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Trip Gives US State Policymakers Insight into German Green Energy December 10, 2009

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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David Pippen, Indiana :“As a coal state interested and working diligently in cleaning our energy mix it really was the panoply of issues/visits which mean the most to me…I am a policy person, so the discussions with institutional, business and political leaders (and staff) stand out as the most engaging and educational experiences.”

Pippen is Senior Policy Director in the office of Governor Mitchel E. Daniels in Indiana. He can be reached at: dpippen@gov.in.gov

Reflections on the Transatlantic Climate Bridge Trip
Officials from the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia reflect on the insights they gained during the trip and the potential opportunities for German-US partnerships.

Delegates from the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia traveled to Germany for a five-day fact-finding mission in June 2009, as part of the German Government’s Transatlantic Climate Bridge Initiative. The program was presented in partnership with The Climate Group and Ecologic.

The delegation was comprised of senior policymakers from some of the states that share unique similarities with Germany in terms of their economic make-up and energy mix.
During the five days in Berlin and Munich, a mix of meetings, site visits, and cultural activities allowed delegates to witness firsthand the opportunities and challenges born from making a definitive leap towards a more sustainable low carbon future.

Delegates learned about Germany’s landmark Renewable Energy Act, also known as the feed-in tariff; they dived into the details of the European Emissions Trading System; and they saw how carbon capture and storage (CCS) is being piloted at the Schwarze Pumpe coal-fired power plant.
At the futuristic production site of Q-Cells, in Germany’s high-tech “Solar Valley,” the delegates learned about the process of manufacturing solar cells and about green collar job creation through the right mix of policies. The final day of the trip in Munich included a trip to the world headquarters of BMW, where the latest innovations in energy efficient and high performance design were showcased.

Several meetings also took place with prominent German politicians and policy makers, such as Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer of the Potsdam Institute and the Co-Chair of Working Group III of the IPCC; and Dr. Herman Scheer, renowned Social Democrat Party figure and author the German Renewable Energy Act.

This trip told the German story about how to address climate change in a common sense way while continuing to grow the economy. The seeds have been planted for the Americans to next welcome their German colleagues to the United States, to demonstrate how America has adopted some of these best practices, and at the same time, pioneered some of its own.

By Michael Allegretti, Director of Government Relations, The Climate Group

The Climate Group is an international, non-profit organisation with the goal of helping government and business set the world economy on the path to a low-carbon, prosperous future:
http://www.theclimategroup.org/
The Ecologic Institute is a private not-for-profit think tank for applied environmental research, policy analysis and consultancy dedicated to bringing fresh ideas to environmental policies and sustainable development:
http://ecologic.eu/
This article brought to you by the Indiana Renewable Energy Association.
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