WRI opened its Europe office in 2013. We represent WRI’s vision and strategy in Europe through engagement with European governments, businesses and institutions. Learn more about our work in the Europe.
This post originally appeared on the National Journal's Energy Experts blog.
As evidence of climate change mounts, President Obama has made it clear that tackling this issue will be a priority in his second term. Yet, as weeks go by, the administration has been slow to clarify its strategy. With each passing day, it becomes harder and more expensive to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
Meanwhile, other global powers are moving forward--and many of them carry valuable lessons which American policymakers can look to. The most successful countries are showing national leadership, strong and consistent policies, and commitment to clean energy.
Where, then, are signs of progress on clean energy?
Germany’s Energiewende: Leading the Way
High on the list is Germany, whose ambitious energy transformation strategy--or “Energiewende”--aims to reduce greenhouse gases by 80 to 95 percent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. This will be achieved by enhancing energy efficiency, reducing primary energy consumption by 50 percent, and ramping up renewable energy to at least 80 percent of electricity consumption in the same time-frame.
Creating a Sustainable Food Future, Installment One
How can the world adequately feed more than 9 billion people by 2050 in a manner that advances economic development and reduces pressure on the environment? This is one of the paramount questions the world faces over the next four decades. “The Great Balancing Act” seeks to start answering this...
An Overview of the Current Policy Landscape
This report draws on projections from the “Energy Roadmap 2050” to assess whether the European Union is on track to reach its greenhouse gas (GHG), renewable energy, and energy efficiency targets. We find that the EU is on track to surpass its 2020 GHG reduction and renewable energy targets...
WRI Europe Director Kitty van der Heijden shows her passion for - and knowledge of -sustainable development at the TEDxHaarlem, June 2012.
This post originally appeared on the website of the Zero Emissions Resource Organization (ZERO) on December 16, 2011. ZERO is a partner in the Open Climate Network.
The European Commission has announced the adoption of its Energy Roadmap 2050, which explores the challenges of decarbonising the European Union while ensuring security of energy supply and economic competitiveness.
The roadmap’s analysis concludes that decarbonisation of the energy system is "technically and economically feasible" and that energy efficiency and renewables are a critical part of the mix. Its analysis is based on scenarios created by combining, in different ways, the four main decarbonisation routes – namely, energy efficiency, renewables, nuclear, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
A Special Letter from WRI Interim President Manish Bapna
Denmark’s new coalition government, elected last month, has adopted a new, more ambitious climate policy committing the country to reduce its GHG emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2020 through domestic action. This target brings Denmark into line with the level of reduction proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as with the targets of several other Nordic and Northern European countries.
In addition to indicator and overall global water risk maps, Aqueduct provides a set of maps of projected change in water stress levels in the coming decades. This set of 10 maps, which can be found under the "Projected Change" tab of the Water Risk Atlas, show how baseline water stress could...
This piece was written by Felix Matthes, Oeko-Institut, and Jennifer Morgan, WRI.
Germany has taken some fundamental energy decisions in recent months, ones that are interesting for other countries to study and learn from. The most "famous" decision recently has been to phase out nuclear power in the next ten years. This move builds on years of debate and a societal decision after Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident to move away from nuclear energy.
There has been much less focus, however, on the phasing in of other sources of energy. Nor has there been much focus on how Germany can remain the economic powerhouse of Europe, and the world's second largest exporting country, while removing a significant source of energy from its grid.
This phase-in story is vital to understand, especially taking into account that Germany plans to meet ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets while it phases out nuclear power. So, how will this work?