2023 Year in Review


We looked back at our work in 2023. Highlights include: four new team members, German Green Party co-chair Ricarda Lang's visit, 2022's labor and environmental Grow the Future cohort, and updated info for Climate Funds Update. But that's just a small taste! 

collage of images including biden and a union worker, a fanciful image of a city with public transit, a beach underwater, a banner that says "strike for climate", and a group of students at the harvard german american conference

2023 saw some changes to the team, lots of great work, and plenty to share – so we’ve gathered together highlights from the year.


In January, we published a large number of articles from our Transatlantic Media Fellowships in 2022, covering topics like Ukrainian refugees in Poland, the questionable climate efficacy of wood pellets as an energy source, and how Lithuania punches above its weight in international relations. And we welcomed Mareike Moraal back to the team as our new Energy & Environmental Policy Program Director! She had previously been an intern on the team in 2019.


To start February, we followed up on our 2022 coverage of Brazil’s crucial election. Colleagues in our Rio de Janeiro office provided context for January 8, a shocking storming of Brazil’s capitol reminiscent of January 6 here in the US. Foreign and Security Policy Program Director Teresa Eder shed light on the German Green Party’s thinking about foreign policy towards Russia and Eastern Europe after the invasion of Ukraine – she saw alignment on values, but not yet on what needs to be done. And Carla Adams joined the team as our Office Manager!


As spring arrived in DC, we did our yearly update to the Climate Finance Fundamentals, our data dashboards at Climate Funds Update, and the 10 Thing to Know About Climate Finance (with a focus on the Global Stocktake). Mareike Moraal went in-depth on the Inflation Reduction Act, providing key insight into why progressives in the US and Europe have been so starkly divided on America’s first large-scale climate legislation. Alongside intern Lalitha Shan, she provided a guide for American and Canadian environmental activists on why Germany has closed its nuclear power plants: democratic input made it clear to policymakers that the risks of nuclear power outweighed the potential benefits.


In April, we hosted a delegation of foreign policy advisors and analysts to Washington D.C. to explore how Europe can re-imagine its own security architecture in case support from the US is dwindling in 2024. We also looked at how the World Bank has failed in its mission to promote development – and how the new roadmap proposed at the Spring Meetings continued those failures. We also provided some key insights into what living up to its mission would mean. Associate Director Liane Schalatek traveled to the first meeting of the Transitional Committee, an international body set up at COP27 to lay the groundwork for establishing a Loss and Damage Fund at COP28. She explained everything about the meeting: its purpose, what it likely would mean for the new fund, and what’s needed to adequately respond to climate change happening today. It was the first in a series of pieces about the Transitional Committee meetings throughout the year.


With temperatures rising both in DC and around the world, we looked at what financing and structure would be in line with the mission of the new Loss and Damage Fund. We highlighted the urgent need for a global response to climate-related losses and damages disproportionately affecting developing countries, and the importance of equitable, adequate, and rights-aligned financing. And we published, alongside POMED, a look into Turkey’s elections before they happened.


June was extremely busy! We welcomed co-chair of the German Green Party Ricarda Lang on her first visit to the US, and took her to meet key partners in the fight for a Green New Deal – labor organizers, senators, and climate wonks. She also spoke at our annual reception! Liane Schalatek kept up her work on the Transitional Committee, reporting back on the second meeting and its movement from big political questions to more granular details. We published studies looking at the use of mobility data in the US and Germany, and how it can be used to create more sustainable and equitable transportation. In Grow the Future’s third year, we brought a cohort of labor activists, organizers, and experts to meet with the people behind the Green New Deal in the US. And Brett Simpson published the first article by one of our 2023 Transatlantic Media Fellows, looking at how Russian’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the Arctic Council’s work.


In July, we looked back at Feminist Foreign and Development Policy, inviting our fellows from 2022 to write reflections on what it means on a variety of topics. They talked about the importance of human security, the necessity of bringing everyone into discussions on how to make the world more feminist, and what can be done to rectify power imbalances still left over from colonialism.


Before the third Transitional Committee Meeting in August, we provided input making it clear that the Loss and Damage Fund must live up to its values if it will be successful. And we highlighted the necessity of civil society participation for making sure values are represented. We also refreshed our website – take a look around!


Liane Schalatek reported back from the third Transitional Committee meeting. This was the first time the committee worked to find a “landing zone” of consensus agreements – a recommendation that all sides could sign on to. Much more political than previous meetings, it highlighted issues that would come up at the next two meetings. For Labor Day, we interviewed five activists are the intersection of labor and climate – and how they saw the two movements working together in the US. We also took a deep, deep dive into the Inflation Reduction Act on its one year anniversary – looking at the coalition building behind it, the narrative building to support it, and the community engagement that garnered grassroots support. The lessons for progressives everywhere: bring movements together, create a positive narrative, and draw on local grassroots support. Last but not least, Drew Mitnick joined the team as our new Digital Policy Program Director.


Before COP28, we looked at the Green Climate Fund’s replenishment, and what signals it sent for international climate finance before COP28. Sadly, they weren’t the right ones. Remo Gassmann came on board as our new Global Development Policy Program Director.


With COP28 starting at the end of the month, we pulled together all our work in 2023 that would be relevant: our in-depth reporting on the Transitional Committee and the state of play going into negotiations, what this COP means for climate finance writ large, and much more. We launched the podcast Hear Her Roar, an interview series by Sabrine Dao featuring many of our inaugural Feminist Foreign and Development Policy fellows. Drew Mitnick looked at Biden’s new AI Policy, providing an explainer for Europeans about the new policy and highlighting places for cooperation. Foreign Policy and Democracy Intern Antonia Brand wrote about her experience at Harvard’s German American Conference and what it means for transatlantic relations.


In December, we published the Call for Applications for our second year of Feminist Foreign & Development Policy Fellows. In 2024, the fellowship will support people attending the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in March. Please share it far and wide! We also published the second episode of Hear Her Roar – subscribe and give it a listen here. And we put up Jordan Michael Smith’s reporting with his Transatlantic Media Fellowship on European defense – and its failure to launch.