Solving our Climate Crisis: Dr. Bausch at Senator Bernie Sanders’ National Town Hall Meeting in Washington DC
Senator Bernie Sanders invited some of the most prominent voices in America to the US Congress to discuss how to handle the increasing threat of climate change. Dr. Camilla Bausch of Ecologic Institute reflected on global trends in the field of energy, climate policy, and business.
Senator Sanders “National Town Hall Meeting” was hosted by himself and prominent environmental writer and journalist Bill McKibben, activist and actor Shailene Woodley and CNN news commentator Van Jones. The event was broadcasted live on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook to an audience of more than one million people.
Dr. Bausch was asked to exemplify some of the international efforts and successes in the fight against climate change. She advocated for a multi-level approach, spanning bold governance, smart business solutions, action by people and scientific backing. She pointed to the example of the German renewable energy law (EEG) as a successful policy with real impact – helping renewable power to gain a market share of almost 40% by 2018 and allowing many communities, farmers and citizens to engage in the renewable energy business. Another example Dr. Bausch highlighted was a young entrepreneur with the vision to bring clean energy to off-grid rural Eastern Africa and thus help in the fight against poverty and diseases. He developed an innovative business model around (the plummeting cost of) solar PV and the opportunities created by digitalization. With this he was able to expand his business quickly, and within less than 10 years, his company was providing more than half a million people with clean energy, and employing more than 700 people.
Looking across the Atlantic, Dr. Bausch also highlighted the fundamental shifts in the power sector in Chile, moving away from coal and gas and focusing on renewable sources. supported by a thriving market (making use of the low cost of renewable sources) and government action e.g. with respect to a coal phase-out.
Dr. Bausch’s contribution was precluded by Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, Director of Climate Science at the Union of Concerned Scientists, who provided scientific background on climate change, including the finding of the most recent IPCC report. Youth activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez followed with a plea to end extraction and consumption of fossil fuels and consider the impact on future generations. The evening also featured Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who proposed legislation to work towards 100 % renewable energy within 10 years while creating jobs and mitigating inequalities in income and wealth. Elucidating this idea, the Republican Mayor Dale Ross of Georgetown, Texas demonstrated how the transition he led to 100 % renewable energy for the town of Georgetown (pop. 65,000) has saved his residents money while also creating jobs and reducing carbon emissions.
Dr. Camilla Bausch attended the Town Hall Meeting with the support of Stiftung Mercator.
Dr. Bausch's discussion on international solutions begins at 1:19:10.