A project designed to strengthen the transfer and application of sustainable energy and climate practices between metropolitan regions in Germany and North America.
The development of sustainable climate policies in Germany and North America depends on the successful management of energy in urban regions. The reasons are clear. Between 2010 and 2030, metropolitan areas in both countries will see dramatic increases in the amount of energy consumed. The OECD estimates that by 2030, cities in the U.S. will consume 87 percent of all energy. In Germany, it is projected that cities will consume nearly 75 percent of all energy by 2030. Germany has set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 within the context of the Meseberg Declaration. However, questions linger about the country’s ability to attain these goals – particularly within urban areas. Likewise in North America, consumption of conventional fossil-fuels and emissions of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and Canada continue to rise, and current sectoral energy and climate paradigms are proving insufficient.
National governments in Germany, Canada and the United States can cooperate positively and substantially on climate and energy through existing work among cities and metropolitan regions. Several metropolitan regions on both continents are working to develop sustainable energy and climate policies that are framed around energy efficiency, heat recovery, renewable energies, efficient energy distribution, and combined transportation and land-use development – a framework that is becoming regarded as Community Energy Planning (CEP).
The development of community energy plans in German and North American cities offer great potential for applied transatlantic policy learning and knowledge transfer. However, little has been done so far to fully explore and utilize this potential. The successful transfer of knowledge is handicapped by a lack of formal review and analysis of the experiences with community energy planning in Germany and North America.
The project seeks to strengthen the transfer and application of community energy planning practices between Germany and North America by facilitating a two-year dialogue of policymakers, practitioners, business leaders, academics and technical experts.
For the period 2011 to 2013, this initiative will organize four transatlantic workshops, develop policy briefs, offer a series of small high-level briefing sessions, and set up and maintain a web-platform for the dissemination of project outcomes.