Bremen's Senator for Environment explains Germany's renewable energy policy

Jun 10, 2014

Dr. Joachim Lohse, the Senator for Environment, Urban Development and Transportation of the German city of Bremen, visited Chicago last week to speak about renwable energy policy and climate change.  Bremen is a coastal city and also Germany's smallest federal state. It is a role model for replacing old shipyard industry through new industry based on off-shore wind energy.  Due to its position on the water, Bremen is also one of the most vulnerable cities for climate change--particularly rising sea levels-- and has introduced some of the most progressive green city developments.  The message of  Dr. Lohse was: mitigation is cheaper than adaptation and damage control.

Panel at the Goethe-Insitut.  (l. to r.) Chris Wissemann, CEO of Fisherman's Energy; Leah Guzowski, Energy Security team leader at Argonne National Laboratory; Dr. Joachim Lohse; Kimberly Wasserman, Senior Advisor of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization Enlarge image Panel at the Goethe-Insitut. (l. to r.) Chris Wissemann, CEO of Fisherman's Energy; Leah Guzowski, Energy Security team leader at Argonne National Laboratory; Dr. Joachim Lohse; Kimberly Wasserman, Senior Advisor of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (© germany.info/chicago) On Thursday evening Dr. Lohse served as a panelist at a discussion at the Goethe-Institut titled "Global Goals, Local Measures: Economic and Social Strategies for a Sustainable Environment."  This talk explored the different ways in which Germans and Americans perceive and act on the issue of climate change. 

Q&A with the speakers.  (l. to r.) Greg Matzat, U.S. Department of Energy; Stephanie McClellan, Special Initiative on Offshore Wind; Dr. Lohse, Chris Wissemann, Fisherman's Energy; Jack Darin, Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter Enlarge image Q&A with the speakers. (l. to r.) Greg Matzat, U.S. Department of Energy; Stephanie McClellan, Special Initiative on Offshore Wind; Dr. Lohse, Chris Wissemann, Fisherman's Energy; Jack Darin, Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter (© germany.info/chicago)

On the morning of Friday, June 6, Dr. Lohse took part in a wind energy symposium held at the Union League Club of Chicago.  There he presented local policymakers with insights garnered from Bremen's experiences developing off-shore wind: the revitalization of industry, the creation of jobs, the mitigation of potentially disastrous environmental degradation, and the benefits of leading, rather than following, the trend.  Illinois's portion of Lake Michigan has the potential to generate 13,000 megawatts of power from off-shore wind turbines (l. to r.) Chris Wissemann, CEO of Fisherman's Energy; Dr. Lohse; Shirley Weese Young, board member of the Sierra Club Foundation; Robyn Gabel, Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, 18th District; Mario Soos, Deputy Consul General of Germany in Chicago; Jeff Smith, General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Enlarge image (l. to r.) Chris Wissemann, CEO of Fisherman's Energy; Dr. Lohse; Shirley Weese Young, board member of the Sierra Club Foundation; Robyn Gabel, Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, 18th District; Mario Soos, Deputy Consul General of Germany in Chicago; Jeff Smith, General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (© germany.info/chicago)

Following the symposium, Dr. Lohse spoke with Jerome McDonnell on WBEZ's Worldview program.  The two discussed Bremen's strategies to meet the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40% by the year 2020.  The full interview may be heard by following the link in the sidebar.

Dr. Lohse is a member of the Green Party in Germany and holds a Ph.D. in Marine Chemistry and Environmental Sciences from the University of Hamburg.  His visit was made possible by the Transatlantic Climate Bridge, an initiative which brings Germans and Americans together to find new solutions to climate and energy challenges.

© germany.info/chicago

Bremen's Senator for Environment explains Germany's renewable energy policy

Dr. Lohse addressing the symposium at the Union League Club

Transatlantic Climate Bridge

Transatlantic Climate Bridge

Germans and Americans can be a powerful motor for cooperation on climate and energy policies. The aim of the Transatlantic Climate Bridge is to help Americans and Germans exchange know-how and to pave the way for joint solutions.

Worldview Interview with Dr. Joachim Lohse

Goethe-Institut Chicago

The Goethe-Institut Chicago organizes and supports cultural events that present German culture abroad and further intercultural exchange. It offers language courses as well as workshops for teachers of German as a foreign language.