Transatlantic climate dialogue between US States and European regions
Strong foundations already exist for this kind of regional cooperation with partnerships such as Northern Virginia and Stuttgart, Schleswig-Holstein and Maryland, Wisconsin and Bavaria, South Carolina and Rhineland-Palatinate, and Pennsylvania and North-Rhine Westphalia, as well as between the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas (Metrex):
Cooperation with Virginia
On 30 September 2008, Virginia's Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant, Jr. was invited to Berlin by German Foreign Minister Steinmeier und German Environment Minster Gabriel to participate in the launch of the 'Transatlantic Climate Bridge'.
On 16. December 2008, the German Ambassador signed a joint agreement with Mr. Bryant and with Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Patrick O. Gottschalk in Washington, which focused on cooperation in the emissions trading, community energy planning, energy research and renewable energies.
In March 2009, the German Embassy and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission hosted a workshop on “Developing and Implementing a Community Energy Plan for Northern Virginia”. This has resulted in Loudon County, VA, being the first in the U.S. to work on its own community energy plan. Several other counties in Virginia are considering doing the same.
On 28. April 2009, Virginia’s Governor Tim Kaine and German Environment Minster Sigmar Gabriel formalized the existing cooperation by signing a 'Joint Declaration to Support the Exchange and Application of Mutually Beneficial Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Policies Between The Federal Republic of Germany and The Commonwealth of Virginia'.
Representatives from Virginia have traveled to Germany on several occasions to learn more about the country’s climate and energy policy and to see how economic growth and job creation remain possible whilst greenhouse gas emissions are being steadily reduced.
Cooperation with Midwestern States
In November 2009, eleven state policymakers from Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and California took part in an informational visit to Berlin and Bremen entitled “Green Jobs, Green Growth: Opportunities through Re-Industrialization.”
The five-day visit was organized in conjunction with the Midwestern Governors Association. Its aim was to provide an in-depth knowledge of Germany’s energy and climate policy, and to discuss the prospects for job creation, advanced clean energy technologies, and industrial innovation.
The trip highlighted the fact that Germany and the Midwest have much in common—both have strong traditional energy industries and both are building strong foundations for leadership in the fields of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
Cooperation with Pennsylvania
In May 2009, Dr. Jens Baganz, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, visited the US. Together with Pennsylvania’s Governor Ed Rendell, he opened the "GADORE (German American Dialog on Renewable Energy) Center USA" at the WindPower 2009 conference and trade fair in Chicago.