The Study Tours on Climate and Energy Policy were designed to give participants a better understanding of the European perspective and the ways in which German society is adapting to the inevitable changes brought about by new climate-change policies and practices. Participants had an opportunity to engage with German interlocutors and share ideas about best practices. They hear from government officials, political leaders, businesspeople, academics, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, and think tanks. The program was made possible by a European Recovery Program grant from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
During the program’s five-year duration, the annual Study Tour on Climate and Energy brought together experts in the field of climate and energy from across the United States and diverse professional backgrounds. They left Berlin with a more nuanced understanding of the German energy transition, or Energiewende. With Germany’s commitment to shut down nuclear power by 2022, the country has put its focus on sustainable renewables as the future of energy production. The discourse in Berlin pivoted around electricity consumption, renewable energy resources, and CO2 reduction goals. Germany remains a forerunner in research and development for new technology and sustainability. The success of this energy transition relies greatly on this research in efficiency, sustainability, and the reduction of fossil-fuel consumption.
The delegations met with German government officials, business leaders, diplomats, scientists, and other experts in climate change and energy from think tanks and research institutes. Speakers included: Dr. Alex Bree, Head of the Division for Raw Materials and the Mining Industry in the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Nicola Brüning, Head of BMW’s Office in Berlin; Dr. Berend Diekmann, Head of the U.S. and Foreign Trade Division with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Marcus Hicken, Deputy Head of Division for Energy and Raw Material Foreign Policy; Dr. Winfried Horstmann, Advisor to the Chancellor on Energy Policy; Hans-Ulrich Klose, former Bundestag Member (SPD) and Chairman of the German-American Parliamentary Group; Bundestag Members Cem Özdemir and Özcan Mutlu (Alliance 90/The Greens), and Dr. Peter Roesgen, Advisor to the Chancellor on Sustainable Development.