Three leading Australian journalists participated in a study tour on "Climate and Energy Policy in Germany" in Berlin, from 13 unti 18 June 2015. Ecologic Institute designed and organised the tour on behalf of the Foreign Office.
The three journalists were:
- Tony Walker, International Editor, "Australian Financial Review"
- Sidney Maher, National Affairs Editor, "The Australian"
- Peter Hannam, Environment Editor, "Sydney Morning Herald"
The 3-day trip was filled with discussions and presentations by experts covering the broad range of political, economic, technological and social implications of climate and energy policy, in both a national and European context.
Different programme formats (roundtable discussions, lectures, excursions) with representatives from ministries, parliament, science, think tanks and NGOs in Berlin guaranteed a comprehensive insight into the topics.
The agenda included visits to:
- Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB): Meeting and Discussion regarding COP21 in Paris in Nov/Dec 2015 with Nicole Wilke (Head of Division/Unit International Climate Policy) and Dr. Ursula Fuentes-Hutfilter (Head of Unit KI I 1, Strategic Aspects of Climate Policy, Climate Action Plan)
- Federal Foreign Office: Meeting and Discussion with Jan-Axel Voss (Deputy Head of Division, Climate and Environmental Foreign Policy, Sustainable Economy)
- Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK): Discussion with Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (Director) and Dr. Gunnar Luderer (Senior Researcher, Research Domain III - Sustainable Solutions, Head of Global Energy Systems Group, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)
- Discussion and Meeting with the chairperson of the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Bärbel Höhn (Member of Parliament, Alliance 90/The Greens) and Volkmar Klein (Member of German Parliament, CDU)
- Visit to the energy self-sufficient village of Feldheim
- Participation in the German-Australian Symposium 2015
- Participation in the European Climate Diplomacy Day
The Dinner Dialogue on “The Future of Coal in the German Climate and Energy Policy” with other experts allowed an intensive exchange on the subject in an informal setting. The content input for the evening was presented by Chris Barrett, Executive Director for Finance and Economics of the European Climate Foundation. The dinner was moderated by Matthias Duwe (Head, Climate, Ecologic Institute).
The visitor programme was financed by the Climate Fund of the Federal Republic of Germany from the Foreign Ministry and organised in close cooperation with the German Embassy in Canberra.
Articles of the participants:
- 'Green superpower' Germany plots the way to a low-carbon world, closing Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant [English] - Peter Hannam, "Sydney Morning Herald"
- Pope Francis' climate scientist: the German adviser who primed the pontiff [English] - Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald"