Transatlantic Cooperation on Climate Change: Germany's Agenda for the G8


Address by Dr. Thomas Bagger, Deputy Head of Political Affairs at the German Embassy in Washington, DC. He previously served at German missions in Ankara/Turkey (2002-2006) and in Prague/Czech Republic (1996-98). From 1998-2002 he held the position of speechwriter for then-Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. He joined the diplomatic service in 1992 after two years as a research associate at SWP, Germany 's premier international affairs think tank. Mr. Bagger holds a doctorate in political science from Munich University and an MA in international relations from the University of Maryland at College Park, which he attended as a Fulbright student in 1989/1990.

Voesar Conference Room, 1957 E Street, NW, Suite 412 - March 1, 2007

 

Summary

In 2007, Germany is simultaneously holding the Presidency of the G8 and the EU. As a result, Angela Merkel's government is in a unique position to take a leadership role on a number of issues. One of Germany 's stated priorities for the G8 is to strengthen ties with the United States, particularly in environmental policy.

Dr. Thomas Bagger analyzed how far could climate change policy be carried in this period, and how the US and European positions could be brought together. Dr. Bagger made it clear that despite past differences between Germany and the United States, new space for cooperation has been created. Citing recent developments such as President Bush's state of the union address, the 2007 World Economic Forum, and a report released by the UN Panel on Climate Change, political capital has been created to be aggressive on climate change policy. As a result, US and EU policy has been converging. "Energy security through alternative sources of fuel and power is pressing for both the US and EU. The more we cooperate, the more beneficial it will be for both sides of the Atlantic." He concluded by saying that enacting effective environmental policy is the responsibility of all nations of the world, but the United States and Europe must take the lead as the world's two largest economic centers.

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