Transatlantic Climate Bridge: working together on climate protection

The Transatlantic Climate Bridge

19.01.2010 Washington, D.C.


For decades, Americans and Europeans have joined forces successfully to address the key challenges facing us. Today, an opportunity exists to tackle the common challenge of climate change and energy security - together.

Promoting global climate protection through cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic. This is the aim of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge initiative launched in September 2008.

Numerous organizations and multipliers from politics, business, science and civil society from both sides of the Atlantic met in Berlin to launch this initiative in September 2008. During a discussion marking the start of the Climate Bridge in Washington, Ambassador Klaus Scharioth pointed out, “In these difficult times it is crucial that we have a long-term strategy on energy and climate protection.”

Cooperating to improve climate protection

The idea behind the initiative is that we can only tackle climate change together. As major economies, the European Union and the United States play a key role. If they work together to cut greenhouse gases and cushion the impact of climate change, this can send an important message to the rest of the world.

A stable climate and sustainable, reliable and affordable energy supplies are crucial for the world’s economies. A joint initiative to invest in new, cleaner energy sources can create jobs, help protect the climate and the environment, improve living standards and foster global security.

Ambitious goals

On both sides of the Atlantic, there are already innovative approaches and ambitious goals. Regional initiatives in the United States aim to push ahead with climate protection. President Barack Obama has made clear that under his leadership the United States is to drastically reduce greenhouse gases by the middle of the century.

The aim of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge is to bring together players active in climate policy on both sides of the Atlantic to encourage exchange on shared challenges and solutions. This is particularly pertinent in the light of the current controversial discussion on climate protection targets and instruments in the United States.

In the first year of the Climate Bridge, many events were staged to help broaden dialogue on climate and energy issues: exchange programmes with decision-makers, farmers and journalists pooled American and German experiences on the topic, while seminars and talks with businesses and universities triggered a lively exchange of views. The joint founding of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by the Fraunhofer Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has bolstered cooperation on research.

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