U.S. and German approaches to energy and climate change have undergone significant change in recent years. New technologies such as “fracking,” higher efficiency standards, and national energy strategies like the “Energiewende” have an impact at the local, regional, and international levels. AICGS explores where both countries can learn and cooperate on questions of energy policy, energy security, and climate change.

In his essay “Eine Abstimmung über Europa – und ihre innenpolitischen Konsequenzen…,” current NRW/AICGS Fellow Jan Treibel examines the divisions within the ruling coalition in Germany over further financial assistance to the Euro and how this could spell disaster to the parties in power.

As the era of nuclear energy approaches its end in Germany, the country can show how fast the shift to renewable energy can be achieved, writes R. Andreas Kraemer, Director & CEO of the Ecologic Institute in Berlin and co-author of AICGS Policy Report 31. In an essay that examines the history of the German anti-nuclear power movement and discusses the future of German alternative energy, Kraemer argues that Germany can realistically achieve 100 percent reliance on renewable energy and be the model going forward for other nations in a relatively short time frame. A version of this article originally appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle.

The nuclear energy phase out in Germany is no revolution, writes Marcel Viëtor, Program Officer for Energy and Climate at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and a Visiting Fellow at AICGS in June 2011. From the outside, it may appear as though the German government had come to some sort of radical decision following the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Viëtor argues, but instead the withdrawal from nuclear energy in Germany is a process that has been in development for quite some time. A version of this essay originally appeared in Moskovskie Novosti.

NATO has a legitimate role to play in energy security, writes Michael Rühle, Head of the Energy Security Section in NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division and a regular contributor to the Advisor, but it is not yet clear what this role should be. In his essay, Rühle outlines the reasons for NATO’s interest in energy security and suggests what difference the Alliance could make in the energy security debate moving forward.

Conditions for U.S. climate and energy policy have changed considerably after comprehensive climate and energy legislation failed in the 111th Congress. In the newly elected 112th Congress, emphasis will likely shift away from climate change to more orthodox supply side energy strategies. Writing from a European perspective, Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy in Europe and a regular contributor to the Advisor, explores the consequences of these U.S. changes for the European Union’s climate and energy strategy as well as for a future international climate regime.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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