As part of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge, an informational trip for a group of political decision makers and entrepreneurs from the southern United States took place from 6 to 12 June 2010. The programme informed the participants about job creation in a “green” economy by using Germany as an example. In so doing, the main challenges and opportunities of a progressive climate and energy policy were presented. In addition to the focus on law making and political factors, other important aspects of the programme were the information exchange with experts in this field and the identification of best practice examples. The tour was organized and implemented by the Ecologic Institute.
Through a number of different event formats (discussions, lectures, excursions, cultural framework programme) with representatives from various Ministries, the Parliament, industry, think tanks and NGOs in Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia (Essen and surrounding area), the programme provided a comprehensive insight into job creation in a green economy.
In addition to providing information on the German perspective on the issue, the visit was intended as a forum to exchange views and create a foundation for further discussion and cooperation.
The following events were part of the Berlin itinerary:
- Introduction at the German Federal Foreign Office on "Foreign Policy and the Energy Challenge" and "Transatlantic Climate Bridge"
- Discussion at the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature and Nuclear Security (BMU) "After Copenhagen – Climate Policy in the EU and Germany"
- Roundtable at the American Embassy on impacts of the expansion of renewable energy on the German labor market
- Introduction at the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology (BMWi) on "Electric mobility" and "Strategies for low-carbon growth: German energy policy"
- Participation at the Smart Energy Dialogue
- A tour through a Passive House Apartment Building
- Presentation at the Paul-Löbe Building / German Bundestag about the German political system
A Riverside Chat with the "Transforming the Energy Sector - Ways Towards 100% Renewables" provided the floor for discussions with invited experts and the group.
In Essen, the group met with a representative of the project City of Creativity, European Culture Capital RUHR 2010 and thereby received insight into the background of a cultural capital programme and the area of cultural sponsorship in general. A visit to the Ruhr Atoll provided a wonderful example of a cultural capital programme.
A presentation on the project InnovationCity Ruhr also provided a further example of a successful and practical way to handle the current structural change in the Ruhr area region.
The programme in Essen was complimented by several excursions:
- Visit to the Eickhoff machine factory and iron casting house GmbH (Bochum)
- Presentation from RWE e-Mobility Centers of Essen and a test drive of an electric car
- Tour through the Science Park and the "Solar City" in Gelsenkirchen
As part of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge, the programme was sponsored by the German Federal Foreign Office. The Transatlantic Climate Bridge is an initiative to foster transatlantic cooperation and partnerships between Germany, the US and Canada on climate and energy policies - at the local, the state and the federal level.