The new series ZEW Lunch Debates was met with great response in Brussels. The opening speech by EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger as well as the following panel discussion with distinguished speakers addressed the topic “Post 2020 Energy and Climate Protection Targets”. ZEW President Prof. Clemens Fuest welcomed about 120 participants from the European Commission and the European Parliament as well as industry associations, companies, research institutions and non-governmental organisations to the first ZEW Lunch Debate in Brussels on 18 March 2014. The kick-off event of this new ZEW series addressed an environmental economics topic: “Post 2020 Energy and Climate Protection Targets”.

Participants in the first ZEW Lunch Debate
Participants in the first ZEW Lunch Debate: Johannes Jung (Head of the State Representation in Brussels) and ZEW President Prof. Clemens Fuest with EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, Prof. Vittorio Prodi MEP, Jaroslaw Pietras (General Secretariat of the Council, General Director Environment, Education, Transport and Energy), Sir Graham Watson MEP and Thomas Kohl (ZEW Director of Business and Administration)

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.

More information about the ZEW Lunch Debates and forthcoming events in this series




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