This week The Heinrich Böll Foundation is hosting a delegation of U.S. state legislators on the EU Low Carbon Economy Tour 2015. The bipartisan delegation, made up of legislators committed to advancing clean energy in the United States, will visit Berlin, Brandenburg and Brussels from June 8-12 to look at the economic and ecological benefits of Europe’s transition to clean energy, as well as the European, national, and state/local policies that have been successful drivers for investment in a clean energy economy.
The tour will begin in Berlin to assess the current state of the Energiewende, Germany’s transition from conventional to renewable energy and increased energy efficiency. In Brandenburg the delegation will meet with counterparts in the state parliament in Potsdam and visit a lignite mine and a small company working on solar and biomass projects to better understand the challenges and opportunities that coal and renewable energy present for local rural communities. The role of the European Union in advancing a clean energy economy will be the focus of meetings in Brussels, with briefings about the EU Emissions Trading System and the recently proposed European Energy Union. In Belgium the delegation will also visit a wind park in the town of Asse, owned by the renewable energy cooperative Ecopower, to learn how citizen- and community-owned energy projects have become the grassroots backbone of the energy transition.
The EU Low Carbon Economy Tour 2015 is part of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Transatlantic Energy and Climate Network, a project funded by the European Union and committed to strengthening dialogue between Americans and Europeans to advance a sustainable clean energy economy on both sides of the Atlantic.