Study trip on ecological and innovative industrial and energy policies in Germany

Event: Sustainable Growth Model

From 27-31 March 2017, a six-member delegation of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences’ (SASS) Institute of Ecology and Sustainable Development visited Germany and a number of academics, policy analysts and decision-makers to gain a deeper understanding of German ecological and industrial policies.

The delegation was led by Prof. Zhou Fengqi, Deputy Director of the Institute of Ecology and Sustainable Development who was accompanied by several associate research professors from SASS.

The week-long visit started in Berlin with a visit to the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s headquarters and a presentation by Manuela Mattheß on FES’s work in the domain of international climate and energy policy. She emphasised the social dimensions of the current global ecological crises and spoke about FES efforts to promote the German energy transition abroad among others.

The delegation then met Klaus Mindrup, member of the German parliament for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and member of the parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. After a short introduction of his and the committee’s current work, the group discussed the European Emissions Trading Scheme and the German withdrawal from nuclear energy among other topics.

In the afternoon, the group visited Dr. Klaus Jacob, Research Director of the Freie Universität Berlin’s Environmental Policy Center and discussed the political and social dimensions of a transition to a green economy as well as the necessary strategic considerations when formulating environmental policy advice.

On Tuesday, the focus of the discussions was squarely on the German energy transition. The delegation first met with Philipp Fink (coordinator for national climate and energy policy at FES), then later with Michael Schäfer from the think tank agora energiewende, and in the afternoon with Kristina Haverkamp, Managing Director of the German Energy Agency (DENA). While Mr. Fink and Mr. Schäfer mainly spoke about the successes and challenges of the German energy transition, Mrs. Haverkamp also spoke about DENA’s activities in China on the topics of energy efficiency in buildings and construction, eco-cities and the promotion of renewable energies.

On Wednesday, the group travelled to nearby Potsdam to meet Dr. Fritz Reusswig and Prof. Manfred Stock at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) who presented and discussed the challenges of implementing Berlin’s climate plan among other more technical aspects of achieving Germany’s carbon emissions reduction goals. Later in the afternoon, the group then travelled on to Hamburg, partner city of Shanghai.

On Thursday, Prof. Zhou and the other delegation members first visited the Ministry for Environment and Energy of the city of Hamburg. They were introduced to the city’s efforts to reduce the energy consumption of urban buildings, to better manage waste water and rain water, as well as to reduce the risks of flooding due to heavy rains or storms.

The presentations of experts from the Ministry and academia were complemented by on-site visits to give the delegation an in-depth impression of the city’s green roof strategy and climate-friendly building design. In the afternoon, Prof. Peter Fröhle (TU Hamburg-Harburg) gave the delegation a tour of the city’s flood protection measures which are integrated into the historic architecture of the city centre and the harbour area.

On Friday, the delegation met with Prof. Wolfgang Dickhaut of the HafenCity Universität who gave a presentation on environmentally sound and social urban- and infrastructure planning. In the afternoon, the delegation visited the Hamburg Water Cycle model neighbourhood in Hamburg’s Jenfeld district where representatives from Hamburg’s municipal water provider gave an in-depth presentation and tour of the project. Its aim is to demonstrate smart and new ways of reducing water consumption and energy production from waste water in the context of the (re)development of a 1000-people neighbourhood.

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