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.

“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 …

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.

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.

Authors Bruce A. McCarl and Tobias Plieninger focus on the role biofuels can play in addressing climate change and improving energy security in AICGS Policy Report 36, “Bioenergy in the United States and Germany,” exploring opportunities for German-American cooperation in this extremely important sector.

In AICGS Policy Report 35, “Climate Change and Energy Security: Lessons Learned,” Joseph E. Aldy, Camilla Bausch, and Michael Mehling draw on the experiences in Germany and the U.S. with regard to their climate and energy policies and include an examination of the key actors in politics and the economy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Climate change is one of the most important challenges that the world faces today. In addition to the war in Iraq, climate policy was also one of the primary causes of the transatlantic rift. President George W. Bush’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 was met with complete European incomprehension; in turn, international cooperation on policies combating climate change lacked key U.S. support in the following years. But a new U.S. administration in 2009 could offer a new signal for U.S.-European cooperation on policies combating global warming. Germany, at the forefront of developing alternative energy sources and energy efficient technology, leads European efforts to decrease green house gases—making German-American cooperation on climate policies essential…

In light of the recent economic downturn, the U.S. presidential candidates and the American public are focusing increasingly on economic issues in the 2008 campaign. While economic policies are often viewed through a domestic policy prism, in today’s globalized and interconnected world, domestic economic decisions influence the world economy as well…

In an increasingly interwoven and interdependent transatlantic community, the political decision-making process is expanding both horizontally and vertically. The actors on the policy stage are multiplying at all levels. The role of subnational units—be they cities, states, or regions—have become stronger as they impact the national governments. This is particularly pronounced in federal systems such as the United States and Germany…

What is the definition of energy security in the twenty-first century? In the past, one might have been inclined to identify energy supplies as the core of security. Yet, the predictions about the end of oil reserves have been
somewhat cyclical in recent decades…

Securing the supply of energy is one of mankind’s basic needs. The exploitation of fossil fuels, (coal, petroleum, and more recently natural gas), has been one of the foundations of the development of industrial society…

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