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Midwestern Policy Makers Visit Germany on “Green Jobs – Green Growth” Trip December 10, 2009

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.

Nov 18, 2009

Eleven state policymakers from Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South-Dakota, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and California took part in an informational visit to Berlin and Bremen in November entitled “Green Jobs – Green Growth: Opportunities through Re-Industrialization.”

A hydrogen-powered vehicle at the Clean Energy Partnership project
(© German Embassy)

The five-day visit was organized by the German Government and the Midwestern Governors Association, as part of the ‘Transatlantic Climate Bridge’ initiative, and aimed to provide an in-depth knowledge of Germany’s energy and climate policy.

Delegates had the opportunity to engage firsthand with policy makers, experts and industry leaders on both the German federal and state level to discuss the prospects for job creation, advanced clean energy technologies, and industrial innovation.

The week in Germany kicked-off with a discussion of the environmental, social and economic opportunities and challenges in transitioning toward a low-carbon economy, led by Dr. Haas from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

U.S. Policy Makers in Berlin (© German Embassy)
including Marc E. Lewis, Vice President–External Relations, Indiana Michigan Electric (I&M).

Contact him at: melewis@aep.com
A visit to the Federal Environment Ministry highlighted the goals set out by the European climate package as well as Germany’s integrated climate and energy program. This was followed by an in-depth assessment by a representative from the German Foreign Office, of the international climate negotiations in the run-up to the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen in December.

Delegates were also given the chance of engaging with business leaders in the renewable energies field. They test-drove a fully hydrogen-powered vehicle at the Clean Energy Partnership project, toured the River Spree on a solar-powered boat and explored the production of “clean coal” from biomass at a start-up company, SunCoal Industries.

A day trip to Bremen allowed for a closer look at a newly established wind power training centre by Siemens, which is providing on-site education and training for future wind technicians.

By pursuing a low-carbon growth path, Germany has created over 280,000 new jobs and spurred innovation in new clean energy technologies. In the words of one participant, it was “refreshing to see the commitment by everyone to work on these issues.”

Solar boat trip on the Spree River
(© German Embassy)
The trip highlighted the fact that Germany and the Midwest have much in common – both have strong traditional energy industries and both are building strong foundations for leadership in the fields of renewable energies and energy efficiency
The Indiana Renewable Energy Association became aware of this recent trip and thought it would be of interest.


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