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Follow Our Fellow: Talking Climate Policy in Bellingham

December 7, 2017

Jürgen braved the rain and headed to Western Washington University on November 30, where he was hosted by Dr. Amir Abedi, Professor and Chair of Political Science. He spoke to an upper-level seminar on the European Union. His presentation, “Climate Policy in the European Union“, was well-received by students, and gave an overview of the development of climate policy and legislation in the European Union over the past 20 years.

His talk covered the history and structure of the EU and its negotiation processes, and showcased how the European Union has made progress towards its ambitious goals in addition to becoming a global leader in climate action. He explained how integrating climate and energy policy has helped mainstream climate action in Europe.

The latter part of Jürgen’s presentation went into depth about the progress that the EU has made in emissions reductions and the targets that it is currently working towards. Finally, he touched on the significance of the 2015 Paris Agreement, and what can be expected from the international community in coming years.

Students had prepared questions for Jürgen ahead of time, and asked about the calculation of emissions targets, the significance of Germany in EU policy and challenges that it faces as its national emissions have increased, and the effects of the current US administration’s intentions to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on international climate negotiations. Students were clearly well-versed in European issues, and aced the introductory “EU Quiz” that Jürgen used to warm up his audience.

Jürgen will be returning to Western Washington University in early March as part of the Energy Speaker Series hosted by the Institute for Energy Studies.


Listen to his talk here!