECTED, together with Dennis Taenzler. Please find the full first issue of CONNECTED here]

AICGS Podcasts – Alexander Ochs on the Copenhagen Climate Conference

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Oct 162009

Alexander Ochs, AICGS Senior Non-Resident Fellow and Director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Worldwatch Institute, talks about the parameters for success or failure at the upcoming Copenhagen conference on climate change with Dr. Jackson Janes. This AICGS Podcast premiered on October 16, 2009

To download this AICGS Podcast directly, please click here.

CCAP – AICGS Joint Climate Policy Sessions

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Dec 172008

Here is a blurb from the CCAP Newsletter on the German -US climate  summit which I organized for AICGS and CCAP.

On Nov. 17, CCAP joined forces with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) as hosts of a German-U.S. climate policy dialogue. The event brought a distinguished delegation to Washington lead by Matthias Machnig, state secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Environment, and Reinhard Buetikofer, the chairman of the German Green Party.At a political roundtable in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, CCAP outlined its framework for international climate strategy including “sectoral approaches.” Mr. Machnig outlined his vision of international burden-sharing in the fight against global warming as a “cascade of responsibilities.” Mr. Buetikofer then urged both sides of the Atlantic and collaborate in a practical, forward-looking and outcome-oriented manner.The roundtable was followed by a luncheon that featured a discussion with former Undersecretary of State Frank Loy and 30 representatives from German and U.S. industry. In the afternoon, a workshop was held at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where participants presented their German-U.S. policy reports. Alexander Ochs, CCAP director of International Policy, summed up the dialogue by saying, “Today’s events have shown that we might approach a political tipping point in transatlantic climate relations. Germany, and the United States show a new level of mutual understanding and willingness to cooperate.”

Transatlantic Climate and Energy Cooperation: The Way Forward

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Nov 232008

AICGS Event – The Third Industrial Revolution: Energy Security, Transatlantic Relations, and the Economic Case for Climate Policy

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Dec 032007

On December 3, 2007, AICGS was pleased to host AICGS Senior Fellow Alexander Ochs for a lecture titled “The Third Industrial Revolution: Energy Security, Transatlantic Relations, and the Economic Case for Climate Policy.” This lecture was made possible by the generous support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Mr. Ochs began his presentation with an overview of American and European climate policy, including the differing international, national, and sub-national approaches taken by the U.S. and the EU; the difficulties facing the Kyoto Protocol (namely the gridlock between the U.S. and major developing countries); and the main sticking points of transatlantic disunity (including disagreements over the necessity of binding emissions reduction targets and time frames, mechanisms for their implementation, and the inclusiveness of the international regime). He then offered his perspective on the next crucial steps for successfully implementing effective international climate policy. These included the importance of U.S. domestic legislation, the design of a sustainable post-Kyoto framework, a leadership role for the U.S., and the EU’s willingness to continue leadership both at home and in the international sphere.

The challenges of climate change and energy security, Mr. Ochs argued, are intrinsically tied to each other. The climate problem cannot be solved without reforming the energy sector and, likewise, energy security is not possible or affordable with our current energy mismanagement. Thus, we are faced with an ecological problem (increased global temperatures lead to more frequent and intense weather extremes, sea-level rise, and risks to plant, animal and human life); a political problem (overcoming the horizontal and vertical complexities of the world’s “most global” problem); an ethical problem (the poor countries are the most adversely impacted but the rich countries are most responsible for the problem); and an economic-technological challenge (reforming an economy that has been thriving based on fossil fuels for most of the last one and a half centuries since the second industrial revolution).

[Please find a full summary here and the presentation slides here]