24 October 2022
Welcome to the Transatlantic Climate Bridge (or TCB). This website is the online home for our initiative, whose mission is to promote and facilitate climate policy cooperation between Germany, the US, and Canada. We are a consortium of think-tanks who believe that the climate solutions we need are out there, though sometimes just need a push in the right direction. We pursue our mission through holding business and expert roundtables, facilitating transatlantic dialogue, conducting policy analysis, and supporting capacity building, knowledge sharing and exchange programs.
These activities only work with the right people at the table, that’s why we pursue a whole of society approach through working stakeholders from government on all levels (cities, states, national), civil society, youth and students, and the private sector.
To get an impression of some our upcoming and recent activities you can head over to the events page, where our events overview provides both information on what we have planned as well as offer summaries and videos from previous meetings. At the same time, we are trying to keep actors on both sides of the Atlantic informed on climate policy developments. Through our partner network we produce more technical policy pieces that can be found on our analysis page and our blog page offers shorter bi-monthly commentaries. Last (but not least), our podcast offers a behind the scenes look from important players in the international climate policy space. If you want to start by geting an impression of how the TCB country governments work and what the national climate policy landscape looks like then check out our primers page.
Our TCB countries—Germany, the US, and Canada—have a lot in common. All are committed to the Paris Agreement, working to cut emissions and improve adaptation in order to protect their citizens and the world from climate impacts. Over the past years, our three countries have demonstrated great leadership on climate, from Germany’s pioneering activity on renewables and technological solutions, to Canada serving as a beacon for inclusive national and multilateral climate policy, to the U.S. most recent monumental commitment to climate policy through the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act.
All of the TCB countries face similar challenges. As nations with significant industrial and agricultural sectors, Germany, Canada, and the US face the challenge of accelerating their energy transitions while protecting jobs and economic competitiveness and making sure that no one gets left behind in the structural change. Here our role is to enable the exchange of best practices helping likeminded leaders find common ground and efficient solutions.
Though there are also key differences between the TCB countries. Promoting cooperation in those areas—bridging the gaps, if you will—is just as important.
Take fossil fuel production: Canada and the US are major producers and exporters of oil and gas, whereas Germany produces little of either and imports most of its hydro carbons. Germany, for its part, has been a major coal-mining country, but the industry has declined in recent decades. While a German commission reached a consensus about phasing out coal as a fuel for electricity and compensating affected regions and workers—and this managed decline could be a model for its North American partners—the German Kohleausstieg (coal phase out) may have to be accelerated if the country is to hit its latest climate targets.
Or look at industry: Germany (in this case with law-making deferred to the EU) looks set to implement a carbon border adjustment mechanism to ensure its ambition at home does not lead to carbon leakage, with Canada having begun consultations to do the same. Meanwhile, the US is currently more focused on tax credits and subsidies for low-carbon production than border adjustments. Here, we are working to harmonize approaches in a microcosm of this space, namely the steel sector, to push the needle forward on transatlantic policy coordination.
Those are just two issue areas. The point is that there are different approaches to climate protection in our three countries, and we want to help all three communicate with one another and understand each other. No country can address climate change on its own; and the world cannot address climate change without Germany, Canada, and the US.
So, in closing, we hope you enjoy exploring our website and keep coming back over the years to come. To learn more or get involved please do get in touch at infotheclimatebridge [dot] org (info[at]theclimatebridge[dot]org) and follow us on Twitter: @climate_bridge.
If you want to find out more about the consortium behind the TCB, you can check out the Who We Are page. Our initiative is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety, and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and the German Federal Foreign Office (AA). While we work in close collaboration with German government ministries, we are independent and as such, our views are our own.