Climate and Energy

Today, both Germany and the U.S. understand their shared responsibility for mitigating climate change and reducing global reliance on fossil fuels—thereby lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Both countries need an economically-feasible framework for the accelerated deployment of the “how” of climate change mitigation technologies and solutions. Viewed globally, this will require technology and solutions transfer and an equitable cost-sharing both from the developed to the developing world, as well as among already industrialized countries. Examining technological challenges and policy incentives in Germany and the U.S. allows policymakers to learn from past successes and failures and create internationally comparable policies.

Energy Security Risk Assessment: A Transatlantic Comparison

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Aki Kachi

The U.S. and West Germany once shared similar energy profiles and similar global energy challenges. Through the 1960s and in the beginning of the 1970s, with largely comparable energy mixes, they both saw themselves as vulnerable to oil shocks and in 1974, were both founding members of the International Energy Agency.  At… Read more >

Climate 2.0 – Can Geoengineering Make the World a Safer Place?

Sabrina Schulz

Wizardry to some, anathema to others, geoengineering—or climate engineering—is slowly encroaching on the territory of traditional climate policy. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) next Assessment Report, due in 2013/14, will cover “the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment”[1] as a potential strategy to counteract man-made climate change. Technological solutions… Read more >

European Energy Security: A New Pattern of External Stability and Internal Risks


This essay examines recent developments in European energy policy and analyzes improvements and shortcomings of energy security, primarily in the field of fossil fuels. It argues that Europe has successfully addressed some external energy security risks, the gravest problems of energy security currently originate inside Europe itself due to insufficient funding of necessary infrastructure projects.

Intellectual Property Rights and Green Technology Transfer: German and U.S. Perspectives


While environmental concerns have recently taken a backseat to the economic and financial crisis, scientific projections on climate change continue to call for action. Yet, international cooperation has been hampered and a rift between developed and developing nations is increasingly evident. Companies from developed countries are interested in recouping their investments in clean energy technology through property rights; developing nations contend, however, that such technology must be made available to all nations. This Policy Report, featuring essays from Robert Percival and Miranda Schreurs, examines American and German views on this contentious issue, focusing on what roles technology transfer and intellectual property rights play in the climate policy debate.

Promoting Energy Innovation and Investment Through Transatlantic Transfer of Community Energy Policies

In Policy Report #43, “Promoting Energy Innovation and Investment Through Transatlantic Transfer of Community Energy Policies,” Dale Medearis, Peter Garforth, and Stefan Blüm look to the European Union and Germany to draw lessons about community energy planning at the national and sub-national levels that can be transferred to the U.S. The authors examine issues such as the integration of land-use and transportation planning policies and the development of finance mechanisms and performance measures for energy efficient building construction.

Germany’s Environmental Transformation: From Pollution Haven to Environmental Leader


After World War II, both East and West Germany were focused on reconstruction and promoting economic development, and very little attention was given to environmental protection in the quest to rebuild. In this Transatlantic Perspectives essay, Professor Miranda Schreurs, Director of the Environmental Policy Research Centre and a regular participant in AICGS programs, examines how Germany transitioned from an environmental mess to become a global environmental leader, focusing on a transition of values as well as the role of unification in this process.

Mitigating Transport CO2 Emissions in the United States and Europe


The transport sector accounts for one-fourth of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the European Union and almost one-third in the United States, and both sides of the Atlantic have tackled this issue with regulatory standards. In his Transatlantic Perspectives essay, DAAD/AICGS Fellow Carl-Friedrich Elmer examines the general economic rationale for mandatory vehicle emission standards as well as crucial factors that determine the environmental efficacy and economic efficiency of this regulatory approach, also looking at how such standards can be embedded in the broader context of climate policy.

America’s Opposite Hand: Germany’s Parties Agree on the Necessity of Environmental Protection and a Green New Deal


“The political system pushes the parties toward the middle,” “party homogeneity is
rather weak” … in Germany’s antiquated libraries, students might pick up these
messages from text books about the U.S. political system. We all know that today’s
reality is a different one. Over the last twenty-five years or so, the U.S. electorate has
drifted further and further apart. The election of Ronald Reagan marks the beginning
of the U.S. shift to the right in the 1980s. The two Bush presidents and even Bill
Clinton—“it’s the economy, stupid!”—continued Reagan’s doctrine of the supremacy of
a preferably untamed capitalism. The chimera of “the invisible hand of the market” has
become an imperative of all political action, and arguably hit the “soft issue” of
environmental protection even more than others …

Climate and Energy Policies in the United States and Germany: Lessons for the Future


AICGS recently completed a project to address the climate and energy challenges with the generous support of the Daimler-Fonds im Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, resulting in this Issue Brief and the following three Policy Reports which focus on some of the many aspects of the climate and energy puzzle.
In AICGS Issue Brief 29, Tim Stuchtey and Kirsten Verclas analyze the policy recommendations that come from the three Policy Reports and look at the political implications of these recommendations, focusing on emission trading, biofuels, and current climate-friendly technologies.

Short-Term Solutions to the Climate and Energy Challenge

In AICGS Policy Report 37, “The Short-Term Potential of Climate-Friendly Technologies,” Felix Chr. Matthes and Lewis J. Perelman examine the technological solutions that can make a substantial impact on climate protection and energy security today or in the near future. The authors look specifically at the crucial roles of energy efficiency and intelligent energy in both Germany and the United States.

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