In Germany, the energy transition is a national policy priority, and one that also affects key areas of foreign policy, amongst them central international ties and international climate negotiations, which, by 2015, aim to have settled a global agreement on climate issues. Furthermore, conditions for a sustainable global energy supply need to be shaped, as currently there still lacks an appropriate governance framework.
In their recent article "Energy transition and Foreign Policy" published in the Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, adelphi’s Dennis Tänzler and Stephan Wolters outline current views on effective solutions to the challenges described and examine how the structural reshaping of Germany’s energy system into a multi-level system can be attained politically.
A successful energy transition demands foreign policy engagement
In sight of global climate protection requirements, the extensive challenges posed by transforming energy sources has been known for a long time, In the past years there has been little progress, and all too often, German discussions have been dominated by competitive disputes between the Ministries of Economy and the Environment, which have also begun to seep in at the European level.
As set out in the article (German only), a key aspect of ensuring successful energy transition is foreign policy engagement that supports an ambitious target setting process and the establishment of a harmonized mix of instruments at both EU and global level. If this fails, the fundamental political problems experienced in Berlin and Brussels threaten to draw global efforts to establish a sustainable climate and energy policy to a halt. Additionally the mushrooming international initiatives that promote sustainable energy need to merge to create a stronger momentum, complementing international climate protection processes.