Comparing climate change mitigation strategies: Germany and California share their experiences

So far, the energy transition underway in Germany is unique in the world, though California also has some ambitious climate and energy policy goals. To help both to move forward, scientists and practitioners from Germany and California are engaging in a systematic exchange about the energy transition and their climate change mitigation strategies – and are learning from one another.


To develop better climate change mitigation concepts

When Germany and California engage in a purposeful exchange about their climate and energy policy experiences, challenges, goals and strategies, and when they learn from one another, both are able to develop better new concepts. At the same time, the collaboration between the two promotes international developments in the area of climate change mitigation, and also helps other countries and regions to drive forward their climate change mitigation policies.


Sharing experiences, learning from one another

Reflecting on, analysing and sharing the experiences gained with strategies for climate change to date mitigation is the core element of the project. The key focus is on the question of how a long-term, risk-minimized energy strategy might look, a strategy that is able at the same time to save resources and our climate, while also bringing about ecological modernization and making the economy internationally competitive. Germany’s specific answer to this question – the energy transition that is underway there – is so far unique in one of the world’s leading industrialized countries. Nonetheless, California has also developed its own ambitious strategies and concepts from which Germany can learn. California is a pioneer in the field of electromobility, for example. Both parties therefore profit from the exchange.


Scientific analysis, long-term political application

Germany and California are both regarded as pioneers in climate change mitigation, though they have developed and are implementing different instruments and strategies. The strategies and measures in place so far are scientifically analysed and assessed from economic, political and legal perspectives. To ensure that the findings are channelled back into German climate policy and that practical expectations are given due consideration, an advisory board comprising political, scientific and economic experts, including from the Agora Energiewende, provides continuous advice to the project. The focus here is particularly on ways in which to incorporate renewable energies into existing energy systems, and on the question of how strongly the federal system influences climate policy in Germany and California.

Stiftung Mercator’s contribution

Approved funding: 650,000 Euro Duration: 2016 - 2018


ClimateWorks Foundation, Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) e.V., Resources for the Future, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), University of California Berkeley