US Low-Carbon Economy Tour 2010
Both Europe and the US have regions with key roles in the competition to establish a low-carbon economy. On both sides of the Atlantic, however, these regions remain economically and politically bound to carbon intensive electricity production and manufacturing. But this stalemate can be overcome. By maximizing policy exchange and mutual learning, Europe and the US can make progress toward regional low-carbon growth strategies.
In this objective, the Heinrich-Boell-Stiftung organizes a study tour that will bring 6 Central and Eastern European experts on climate and energy policy to Washington DC. The study tour includes a dynamic group of Central and Eastern European participants that represent both current experts and future leaders on climate policy. These senior advisors have helped to shape climate and energy policies throughout the EU as well as within their own countries. They bring to the US audience a wide range of experience on legislation and governance in the fields of climate, energy and economic transformation. Findings from the study tour will be summarized in a report and will be presented to experts from NGOs and governments in Central and Eastern Europe, in particular with regards to economic transformation, diversification and the of creation of green jobs.
Within the framework of the The Climate Network Project, this study tour seeks to enable extensive dialogue on what are the best strategies, policies, incentives and programs to move toward low carbon energy production and consumption. Participants from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland will meet with US experts from think tanks, NGOs, US Congress and other institutions.
The experts from Central and Eastern Europe will share their countries‘ experiences of transpositioning the EU energy and environment related legislation (20-20-20 goals until 2020 for renewable energy standard, energy efficiency and CO2 reductions) and introduction of modified models of the feed-in-tarifs, energy savings programmes and other regulatory and fiscal measures..\ With about the same energy consumption per capita as the US the Central and Eastern European countries have to catch up with the "old" EU member states which produce a GDP unit with about 50% less energy. Although Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland are still highly dependent on the domestic coal and oil and gas imports from Russia they have made first important steps to harness the potential of the energy savings and renewables. However, unlike the situation in the UK, Germany, Denmark and most of others EU member states there is no broad political and societal consensus about the long-term merits and necessity to de-carbonise the economy and energy sector.
Among the specific topics discussed during the meetings will be: "American Power Act," economic potentials of the energy savings and renewables, future of the nuclear energy, strategies to reduce the oil-import dependence of the US economy, political and social alliances for "green jobs."
This project is supported by the European Commission. The EC is not responsible for the content of the project.
Until April 2010, he served as Director of the Department for Sustainable Energy and Transport at the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic. Previously, he worked as an advisor to the Minister of Environment. His responsibilities at the ministry included the development of criteria for the “Green Investment Scheme”, a program focused on supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy in residential buildings. Moreover, he was involved in the “Operational Program Environment”, a support area for sustainable energy on the municipal level. He led a working group which was identifying administrative barriers to the development of renewable energy sources and proposing instruments to break them. He also developed and supervised an information campaign on renewable energy for public authorities.
Before he entered the ministry, Petr Holub worked as Head of the energy program of “Friends of the Earth Czech Republic”, an influential environmental group (2003-2007). He has also been a university teacher on the subject of environmental and social aspects of energy utilization at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Brno. Petr Holub graduated from the Masaryk University in Brno with a Bsc in Physics and an MA in Environmental Studies.
Mr. Kutak has also worked as Co-ordinator of "Transportation for the 21st Century," a programme of the Environmental Partnership Foundation CR, focussed on the promotion of sustainable mobility. He was also employed as an external lecturer for issues such as Transportation Geography, Applied Landscape Ecology and Global Problems of Mankind at the Department of Georaphy of the West-Bohemian University. He holds a degree in Environmental Science from the Natural Science Faculty of Palacky’s University, Olomouc.
From 1993 to 2002, Mr. Mesik has been the Director of "Environmental Partnership for Central Europe (EPCE)" in Slovakia (currently Ekopolis Foundation). Under his leadership, Ekopolis, in cooperation with ETP, received and administered 2 million USD through the USAID funded "Your Land" program (1999-2002). Throughout his career, Dr. Mesik has been extensively involved in the development of the environmental movement and the broader civil society. He also served as a trustee for the “Institute for East West Studies” in Prague and New York, and as a trustee for the "Healthy City Community Foundation."
From 1996 to 2000, he has worked on the "European Community Philanthropy Initiative" with the European Foundation Center, Brussels. In the 2003 to 2008 period, Dr. Mesik has worked as a Senior Community Foundations Specialist for the World Bank in Washington D.C. During his years at the World Bank, he worked on introducing community foundations to a number of countries around the world. Mesik is also the author of numerous commentaries and analytical articles published in opinion-making dailies.
Within the initiative, he coordinates the work on an expert study proving the economic benefits of modern, clean technologies. The study will calculate impacts of structural changes in the energy sector on the composition of household spending. It is conducted jointly by "Friends of the Earth" and Heinrich Böll Stiftung Prague.
Martin Mikeska is also responsible for the project "Green Energy Scenarios" – a concrete, expert plan by a coalition of Czech environmental NGOs. It deals with the question of how the Czech economy, highly dependent on fossil fuels, could be modernized into a clean and hi-tech oriented economy. The project (plan) has been developed on the basis of studies and analysis by external universities and businesses.
She coordinates activities of the "Climate Coalition" of Polish NGOs, such as establishing joint positions and opinions within the Coalition, influencing the Polish government and also officials included in the Polish delegation for the UN negotiation processes (joint open letters, actions, meetings), rising public awareness, observing international negotiations and informing members of the Coalition and the media about the progress of the talks and the related problems.
The "Climate Coalition" is an association of 19 non-governmental, mainly environmental organizations engaged in climate protection activities. It was established on 22 June 2002, during the conference 'Stop global warming' in Kazimierz Dolny, Poland. The activities pursued by the Coalition are guided by its mission statement: Joint action to prevent human-induced climate change, for the benefit of humanity and the environment.
Since 2006 she has been working at the "Charles University Environment Center," where she is responsible for the administrative and technical support of research projects, the organization of dissemination events, workshops and conferences, and where she takes part in the publishing activities.
Hana Škopková has been cooperating with Heinrich Böll Foundation Prague in the preparation and organization of international conferences on the topics of Climate Change and Energy Policy.
Since 2001 she has worked for the Heinrich Böll Foundation, focusing on Minority Rights, European Affairs and Energy Policy. Since 2007 the Prague office has coordinated the energy and climate policy related activities of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Central and Eastern Europe.