Prof. Fuest opened with a brief introduction into the idea behind the ZEW Lunch Debates: “The objective of our new lunchtime events is to create a platform for open and committed discussion on topics of European significance. This setting allows us to contribute ZEW’s scientific expertise and to address decision-makers in politics and society.” After a brief introduction into the topic of the first Lunch Debate, ZEW’s President gave EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger the floor. In his opening speech, Oettinger presented the European Commission’s "2030 Climate and Energy Framework”.
Following the Commissioner’s speech, Prof. Andreas Löschel, head of the ZEW Research Department “Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Management”, as well as Members of the European Parliament Sir Graham Watson and Prof. Vittorio Prodi delivered their statements. They addressed the empirical analysis of climate policy measures and future projects such as the development of a European “smart” power grid or the implementation of an international climate agreement. Moreover, they touched on the broader political implications of environmental, climate and energy issues, for instance Europe’s problematic dependency on energy imports. The extension of renewable energy in Europe could contribute to reducing this dependency.
A lively panel discussion with Prof. Löschel, Prof. Prodi and numerous questions and comments from the audience concluded the Lunch Debate. The discussion addressed the role of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in climate protection and the challenges arising from Germany’s energy transition for the economy.
The next ZEW Lunch Debate is scheduled for 12 March 2014 at Baden-Württemberg’s State Representation to the EU in Brussels. ZEW President Clemens Fuest will outline and discuss the most pressing economic challenges in the run-up to the 2014 elections to the European Parliament.