New Report Highlights Link Between Climate Change, National Security

 online interview, radio interview  Comments Off on New Report Highlights Link Between Climate Change, National Security
Nov 132012
 
by Brian Padden, Voice of America, November 09, 2012 
WASHINGTON — The U.S. National Research Council released a report Friday on the link between global climate change and national security. The scientific study details how global warming is putting new social and political stresses on societies around the world and how the United States and other counties can anticipate and respond to these climate-driven security risks. The report by the congressionally-chartered research group begins with an assertion that global warming is real, and that the mainstream scientific community believes that heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are being added to the atmosphere faster today than they were before the rise of human societies.  (…)
Alexander Ochs, the Climate and Energy Director at the non-profit Worldwatch Institute, says the report is an important reminder to world leaders of the complex problems posed by climate change: “So any investment we can make today in reducing emissions will make the problem smaller and it will pay out multi-fold in terms of the costs we have to pick up in the future,” Ochs said.The report, however, does not deal with how nations should go about reducing carbon emissions in the future.  It focuses on the present and how the U.S. and the world can better manage potentially disruptive climate events.
You can find the full article [HERE].

US Energy Production Facing Limits of Water Scarcity

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Jan 082012
 

Zulima Palacio, Voice of America, January 08, 2012 7:00 PM

Scientists, climatologists and energy experts share a growing concern: the need for water in the production of energy, especially in regions that are experiencing serious drought.  Generating power – whether it be from fossil fuels or renewable energy sources – requires large amounts of water.

Nearly all forms of energy production use large amounts of water.  Coal, which generates nearly 50 percent of the electricity in the U.S., needs water for mining and transport, and to cool and lubricate equipment. Water is also used to cool fuel rods at nuclear plants and to generate steam to power  turbines. The biofuel industry needs water for irrigation, fermentation and the production of ethanol and biodiesel fuels.

Alexander Ochs, director of climate and energy at the Worldwatch Institute, says that adds up to a lot of water. “Per megawatt hour, coal uses 500 to 1000 gallons of water for the production of just one megawatt hour of electricity,” said Ochs. “If we look at all the plants combined in the U.S., all the thermo-electric plants [powered by steam] in the U.S. in 2008 alone, they drew 60 billion to 170 billion gallons of water, per year.”

Without water, most types of energy could not be produced. Even renewable energy, like geothermal and solar, use water to cool equipment and to clean the collector panels.  Those requirements have led California, Massachusetts and several Midwestern states to halt the operations of some power plants.“Places like the Midwest where water is a very scarce resource already today, a number of power plants have actually been halted, and this is actually true for across the United States,” said Ochs.

[please find the full article HERE]

Petrocaribe: Making Our Case For Us

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Petrocaribe: Making Our Case For Us
Feb 092011
 
The Worldwatch Institute has begun implementing a Low Carbon Energy Roadmaps project to help Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) transition to a low-carbon economy. Undertaking such a transition is an immediate imperative for these states. If they can capitalize on their indigenous, renewable resources they can reduce their oil imports, reduce exposure to volatile prices, and invest any saved money in other areas of their economy. Still, it’s always nice to have someone (or something) else burnish our argument.

In 2005, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez initiated the Petrocaribe Energy Cooperation Agreement, an arrangement that allowed 12 Caribbean nations, including the Dominican Republic, to purchase oil at a subsidized cost. Nevertheless fuel prices in the D.R. have jumped 50 percent in the last two years.  Gasoline and diesel currently cost around $4.60 and $4.16 per gallon, respectively. Dominican taxi and bus drivers have recently begun taking out their frustration over higher fuel costs on Venezuela, protesting outside the Venezuelan Embassy and demanding more information on the details of the Petrocaribe program. In response, Alfredo Murga, Venezuela’s ambassador to the D.R., pointed out that Dominican authorities set their own fuel prices based on international crude oil markets. In other words, even Petrocaribe does not protect Dominicans from the vagaries of oil prices.  These developments only reinforce Worldwatch’s position: such complete dependence on oil for electricity in addition to vehicle fuel is untenable for the Dominican Republic. 

[Read the full Re|Volt blog here]

Renewable Energy Not a “Competing” Priority in Haiti

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Dec 302010
 
by Mark Konold and Alexander Ochs

Recently the Brookings Institution hosted a panel that examined Haiti’s political and humanitarian developments since the January 2010 earthquake. A theme that came up regularly was that of competing priorities such as turbulent elections, a cholera outbreak, a lack of dependable energy supply, and gender-based violence. As the Worldwatch Institute prepares to develop a Low-Carbon Energy Roadmap for Haiti, some have questioned whether limited donor resources should be channeled into something more pressing than assessing and improving the country’s energy infrastructure. Is an energy roadmap really needed right now, or are other matters more important?

The cholera outbreak in Haiti is an urgent matter that deserves all the attention it is currently receiving. However, we must keep in mind that a lack of proper sanitation – due to a lack of electricity – helped cause the recent outbreak. Had the country’s energy infrastructure been more robust and sustainable, basic sanitation and electricity in hospitals might not have been lost and the current epidemic might have been avoided.

[Read the rest of this ReVolt blog]

Mapping the future: Why bidding farewell to fossil fuels is in our interest – and how it can be done

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Mapping the future: Why bidding farewell to fossil fuels is in our interest – and how it can be done
Dec 082010
 

Developing efficient, sustainable energy systems based on renewable energy and smart grid technology is not only an environmental necessity: it is a social and economic imperative. We rely on fossil fuels for more than 85 per cent of all energy we use and pay a high price for our dependency, on all fronts. An overhaul of the way we produce, transport, store, and consume energy is underway and an improved energy world is emerging, slowly. Intelligent policies based on concise roadmaps will get us there faster.

cover_ClimateAction_2010People around the world are already suffering from the impacts of climate change. Rising sea levels, melting glaciers, storms, droughts, and floods – these natural processes, artificially intensified by global warming, will affect agriculture, fishing, transportation, and tourism to an ever greater degree. Changing ecosystems and landscapes, biodiversity losses, the surge of tropical diseases, and food and water shortages will lead to economic and welfare losses on an unprecedented scale should climate change remain largely unabated as it is today.

The cost of fossil fuels is unjustifiable

Even if we take climate change, which has been called this century’s greatest challenge, off the table for a moment, transitioning our energy systems is a socioeconomic imperative. For a host of reasons, our reliance on fossil fuels comes at an unjustifiably high cost to our economies. First, the burning of coal and petroleum pollutes our air and water. China, for example, estimates that addressing its pollution and pollution-related health problems swallows up to 10 per cent of its total annual GDP. Imagine if the country could put these huge resources into addressing pressing social needs!

[Please find the full article here. It has been published in UNEP’s Climate Action 2010 book; please find the whole book here.]

Low-Carbon Energy Roadmaps

 presentation  Comments Off on Low-Carbon Energy Roadmaps
Dec 022010
 

Presentation at Side Event of the European Climate Foundation at COP 16
EU Pavilion, Cancun, 2 December 2010

OVERVIEW

Global Primary Energy Supply by Source, 2007
Average Global Growth Rates by Energy Source, 2004-2009
World Wind Capacity, 1996-2008
World Solar PV Capacity, 1990-2009
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP), 2009
World Solar Water Heating Capacity, 1995-2007
Renewables as a Share of Electricity Generation, 1990-2008
Global Electricity from Renewables, 2002-2008
Cost of New U.S. Power Generation, 2008
CO2 Emissions per capita, select countries
Renewable Electricity in Germany, 1990 – 2007
CO2 Emissions Avoided with Renewable Energy in Germany
Wind Capacity, Top 10 Countries, 2009
Landmass vs. Wind Capacity (MW), Germany and Continental U.S. (2007)
Solar PV Production by Country/Region, 2000-2008
Solar PV Capacity, Top Six Countries, 2009
Photovoltaic Solar Resource: United States and Germany
Global Potential of Renewable Resources
Solar Potential
U.S. Electricity Generation by Source: Worldwatch Scenario 2030
Energy Transitions: 2000 – 2100
Worldwatch 5-Phase Design of Low-Carbon Growth Strategies
Worldwatch’s Energy Roadmaps
Worldwatch’s Energy Roadmaps, Example: Dominican Republic

[You can find the  full presentation here]

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in China: Current Status and Prospects for 2020

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in China: Current Status and Prospects for 2020
Oct 202010
 

Over the past few years, China has emerged as a global leader in clean energy, topping the world in production of compact fluorescent light bulbs, solar water heaters, solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, and wind turbines. The remarkable rise of China’s clean energy sector reflects a strong and growing commitment by the government to diversify its energy economy, reduce environmental problems, and stave off massive increases in energy imports. Around the world, governments and industries now find themselves struggling to keep pace with the new pacesetter in global clean energy development.

WW.report181

Chinese efforts to develop renewable energy technologies have accelerated in recent years as the government has recognized energy as a strategic sector. China has adopted a host of new policies and regulations aimed at encouraging energy efficiency and expanding renewable energy deployment. Taking lessons from its own experience as well as the experiences of countries around the world, China has built its clean energy sector in synergy with its unique economic system and institutions of governance. At a time when many countries still struggle with the aftermath of a devastating financial crisis, the Chinese government has used its strong financial position to direct tens of billions of dollars into clean energy— increasing the lead that Chinese companies have in many sectors.

Among other initiatives, the Chinese government has taken strong action to promote renewable energy, establish national energy conservation targets, and delegate energysaving responsibilities to regions. Key legislative actions include the national Renewable Energy Law, which entered into force in January 2006, the national Medium and Long-Term Development Plan for Renewable Energy, launched in September 2007, and the Medium and Long-Term Energy Conservation Plan, launched in November 2004.

Although per capita energy use in China remains below the international average, it is growing very rapidly, spurred recently by the infrastructure-intensive government stimulus program launched in late 2008. Even with efficiency advances, demand for energy is expected to continue to rise in the coming decades. Chinese energy consumption is currently dominated by coal, and the major energy-consuming sector is industry. Improving the efficiency of energy use and enhancing energy conservation will be critical to ease energy supply constraints, boost energy security, reduce environmental pollution, “green” the economy, and tackle the climate challenge.

[Please find more on this Worldwatch report 181 which I co-authored with a group of Chinese and US experts, here]

Implications of a Low-Carbon Energy Transition for U.S. National Security

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Implications of a Low-Carbon Energy Transition for U.S. National Security
Aug 302010
 
Yttrium, a rare earth element
Yttrium, a rare earth element
Climate change and the secure supply of energy are among the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century. The problem is immense: While global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still on the rise, they will have to be halved by the middle of this century in order to prevent the most dangerous effects of global warming. And while energy-related emissions are already responsible for the largest share of GHG emissions, global energy demand is estimated to rise by 50 percent or more between now and 2030.

Climate change and energy security can be seen as Siamese twins insofar as they can only be sustained with concern for one another: 80 percent of global energy supply is produced from fossil fuels which, in the United States, Europe, Japan and other important U.S. ally countries, are increasingly imported and therefore are at the core of their increasing energy dependence. The burning of fossil fuels also emits CO2, and energy-related CO2 emissions are responsible for about 60 percent of man-made climate change.

The security impacts of climate change and our dependence of fossil fuels have been much debated. It is in the national interest of the United States to address both issues vigorously. There has been little academic and political discussion, however, about the security impacts of a transition of our economy to one that is built on a low-carbon energy foundation. What are the foreseeable material input demands and what human capacities are needed for such a transition? This paper addresses these questions under a particular scenario in which the United States commits to GHG reductions as party to an international climate change agreement.
 

 [Please find the full version of this draft policy paper here. Comments are highly appreciated]

Bye-bye, Klimapolitik der USA

 newspaper article  Comments Off on Bye-bye, Klimapolitik der USA
Aug 052010
 
http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/07/Climate-Bill-Shelved-2.jpg

Kerry und Reid geben ihre Klimapolitik vorest auf

Erkennbar enttäuscht traten Harry Reid, Mehrheitsführer der Demokraten im US-Senat, und Parteikollege John Kerry, Senator aus Massachusetts und ehemaliger Präsidentschaftskandidat, vor die Kameras. Monatelang hatten sie für eine umfangreiches klima- und energiepolitisches Gesetzespaket gekämpft. Nun gaben sie kleinlaut bei. Man habe die notwendigen Stimmen nicht, um ein Emissionsziel für Treibhausgase festzulegen. 2001 aus dem Kyoto-Protokoll ausgestiegen, seit 20 Jahren der gewichtigste Bremser bei internationalen Klimaverhandlungen, zeichnet sich die nächste Schlappe für amerikanische Klimaschützer ab.

Doch nicht nur für die Umwelt ist die Nachricht eine Katastrophe. Dutzende Studien belegen die positiven Effekte, die die geplante Gesetzgebung auf die US-Wirtschaft, den Arbeitsmarkt, die Gesundheitskosten und die Sicherheitspolitik gehabt hätte. Ganz zu schweigen vom internationalen Renommee, das jetzt den nächsten Kratzer erhält. Die USA zeigen sich immer weniger in der Lage, auf die großen globalen Herausforderungen unserer Zeit tragfähige Antworten zu geben. Schuld daran ist nicht, dass „der Amerikaner“ eben nichts vom Umweltschutz hält. Das Problem ist differenzierter: [weiter zum vollstaendigen Artikel]

Think Tank Analysis: The World Needs a Third Industrial Revolution

 online report  Comments Off on Think Tank Analysis: The World Needs a Third Industrial Revolution
Sep 082008
 

Feature on, and summary of, my July 2008 study Overcoming the Lethargy: Climate Change, Energy Security, and the Case for a Third Industrial Revolution on Atlantic Community

Europa Riding the Hegemon? Transatlantic Climate Policy

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Europa Riding the Hegemon? Transatlantic Climate Policy
Jul 282008
 

Alexander Ochs & Detlef F. Sprinz

Prominent and committed supporters of friendly transatlantic relations have identified climate change as the most important global problem in this century. To counteract major impacts of climate change requires cooperation among the major emitters of so-called greenhouse gases or agreement on compensation for impacts. Since 2001, the U.S. has abandoned the international treaty architecture of the Kyoto Protocol which is presumed to be a first step in the direction of limiting global climate change. Since much of the rest of the world – but not all – countries have subscribed to the architecture of the Kyoto Protocol, a major rift has arisen between Europe and the U.S. with the former being a fervent defender of the architecture and the latter designating it as unworkable and against its interests. In this article, we will investigate the history of transatlantic climate policy and relations, the major items of contention, as well as options for a rapprochement on global climate change.

2008 Book Chapter in Hegemony Constrained: Evasion, Modification, and Resistance to American Foreign Policy, edited by D. B. Bobrow

2005 Ridgway Center Working Paper

Overcoming the Lethargy: Climate Change, Energy Security, and the Case for a Third Industrial Revolution

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Overcoming the Lethargy: Climate Change, Energy Security, and the Case for a Third Industrial Revolution
Jul 112008
 

Climate change and the secure supply of energy are among the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century. The problem is immense: While global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are currently rising faster than at any given time before, they will have to be halved by the middle of this century in order to prevent the most dangerous effects of global warming. And while energy-related emissions are already responsible for the largest share of GHG emissions, global energy demand is estimated to rise by 50 percent or more between now and 2030. The key problem we are facing is that our economic system, as it has developed since the second industrial revolution, is fundamentally built on the consumption of fossil fuels. If we do not succeed in altering the ways we produce and use energy, we risk running into a catastrophe open-eyed. AICGS Policy Report #34

Volle Kraft voraus: Wie Obama und McCain die amerikanische Energiepolitik revolutionieren wollen

 blog  Comments Off on Volle Kraft voraus: Wie Obama und McCain die amerikanische Energiepolitik revolutionieren wollen
Jun 272008
 

Das Thema Energie bestimmte den Präsidentschaftswahlkampf der vergangenen Woche. John McCain und Barack Obama stellten ihre Pläne zur Sicherung der amerikanischen Energieversorgung vor. Das Allerbeste vorneweg: Beide Kandidaten nehmen den Klimawandel als eine große Bedrohung ihres Landes wahr. Sie erkennen an, dass Klimaschutz eine radikale Änderung der Art und Weise erfordert, wie Energie hergestellt und genützt wird. Um die schlimmsten Folgen der globalen Erwärmung noch verhindern zu können, sind viele Maßnahmen in den unterschiedlichsten Bereichen unserer Wirtschafts- und Sozialsysteme nötig. Energieproduktion und –konsum kommt jedoch eine Schlüsselrolle zu.

Die Vorschläge beider Kandidaten weichen von der klimapolitischen Passivität der Bush-Regierung in geradezu konterkarierender Form ab: Beide fordern eine ambitionierte nationale Klimaschutzpolitik mit verpflichtenden Reduktionszielen für den Treibhausgasausstoß der großen Energieproduzenten. Das Kernstück bildet bei beiden Bewerbern ein nationales Emissionshandelssystem. Auch international wollen Obama und McCain die USA in eine klimapolitische Führungsposition bringen. Deutsche Welle WAHLCHECK

Neue Chance gegen globale Erwärmung

 newspaper article  Comments Off on Neue Chance gegen globale Erwärmung
Jun 252008
 

Tony Blair sucht beim G8-Gipfel den transatlantischen Schulterschluss in der Klimapolitik. Doch Amerika wird sich kaum rühren.

Mit dem Hinweis, der Klimawandel sei für ihn die langfristig wichtigste globale Herausforderung, sagte Tony Blair der globalen Erwärmung den Kampf an. Zusammen mit der Entwicklung Afrikas gilt dem Thema das Hauptaugenmerk des Gipfels der acht größten Industrieländer im schottischen Gleneagles vom 6. bis 8. Juli. Doch während etwa bei der Entschuldung der ärmsten afrikanischen Staaten bereits im Vorfeld Einigkeit erzielt wurde, besteht in der Klimafrage die Spaltung zwischen den Vereinigten Staaten und dem Rest der G8 fort: Der größte Verursacher von Treibhausgasen verweigert unter der Führung von George W. Bush weiterhin jegliche Zusagen zur Emissionsreduzierung – entgegen allen wissenschaftlichen Empfehlungen. DIE ZEIT, 7 Jul 2005

Auf der Suche nach neuen Verbündeten: Neue Führungsmächte als Partner deutscher Klimapolitik

 academic article/report, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Auf der Suche nach neuen Verbündeten: Neue Führungsmächte als Partner deutscher Klimapolitik
May 092008
 

Die wissenschaftliche Beweislage zum Klimawandel ist erdrückend. Erste Auswirkungen sind weltweit spürbar. Dass der Mensch die Hauptschuld an der Klimaveränderung trägt, steht dabei außer Frage. Die Verbrennung fossiler Energien, die Abholzung großer Waldgebiete sowie bestimmte landwirtschaftliche und industrielle Verfahren setzen Emissionen frei, die den natürlichen Treibhauseffekt der Erde immer weiter verstärken. Gelingt es nicht, die großen Volkswirtschaften zu reformieren – und dazu ist in den Worten des Bundesumweltministers nicht weniger nötig als eine „dritte industrielle Revolution“ – drohen im besten Fall unwirtlichere Lebensbedingungen, im schlimmsten eine Katastrophe kaum mehr kontrollierbaren Ausmaßes. Für die Problembekämpfung wird neben den Großemittenten des Nordens das Verhalten einiger zentraler Akteure der südlichen Erdhalbkugel maßgeblich sein: Bekommen China, Indien und Mexiko ihre explosionsartig steigenden Emissionen in den Griff? Wird der Waldschutz in Brasilien und Indonesien seinen notwendigen Beitrag zum globalen Klimaschutz leisten? Können Südafrika und Südkorea ihre fast vollständig auf fossilen Trägern basierende Energiegewinnung reformieren? Und wird die Blockademacht Australien künftig den ihr angemessenen Verantwortungsteil leisten? Die Bundesrepublik hat sich in den letzten Jahren als Lokomotive der internationalen Klimadiplomatie etabliert. Ein klimapolitischer Dialog Deutschlands mit wirtschaftlich und politisch aufstrebenden Staaten des Südens wäre einer Fortsetzung dieser Führungsrolle in einem immer wichtiger werdenden Politikfeld und damit der Profilbildung als Weltordnungspolitik mitgestaltende Mittelmacht äußerst dienlich. Im Erfolgsfall – wenn es also gelingt, neue Nord-Süd-Koalitionen im Klimabereich zu schmieden – könnte ein lang ersehnter Durchbruch in der globalen Klimagovernance gelingen.

BUCHKAPITEL in Günther Maihold/Stefan Mair (Hg.), Kooperation Deutschlands mit Führungsmächten des Südens, SWP/Nomos: September 2008

VORVERSION ALS SWP DISKUSSIONSPAPIER

Wanted: Leadership

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Wanted: Leadership
Apr 092008
 

President George W. Bush’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol (KP) brought transatlantic differences over climate change to the front pages. Climate change since then has become the symbol of an underlying transatlantic rift with respect to a wider range of global challenges. The disagreement on climate between the traditional partners has been difficult to understand ever since negotiations on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) started. It carries dangerous implications for both sides and the globe as a whole. What is needed now is true leadership on both sides of the Atlantic to overcome the divide. Could this momentum be generated, it might set free a positive impetus for other fields of global governance.

Book Chapter, in: Alex Riechel/Aldo Venturelli, Building a Foundation for Transatlantic Climate Policy, Loveno 2005, p. 51-62 (PDF)

Towards a Transatlantic Consensus on Climate Change

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Towards a Transatlantic Consensus on Climate Change
Apr 092008
 

Alexander Ochs & Aldo Venturelli (Eds.)

 

With contributions from Fabrizio D’Adda, Kevin Baumert, Corrado Clini, Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, Michael Grubb, Benito Müller, Friedemann Müller, Alexander Ochs, Michael Oppenheimer, Nigel Purvis, Arthur Runge-Metzger, Richard Stewart, Laurence Tubiana, Harlan Watson, Anders Wijkman et al. Loveno, May 2004, 127 pages

Complete text (PDF)

Konflikt statt Kooperation? Die transatlantischen Umweltbeziehungen

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Konflikt statt Kooperation? Die transatlantischen Umweltbeziehungen
Apr 092008
 

Alexander Ochs & Marcus Schaper

Mit dem Ausstieg der USA aus dem Kyoto Protokoll gerieten die transatlantischen Differenzen im Umweltbereich in die Schlagzeilen. Klimapolitik wird seither häufig an vorderer Stelle genannt, wenn es um das Auseinanderdriften der traditionellen Partner geht. Dabei sind Meinungsunterschiede zwischen Europa und den USA in der Umweltpolitik alles andere als neu. Viele dieser Konflikte bleiben einer breiteren Öffentlichkeit jedoch verborgen, da sie technische Fragen betreffen und auf der wenig prominent besetzten, administrativen Arbeitsebene ausgetragen werden. Dieses Kapitel bespricht drei neuere Beispiele transatlantischer Umweltpolitik. Der internationale Klimaschutz, Umweltstandards für Exportkreditagenturen sowie die Regulierung Genetisch Veränderter Organismen (genetically modified organisms – GMOs) haben sich allesamt als wichtige und äußerst konfliktträchtige Themen im transatlantischen Verhältnis herausgestellt. Dies ist zuvorderst darauf zurückzuführen, dass es sich bei ihnen nicht mehr um den klassischen Naturschutz der Anfangszeit der Umweltpolitik handelt, sondern um politische Querschnittsaufgaben im Rahmen wirtschaftlicher Globalisierung mit enormem Einfluss auf andere Politikbereiche. Es geht um sensible Kosten-Nutzen-Abschätzungen und Absprachen unterschiedlicher Ressorts der Innen- und Außenpolitik.

BOOK CHAPTER in: Jäger, Thomas/Höse, Alexander/Oppermann, Kai (Eds.), Transatlantische Beziehungen, Wiesbaden 2005, p. 235-53

PDF

Global Governance and Transatlantic Relations in the Issue Area of Climate Change

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Global Governance and Transatlantic Relations in the Issue Area of Climate Change
Apr 082008
 

A transatlantic policy divide has occurred during the last one and a half decades since the Berlin wall came down, the Cold War ended, and there was hope for the pay-off of what was has been called a peace dividend. This hope included widespread optimism that the global society would now be able to focus on new, pressing, non-security challenges which were increasingly global and badly needed worldwide solutions. Seen from today, this hope has not been satisfied. The topic of my presentation here today is “global governance and transatlantic relations in the issue area of climate change”. It is divided in four major blocks: First I will talk about what makes climate change a global governance issue and an issue with great importance for the transatlantic relationship. Then I will briefly explore on where the Atlantic partners lost their joint path and around what the transatlantic differences in the field of climate policy revolve. Thirdly, I will come up with a few theses about why that might have happened, i.e. why the US and Europe have taken different approaches and still hold different views. Finally, I will come up with a few suggestions for how we might be able to renew the Atlantic partnership in this important field.

BOOK CHAPTER in: René Gradwohl & Christoph Pohlmann, Renaissance of Transatlantic Relations – Perspectives of a New Partnership, Berlin 2004: p. 13-21 (PDF)

Nach Nairobi: Wie weiter in der internationalen Klimapolitik?

 academic article/report  Comments Off on Nach Nairobi: Wie weiter in der internationalen Klimapolitik?
Mar 082008
 

Europa ist auf der Suche nach einem klimapolitischen Kompass für die nächsten Jahre.

Vom 6. bis 17. November 2006 fanden in der kenianischen Hauptstadt parallel die zwölfte Konferenz der 189 Vertragsstaaten der Klimarahmenkonvention und das zweite Treffen der 168 Mitgliedsländer des Kyoto-Protokolls statt. Die Verhandlungen wurden mit dem erneuten Hinweis eröffnet, dass es sich beim Klimawandel um die wohl größte globale Herausforderung in der Geschichte der Menschheit handelt. Die Konferenzergebnisse nehmen sich demgegenüber eher mager aus. Deutschland und Europa wollen die internationale Klimapolitik weiter anführen. Was sind die großen Herausforderungen?

SWP Diskussionspapier, Januar 2007