The cooperation between Germany (and indeed Europe) and the USA and Canada is crucial for the negotiations on the future of global climate policy after 2012. Climate and energy policy are key elements of transatlantic cooperation, a fact that was highlighted by the Federal Government in the Coalition Agreement.
As an initiative launched by the Federal Government, the “Transatlantic Climate Bridge” strives to intensify cooperation in matters relating to climate and energy policy. Bilateral relations and strategic alliances with important countries – the USA in particular - are of greater importance in respect of international climate policy than ever before particularly in the aftermath of the international climate talks in Copenhagen. Numerous organisations and multipliers from the world of politics, business, science and civil society on both sides of the Atlantic participated in the launch of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge in the autumn of 2008.
The aim of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge is to proactively join forces to address climate policy issues, incorporating German and European climate and energy policy concepts into discussions in the USA. This will enable all stakeholders to learn from each other’s experience and to share best practices. This also creates huge opportunities for German industry. President Obama intends to greatly increase the share of renewable energies and to enhance energy efficiency.
The concrete measures include networking activities and the provision of information in fact-finding missions to Germany and the USA, panel discussions, conferences, trade fairs, press and media work, including TV spots, websites etc.. Target groups include political decision-makers at federal level, US state level and at local level, business representatives, multipliers and media representatives, lobby groups and the public at large.
Key climate change issues are to be tackled jointly within the framework of this transatlantic initiative by promoting the transatlantic exchange of information about political and technological solution approaches. Explaining German and European approaches within the framework of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge has both the capacity to and the ability to contribute towards the opinion-forming process in the USA. This is of importance particularly within the framework of the ongoing controversial discussions about central legislative initiatives in the area of climate and energy policy in the USA.
Transatlantic round tables and business round tables are held in cooperation with the US Embassy within the framework of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge in Berlin at regular intervals. The aim of these round tables is to create a transatlantic climate and energy community in Berlin that exchanges ideas and experience on topical issues on a regular basis. Round tables have been held in the past on issues including green jobs in Germany, green cities, carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), energy concept and the post-Cancun climate challenge.