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Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue: Global energy transition changes geopolitical framework 

Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2018

Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2018, © Thomas Koehler/photothek.net

08.04.2019 - Article

The shift to renewable energy sources is reducing geopolitical dependencies. The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue at the Federal Foreign Office provides a platform to discuss the impact of the global energy transition.

Important information

Investment in renewable energy sources has overtaken investment in fossil fuels such as oil and gas in recent years. This means that the countries which export oil and natural gas are losing an important instrument of political power that until now they have been able to use as a lever to assert their interests. Countries can increase their own energy security by changing to renewable energy sources and abandoning fossil fuels, thereby reducing their geopolitical dependence on oil and gas exporters. The balance of power in foreign policy is beginning to shift – countries that are transforming their energy systems are in a position to pursue their strategic and foreign policy goals more independently.

On 9 and 10 April the Federal Foreign Office will host one of the largest global energy transition conferences – the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue – for the fifth time. More than 2000 participants and over 50 high-ranking government delegations from all continents will discuss the geopolitical and economic consequences of the global energy transition. In this context, the Federal Foreign Office has set itself the task of ensuring
              • that the global energy transition reduces the risks of violent conflicts between states,
              • that common standards for renewable energy sources are developed,
              • that technological dominance of this future-oriented field by a few players is avoided.

Wind energy
Wind energy© Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB

Economic aspects

Alongside the crucial foreign policy factor, there is also a significant economic aspect to the global energy transition: renewable energy sources account for ten million jobs worldwide. In Germany alone, almost 350,000 people are employed in the field of renewables. Many countries are paying particularly close attention to Germany’s experiences with its national energy transition. How can we succeed in phasing out nuclear and coal-based power and increasing the proportion of renewable energy sources while maintaining industrial production levels in the country and creating jobs?

Under the Paris Climate Agreement, investment in renewables will continue to rise. German enterprises are in a good position due to the experience they have already had with their country’s own energy transition. Many opportunities are available for them also and particularly abroad.

BETD participants: half of all panelists are women

The Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will jointly host the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue. To this end, the two ministries are cooperating closely with the German Solar Association, the German Renewable Energy Federation, the consulting firm eclareon and the German Energy Agency dena.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier will open the conference on 9 April in the Federal Foreign Office Weltsaal. This year’s speakers include the former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser and the heads of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency.

A particular goal of the conference is the specific promotion of women, who are still underrepresented in the energy sector. As a result of the direct targeting of potential candidates, the proportion of women on our panels for this year’s conference is more than 50 percent.

Find out more:

- Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue website

- “A New World”: Report by the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, co-financed by the Federal Foreign Office: www.geopoliticsofrenewables.org


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